Lean In? Sheryl Sandberg Posts Unpaid Intern Gig, Made $91M Last Week

Sheryl Sandberg urged women to “lean in,” (whatever that means, we still don’t know) but the Facebook hotshot seems to really think opportunity comes dressed as hard work… the kind for which you don’t get compensated.

While Sheryl Sandberg may be raking in more money than any person could reasonably spend in a lifetime, she can’t even spare minimum wage for an intern. (Which, if you’re not familiar, is New York City code for “legal slave.”)

Sandberg’s Lean In Foundation’s editor-at-large is Jessica Bennett, and Bennett posted the following job “lead” to Facebook, seeking a person to work for the zillionaire’s company — for zero dollars a week.

Bennett said:

“Wanted: Lean In editorial intern, to work with our editor (me) in New York. Part-time, unpaid, must be HIGHLY organized with editorial and social chops and able to commit to a regular schedule through end of year. Design and web skills a plus! HIT ME UP. Start date ASAP.”

One commenter very politely yet firmly addresses what’s so troubling about Lean In and Sheryl Sandberg talking out of both sides of their mouths in such a fashion:

“I understand that funds aren’t always readily available but surely you understand that the sort of abilities you request take time, money and personal investment to be learned and that are student loans to be paid etc. By restricting it to those who can afford to have done all that and live in NYC without pay on a permanent position, you excluded an awful a lot of people, namely those with less possessions and women included. Your medium and behaviour does not meet the message – and that is a tremendous shame.”

Another said:

“I thought women should lean in and demand more money. Unpaid work, be it internships for young women or volunteer positions for older moms, is exploitive. Shame on lean in. Pay up.”

Two others highlighted the hypocrisy, amid zero supportive comments — and several noting the “ask” appeared to be illegal:

“you can lean in- if your parents or partner can pay for it. you work for no wages at Sheryl Sandberg’s vanity project while she asks why there are no other women at the table willing to change the world. spoiler alert: it’s because they needed a job that paid actual money so they could feed themselves and their families.”

“Sheryl Sandberg made $91,000,000 last week. Won’t pay an intern a market wage. Me thinks her ‘lean in’ campaign is merely for personal gain/publicity and that she doesn’t really seek any kind of real equality. Actions speak louder than words.”

You can read the entire Lean In/Sheryl Sandberg unpaid intern thread over on Facebook — but you might want to get cracking before it mysteriously disappears.