New Delhi - Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg says it is all right for women to cry at work, share emotions and be honest about their femininity.

Ms Sandberg shot to global fame after the publication of her best-selling book Lean In: Women, Work And The Will To Lead which talks about women's career struggles and advises women to "lean in" to reach their potential.

It has drawn bouquets from admirers for articulating a new modern feminist vision and brickbats from critics who say her lofty position has made her out of touch with the gruelling personal cost of combining career and family.

In an interview published yesterday with India's Mint business daily, the 43-year-old admitted: "I cry at work," adding women are not "one type of person Monday through Friday" and "then a different person in the nights and weekend."

Ms Sandberg, who is married with two young children, said it was necessary to talk about gender-related issues honestly in the workplace, and a need for employers to say: "I am here to support you."

The question of whether women can "have it all" in terms of pursuing careers and raising families is "very problematic", added Ms Sandberg, who got US$26.2 million (S$32.9 million) in salary, bonus and shares last year.

Men never face such questions because society assumes they can have both professions and children, she said in the interview.

A huge percentage of women globally have both children and work full time, but to do so they must get the "support they need at the workplace and at home," Ms Sandberg said.