Female Fights: #8 Sheryl Sandberg

Vera H-C Chan
Senior Editor, Special Projects
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg moved up the billionaire ranks when she sold her stocks on Halloween. The Silicon Valley trailblazer has been outspoken recently about work-life balance. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

In 2012, women put up a good fight to defend their interests, even as others fought for their favor. Here are the year's top female fights, as measured by search volume and percentage spikes compared with 2011 on Yahoo!.

Talk of high-powered women lamenting their lack of work-life balance exploded over the Atlantic magazine cover story "Why Women Still Can't Have It All," written by Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former State Department employee.

But Sheryl Sandberg, another high achiever—a former Google executive, she's now Facebook's chief operating officer—has long been known for giving advice to women entering positions of power in Silicon Valley. This year, Sandberg was touting sane work hours, became the first female on Facebook's board of directors, and made Time magazine's list of the top 100 influencers. The Daily Mail dubbed Sandberg one of the richest women in the world as she entered the ranks of billionaires.

Sandberg also sold $11 million worth of Facebook stock— a move that added to the uncertainty about the company, which had stimulated a frenzy and then a slew of lawsuits over its initial public offering. In addition, the stock sale spurred chatter about her possible return to the White House to work for the Obama administration in its second term. Sandberg has confirmed her commitment to Facebook, but her constant activity has made her a woman to watch.

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