Sheryl Sandberg joins Facebook board

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Sheryl Sandberg has well and truly shattered the glass ceiling to become the first woman to join the board of Facebook – despite the fact that most of the social networking site’s 901 million users are women.

Facebook’s chief operating officer, and one of America’s best known female executives, will be the only female on the eight-strong board that runs Facebook Inc., reports the Los Angeles Times.

Commenting on her appointment, Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg cited Sandberg as fundamental to the success of the social network:

"Sheryl has been my partner in running Facebook and has been central to our growth and success over the years," said Zuckerberg, in a written statement issued on Monday. "Her understanding of our mission and long-term opportunity and her experience both at Facebook and on public company boards makes her a natural fit for our board."

A consistent advocate of women in business (Sandberg champions flexible working, and in a recent speech to Harvard Business School graduates, said that it was equally the responsibility of men to help women climb the career ladder), the former Google executive is credited with the creation of Facebook’s advertising business, helping the social network net more than $800million in revenue.

Facebook has recently come under fire for a lack of women and ethnic minorities on its board, and although Sandberg’s appointment could be seen as a token gesture to critics, we do hope her achievements are not diminished in the exchange.

What do you think? Is Sheryl Sandberg's appointment a step forward for women in business, or should Facebook do more to promote high-ranking females? Tell us your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section below

Image credit: Rex