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What Sheryl Sandberg’s Exit Reveals About Women’s Advances in Technology


But many of them encountered difficulties in managing aging technology companies. Of those women, only Ms. Catz, Ms. Hood and Ms. Porat remain in office.

“The pace of progress for women leaders in Silicon Valley has been beyond disappointing,” said Nicole Wong, the former Obama administration deputy chief technology officer and a former Twitter executive. “It makes the commitments tech leaders made around racial and gender diversity in 2014 look performant.”

In 2017, stories of sexual harassment by powerful men in Silicon Valley became part of the #MeToo movement. That year, a group of female investors founded All Raise.

In 2018, California passed a law requiring publicly traded companies to have at least one female chairman of the board, which has led to numerous women joining its boards of directors. (A judge in California rejected the law last month; the state has said it will appeal the ruling.) Another new law, passed last year, the Silenced No More Act, provides legal protections to people who act in public. speak about discrimination or harassment they have experienced at work.

Women in tech have continued to speak out about unfair treatment. In 2020, Ms. Brougher won a $22.5 million settlement from Pinterest for discrimination and retaliation. A discrimination case from Emily Kramer, former chief marketing officer at financial start-up Carta, is making its way through the courts.

There are some signs of progress. Over the past five years, Katrina Lake of Stitch Fix, Julie Wainwright of The RealReal, Jennifer Hyman of Rent the Runway, and Whitney Wolfe Herd of Bumble have made public the companies they founded. And following in Ms. Sandberg’s footsteps, female Chief Operating Officers are now more prevalent in tech. They include Ms. Choi at Coinbase, Gwynne Shotwell at SpaceX, and Jen Wong at Reddit.

At Meta, Ms. Sandberg hired and promoted women, such as Marne Levine, the chief business officer, and Lori Goler, the chief of human resources and personnel. The percentage of women in Meta’s management with a title of director or higher increased to 35 percent in 2021, from 30 percent in 2018, according to the company’s data.

Meta also developed women who now lead other tech companies, including Ms. Simo, who oversaw the main Facebook app before becoming Instacart’s CEO last year.

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