WATCH: Sheryl Sandberg Launches 'Together Women Can' Campaign, Says She Had to 'Dig Deep' After Husband's Death
"I think we need to do a much better job supporting single mothers," Sheryl Sandberg also said while promoting her new initiative
ABC Breaking News | Latest News VideosMore than a year after her husband’s death, Sheryl Sandberg is thanking the women in her life who comforted her through her darkest days – and once again calling for other women to lean in and support one another.
The 46-year-old widowed mother of two sat down with Good Morning America‘s Amy Robach in an interview that aired Thursday, crediting Facebook’s Lori Goler and Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington for being strong influences in her life.
Huffington “has been for a very long time a source of great career advice for me, but also a personal shoulder to cry on, which I needed,” she said.
Sandberg added that she had to “dig deep” to emotionally survive the loss of husband Dave Goldberg – a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur and CEO of SurveyMonkey who died at the age of 47 of heart-related causes on May 1, 2015, in Punta Mita, Mexico.
“I had to find the belief in myself that I could keep going,” she said. “That I could function as a single mother … That I would be able to do my job and take care of my children.
“You know, I have resources others don’t have, and I’m aware of that. And I’m grateful for that,” she added. “And I think we need to do a much better job supporting single mothers. Because there are so many out there who need our help and often the people who need us the most as a society, we abandon. And we need to change that.”
While she’s doing better now, Sandberg said her time without her spouse is “still a struggle.”
“I miss Dave still,” she explained. “But I know I don’t have any choice other than to keep going. And I keep going because I look deep and I find the resilience inside myself.”
It’s the support she received from the women involved in her nonprofit foundation, LeanIn.org, that inspired Sandberg to launch the organization’s newest campaign: “Together Women Can.”
The initiative encourages women to be mentors and powerful allies for other women in the workplace. Eva Longoria, Selena Gomez, Emma Watson, Lena Dunham, Kerry Washington, Serena Williams, Megyn Kelly and Abby Wambach joined the movement, telling their stories in a video PSA. Others are encouraged to do the same thing, using the hashtag “#LeanInTogether.”
“We see all the time women supporting other women,” Sandberg explains. “And I think there’s a myth out there that women don’t, and it’s not true.”
She encourages women to do “small, everyday things” to encourage one another, like acknowledging the work of female colleagues or standing up for other women who may be interrupted by men while speaking.
Sandberg also asked parents to allow their daughters to have strong voices.
“We call our little girls ‘bossy.’ We don’t call little boys ‘bossy,’ because we expect them to lead. We should look at our daughters and say, ‘You’re not bossy, you have executive leadership skills and I’m going to support and encourage that,’ ” she said.
LeanIn.Org was founded in 2013 and strives to “empower all women to achieve their ambitions,” according to its website.
“My greatest hope is that we will celebrate the women who are helping us. We will get rid of the myth that women are other women’s worst enemies, because they’re not. And we will start celebrating leadership in women and little girls everywhere,” she concluded.