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Facebook's flush Sheryl Sandberg savaged over UNPAID intern advert

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Facebook's second-in-command Sheryl Sandberg faced a backlash on her free-content network after the Lean In organisation she founded advertised for an unpaid intern with "social chops".

Sandberg, the author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, makes a lot of noise about how women should follow in her footsteps and get involved in the corporate world to earn tonnes of cash.

But that didn't stop spin-off organisation LeanIn.org's editor Jessica Bennett publicly shaming the outfit by posting an ad on Facebook for a job that, given Sandberg's estimated $400m wealth, absurdly comes without a salary attached to the vacancy.

It reads:

Wanted: Lean In editorial intern, to work with our editor (me) in New York. Part-time, unpaid, must be HIGHLY organised 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.

The negative effect of the spectacularly inappropriate tone was immediately apparent as Facebookers piled in with savage comments underneath Bennett's post.

One sensibly noted:

"Why does Lean In offer an unpaid internship? Really? 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."

While another more pointedly said: "selfish *unt."

Eventually, Bennett had no choice but to interject after her ill-advised post was seized upon by angry commentards.

She said:

All: Deep breath. Since I joined Lean In, many people have reached out asking if they can volunteer - and specifically, intern. This was MY post, looking for a volunteer to help me in New York. LOTS of nonprofits accept volunteers. This was NOT an official Lean In job posting. Sorry for the confusion.

Bennett was clearly stating "this ain't Sheryl's fault, y'all." But that didn't stop more Facebookers from criticising Lean In for its hypocrisy.

Which is hardly surprising when one considers the wealth of Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, who just last week sold shares in the social network that netted her a cool $91m. All in all, not a bad day's work.

If you look closely enough, Sandberg's definition of "women" is a pretty narrow one, even if it does float the conceit about the "right to equality at work". As one commentard said about the unpaid intern ad: "[This is] the moment that bourgeois feminist Lean In cult followers realise that class matters."

Lean In president Rachel Thomas later posted on the official Lean In Facebook page to confirm that future internships at Sandberg's book-flogging biz the campaign group would be paid. ®

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