In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg says:

I don’t wake up thinking, What am I going to do today as Facebook’s female COO?, but that’s often how I’m referred to by others. When people talk about a female pilot, a female engineer, or a female race car driver, the world ‘female’ implies a bit of surprise. Men in the professional world are rarely seen through this same gender lens. A Google search for “Facebook’s male CEO” returns this message: “No results found.”

As Gloria Steinem observed, “Whoever has power takes over the noun—and the norm—while the less powerful get an adjective.” (p. 140)

I couldn’t agree more with Sheryl Sandberg’s analysis. She’s a COO. There shouldn’t be an adjective before that title (unless it’s “badass”).

At Unreasonable, we work with entrepreneurs. They take on the biggest problems in the world. They deserve to be the noun. Tweet This Quote

The very same analysis represents precisely how I feel about the term “social entrepreneur.” Entrepreneurs solve problems. Some of them solve the problem of people not being able to buy shoes online—like Zappos. Some of them solve the problem of people not having peace of mind when they send packages—like Fedex. And some of them solve the problem of getting light affordably to people living off-the-grid—like Quetsol and One Degree Solar.

As Sandberg puts it, “No one wants her achievements modified. We all just want to be the noun.” (p. 140). At Unreasonable, we work with entrepreneurs. They take on the biggest problems in the world. They deserve to be the noun.

About the author

Teju Ravilochan

Teju Ravilochan

Teju is co-founder and CEO of the Unreasonable Institute. He is driven by the desire to live in a world where every human being can be the master of their own fate, unbound by the chains of poverty, oppression, or injustice.