Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In gains momentum
While many women ask the most obvious questions pertaining to their limited success in the professional sphere, only a handful have been able to get to the root of the problem and offer strategies and solutions. Sheryl Sandberg is part of this handful, and has quickly and effectively answered possibly one of the most difficult questions known to womankind (in the workplace); how do we juggle it all? “It” is in reference to the dreaded glass ceiling, which symbolizes the subconscious as well as mental blocks which prevent women from attaining high levels of success at work. Sandberg’s “Lean In” movement, which started as a book aimed to empower working women, has now turned into a worldwide community filled with empowered and soon-to-be-empowered women, each of whom believes in Sandberg’s philosophy. Recently, the movement sprung up in China and increased its impact in other parts of the world thanks to regular meetings and book discussion events. With over 10,000 support groups formed as part of the movement, many have wondered as to the overall impact of the movement on women themselves.
One of the most endearing qualities relating to both Sandberg and her book, is that they do not preach or demand that a rigid structure be set in context with regularity of meetings, attendance from members etc. the message has always been clear from the beginning; while Lean In movement does in fact, seek to facilitate women power in the form of support groups, the ultimate act of leaning in must be carried out by the individual in her own time and in her own way. Everyone cannot afford to “lean in” in exactly the same way, for example, military wives have stated that they find it increasingly difficult to join and participate in women’s group discussions due to their regular shift from one area of deployment to another. In the same breath, some of these women proudly state that their geographical mobility has enabled them to take forward the philosophy of the movement into newer circles of women. Sandberg herself insisted during a 300-member audience discussion in New York that it is beneficial for peer groups to exist for the purpose of support and sharing or giving of advice, and it appears that some women are passing the baton and creating these groups quickly, thereby spreading the word to a wider female target audience.
While some question the effectiveness of the movement, the fact remains that Sheryl Sandberg’s mission to inspire and encourage women to emotionally and physically come forward to take charge at the workplace, is showing excellent results already. The mission’s active Facebook page provides a daily dose of inspiration from women in history, ranging from Amelia Earhart to Maya Angelou, all of whom are credited with “leaning in” and contributing to women’s liberation on a multitude of levels. With South East Asia catching on to this liberating movement, it is only a matter of time before Lean In becomes a global anthem for women worldwide who wish to take on the corporate world and smash the proverbial glass ceiling once and for all.