The Power of One

(Trade paper)
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In the spring of 2021, when news outlets feasted on "the Facebook Files," Frances Haugen went public as the former employee who blew the whistle on the company by copying tens of thousands of documents. She testified to Congress and spoke to the media. She was hailed at President Biden's first State of the Union Address. She made sure everyone understood exactly what the documents revealed: Facebook not only set its algorithm to reward extremism, it knew that its customers were using the platform to foment violence, to spread falsehoods, to diminish the self-esteem of young people, and more. But how was it that Frances was the only employee at the company who dared to step forward?The answer to that question is an inspiring tale of one young woman's life. She grew up in an unhappy home and threw herself into schoolwork and her high school debate team. She made the unusual decision to join the founding class of a new engineering school in Massachusetts, even though it wasn't yet accredited. Prior to attending Harvard Business School, she out-hustled a raft of candidates to win a coveted job at Google as a product manager in a department that was 88% male-and a huge challenge for a woman to survive. In business school, she again didn't fit in. But at each step of the way, including at Pinterest and Yelp, she focused on what mattered, and ignored her critics. She learned the hard way that you can't please everyone, and you have to fight the battles that matter.The Power of One is equally inspiring-the story of a woman who went against the grain, again and again, and changed the world-and horrifying, as the culture and practices of Facebook are brought to the bright light of day, for the first time.