Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, advised women to “Lean In” to their careers. Now she hopes businesswomen will tune in to the “Take the Lead Challenge,” an initiative to inspire women to take their fair share of leadership positions by 2025.

Rider University’s Women’s Leadership Council will live stream the event on Wednesday, February 19, at 7 p.m. in Sweigart Hall. Sandberg will headline the event, which is being held at Arizona State and live-streamed to other universities around the country. Rider is the only New Jersey university participating. This program is free to the general public. Pre-registration is required at www.rider.edu/rwlc. For information call 609-896-7725 or E-mail RWLC@rider.edu.

Sandberg will be joined by Karen Finney, host of MSNBC television’s Disrupt; Erica Gonzalez, editor-in-chief of El Diario/La Prensa; Pat Mitchell, president of the Paley Center for Media; Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University; and Carla Harris, managing director at Morgan Stanley.

The initiative is designed to encourage women to take up more leadership positions in the business world. Despite making up half the population, earning 60 percent of college degrees, and occupying 47 percent of the workforce, only 18 percent of the nation’s top leadership positions and 8.1 percent of the highest paying positions are held by women. A recent report by the Executive Women of New Jersey showed a similar disparity (U.S. 1, February 5).

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