Hello SOTGC community,
Sheryl Sandberg certainly struck many cords when she inked her New York Times best seller, Lean In. Since the book’s publishing in 2013, it remains the center of many breakfast, lunch, and water cooler conversations. More than 1.5 million copies have been sold worldwide. From this much-needed book, there has been great dialogue, among women and men as well. Many groups, organizations, and companies have formed their individual Lean In circles.
Conversely, this hasn’t eliminated the criticism, debate, skepticism, and intrigue surrounding Sheryl’s book. Some have questioned whether she is the right person to introduce the subject matter, as the COO of Facebook, while others believe her posh position has given the book validity. Whatever the case, I’m not here to determine whether Sheryl was or wasn’t the correct person to bring the many issues surrounding the lack of women in positions of privilege, prestige, and power to light. However, I would like to invite ALL women to use everything they get their hands on. After leaning in, it’s my suggestion that we, as women … STAND! Sitting at the executive board table, connecting with a mentor, not passing on opportunities, and not apologizing for being ambitious is not enough.
After leaning, learning, and leading, we must stand; stand up for one another, stand in the gap, and stand for those that aren’t in the room to lean in. As women, we have to reframe our thinking and eliminate the notion that there are just a few positions at the top for women. Standing for one another should be as natural as standing up for our kids when they’re in danger or when a family member is in need. How about when your BFF calls with distress in her voice? Aren’t you ready to spring into action in a moment’s notice? Now, I do understand there are some distinct differences between standing up for your BFF and someone you barely know. Nonetheless, it’s critical that we stand as sisters, colleagues and friends as we’re all women!
Here are some ways in which we as women can begin STANDING:
- Share … after leaning in at executive boards meetings, conferences, and professional development opportunities, share the information with other women who would benefit.
- Train … commit to training women that are interested in learning.
- Advocate … serve as an advocate for the many issues that affect women on all levels.
- Narrate … tell your own story.
- Decide … make the decision to help women, all women from all walks of life!
The Lean In community is huge, and it’s only going to get larger. So, after you’re finished leaning in how will you STAND?
As Women I invite us to begin thinking and acting differently about leveraging all “Lean In” opportunities. How can we do that? Sponsor a woman to attend a leadership conference or add her to your professional networking group. When at the executive board table think about bringing another woman along to “Lean In” with you so you both can stand together!