Lean In Foundation Will Pay Interns, Soon

After much controversy, the Lean In Foundation announces it will create a paid internship program Read More

By / August 16, 2013

Lean In superwoman Sheryl Sandberg enraged the interwebs on Tuesday when her foundation’s editor, Jessica Bennett, posted a status on Facebook looking for an unpaid intern.

The Lean In Foundation’s goal is to inspire and encourage ambitious women, so seeking free work set its objectives into question:

Meanwhile, others have pointed out that Sandberg, whose net worth hovers around $500 million, sold $91 million in Facebook shares this week. Paying someone minimum wage (New York’s minimum wage is $7.25), five days a week (beginning next week) through the end of the year would cost Sandberg about $5,220—roughly .005 percent of the money she made off her stock sale this week, or .001 percent of her estimated net worth. But that’s not a proposal Sandberg is likely to, you know, lean into.

It wasn’t long though before the foundation responded to the mounting criticism. Late Thursday, Lean In’s President Rachel Thomas announced that it would be creating a paid internship, super soon.

As a startup, we haven’t had a formal internship program. Moving forward we plan to, and it will be paid.

Thomas also used some cool PR word play, like, they’re not unpaid interns; they’re student volunteers.

So, I guess it’s all resolved then.