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Sheryl Sandberg first woman to join Facebook board

Some would say that it has been a long time coming, but Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has finally been given a place on the social network's executive board.

This makes Ms Sandberg the first woman to secure a seat on the board that until recently only consisted of seven men.

The announcement will hopefully silence critics who have recently lashed out at Facebook, claiming that the social network is hypocritical to promote inclusivity when its executive board does not have any female representatives.

In an exclusive interview with the New Yorker last year – which is well worth a read for those interested in Ms Sandberg's colourful career – Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg explained the reasons why no female had been offered a place.

"We have a very small board. I'm going to find people who are helpful, and I don't particularly care what gender they are or what company they are. I'm not filling the board with check boxes," he explained (July 11, 2011).

It seems that Mr Zuckerberg has finally deemed Ms Sandberg as being "helpful" enough.

He was singing her praises in an official company blog announcing her appointment, which was released by Facebook on June 25.

"Sheryl has been my partner in running Facebook and has been central to our growth and success over the years," Mr Zuckerberg said.

"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."

Ms Sandberg, who is well known for inspiring other women to succeed, accepted the position graciously and said that she was proud to be involved so deeply with Facebook.

"It's a mission that I'm deeply passionate about, and I feel fortunate to be part of a company that is having such a profound impact in the world," she said.

Posted by Jess O'Connor