Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Samantha Cooney
December 27, 2016
Samantha Cooney is the content strategy editor at TIME.

Sheryl Sandberg doesn’t want young girls to let the world tell them they can’t run the world.

The Facebook chief operating officer, who authored Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, and feminist activist and author Gloria Steinem spoke to National Geographic for its January issue about pressing gender issues and their advice to young girls.

“Raise your hand if you’re a girl in class; run for class president. If you’re interested in it, be a leader,” Sandberg said in a message that’s particularly resonant after Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential bid. “Don’t let the world tell you girls can’t lead… We cannot just help ourselves take on leadership roles; we can help each other. There are men in these circles too — men who are really working hard toward equality.”

Steinem, meanwhile, said it’s crucial for young girls to embrace their individuality. “It’s important for girls not to internalize a sense of passivity or inferiority or second-classness, and for boys not to internalize a sense of having to be stronger or superior or in control,” Steinem said.

“The less polarized the gender roles, the more peaceful the society,” Steinem said. “We are each unique and individual human beings. We are linked; we are not ranked.”

Read the full interview at National Geographic.


Write to Samantha Cooney at

Read More From TIME