By Niraja Surendran
By now, you’ve probably heard of LeanIn.Org, a nonprofit organization founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to empower women and encourage them to achieve their goals. Though the organization is mainly for women by women, men are also encouraged to join the movement to help empower women as supportive fathers, husbands, brothers, and friends. #ProjectGirlSpireApproved
The LeanIn.Org campaign has taken the Internet by storm, receiving nearly one million likes on Facebook with its highly popular campaign video, which features amazing celebrity feminists Serena Williams, Kerry Washington, Lena Dunham, Eva Longoria, Emma Watson, Megyn Kelly, Selena Gomez, and Abby Wambach, all who encourage other women to #LeanInTogether. In addition to these celebrities, the NBA, the WNBA, and over 600 other companies have partnered with LeanIn.Org, making it one of the biggest and most popular female empowerment organizations.
Primarily, the LeanIn.org site offers women a place to share ideas and information online, for one of a woman’s greatest assets is her community. These “Lean In” stories give women the chance to participate in an active community that connects them as one with many practical, teachable moments. LeanIn.Org also believes that educating women is crucial, and offers many TED talks and free expert lectures on topics like communication and leadership. Sandberg’s book, Lean In, contains more practical advice for women to help them believe in themselves and pursue their dreams.
Another key feature of the organization is Lean In Circles – small support groups that meet every month to promote trust and confidentiality amongst women. These meetings can be in-person or online; the online option gives you the opportunity to network with people around the world. Already, there are 28,000 Lean In Circles in over 140 countries, and 85% of members credit the circle for the positive changes they have experienced in their lives. You can find or start a circle by visiting leanincircles.org, which will provide you with materials and support for success.
In addition, LeanIn.Org has launched the movement Together Women Can, which encourages women to support each other (and women’s rights movements), and the movement Ban Bossy, which builds confidence in young girls to help them become leaders. The movement’s website, banbossy.com, helps explain why girls are less interested in leading than boys – girls worry leadership roles will make them seem “bossy.” The Girl Scouts of the USA are a proud supporter of this campaign and work to help girls maintain a positive self-image throughout their school years.
Inspired yet? Project GirlSpire sure is! We hope that you take advantage of LeanIn.Org’s excellent resources, whether it’s by reading “Lean In” stories or starting your own Lean In Circle. At the very least, we hope you visit leanin.org to learn more information about the campaign and show that you #LeanInTogether on social media!