One of the top people at Facebook has hit out at the factors she says lead to workplace gender-based discrimination.

Facebook’s chief operating officerSheryl Sandberg says success and negative stereotypes can keep women back.

“For men, likeability and success is correlated,” she said in an interview with Bloomberg.

“As they get more successful, more powerful, they’re better liked. For women, success and likability are negatively correlated.

“As a woman gets more successful, more powerful – she is less liked.

“I don’t know a senior woman in the workplace who hasn’t been told she’s too aggressive,” Sandberg said.

“What’s happening is we have systematic stereotypes of women, and systematic biases of women,” she added.

“Our biases against women need to be exposed, understood, and changed.”

Entrepreneur Richard Branson was part of the interview too, and shocked Sandberg when he said; “I don’t think we’re going to get to a situation where boardrooms are very equal for women for another 100 years.”

“I just fainted,” Sandberg said in reply.

Branson went on to voice support for a 50 per cent female quota for all new companies.