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Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg to kick off ‘Women’s Voices’ lecture series today in Sacramento

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who turns 44 next week, authored a book, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” that’s been praised as empowering and attacked as elitist in encouraging women to speak up and advance their careers.

That message will be part of her talk today in Sacramento, where Sandberg is the inaugural speaker in “Women’s Voices,” a lecture series hosted by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, a bipartisan group of 31 female legislators from the state Senate and Assembly.

Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, chair of the women’s caucus, said Sandberg was invited because of her efforts to encourage women to be more assertive about their careers.

“We wanted to raise the level of interest about the challenges women face in the workforce,” Lowenthal said, noting an annual UC Davis study that shows women lag far behind their male counterparts in executive posts at California’s 400 biggest firms.

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