Does anyone know anything about 'LeanIn Circles' please?

(12 Posts)
ErrolTheDragon Tue 04-Oct-16 13:34:38

Just got an email from our company about them setting up 'LeanIn circles' ... I seem to have missed an earlier communication so I'm trying to work out what they're about and whether worth participating.

Apparently the director who sent the mail is delighted there's a lot of interest and 'even more pleased to see the number of men who have joined. Proving that gender equality is not just a Women's issue' (with a link to Emma Watson at HeForShe) . hum. maybe that makes it more important that a 55 yo woman somewhat educated by MN should join? I'm a bit shy IRL and work from home so interacting with colleagues on this subject is a bit outside my comfort zone so I want to know a bit more before I sign up.

Any experience please?

SpeakNoWords Tue 04-Oct-16 13:41:49

I thought they were a support group for women, so I'm surprised that men have joined. Maybe I've misunderstood what they are.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 04-Oct-16 15:34:27

I've googled a little bit more and apparently men can join.

Hm... it seems it's a bit focused on women aiming for 'leadership', which may be a good goal for some women but certainly not all.

CharlieSierra Sat 08-Oct-16 11:07:53

Lean in was started by Sheryl Sandberg. You could have a look at her on YouTube to see if it's something you want to get involved with.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 13-Oct-16 16:52:37

Oh thanks - sorry, only just saw the reply. I decided to join up anyway - I'm not sure that the company is particularly using the LeanIn 'philosophy' more a sharing of experience, ideas etc. Ratio F:M about 9:1 apparently so hopefully female voices in no danger of being overwhelmed by helpful chaps. grin

StickyProblem Thu 13-Oct-16 16:56:10

My company is doing them too, would be interested to hear how you get on.

ralice Thu 13-Oct-16 17:50:12

I wish my company (when I worked there) had done something like this. My (female) MD bought me the Lean In book, gave a great speech about going for what I want and making an impact, and then proceeded to deny me flexible working when I wanted to return after maternity leave. Bitch.

StickyProblem Thu 13-Oct-16 17:51:28

ralice that is shit sad . People don't realise they need to put money into equality, not just words.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 13-Oct-16 18:21:38

I've been lucky with my company but I don't know if the flexibility allowed to me is general or not - we're the result of lots of mergers and acquisitions and I may have had a bit of a charmmed existence. My manager (who is in America) was probably helped by me doing motherhood and later part-time working, as she has followed suit - and frankly the company has won in terms of retention because in the last couple of year several of the blokes have been poached by competitors, our group would be stuffed if we hadnt stayed (shes awesome).

EBearhug Fri 14-Oct-16 00:32:15

We have them. The one in Ireland has a strict no men rule. We've had men in the UK, but they'very never come regularly.

I think there's a website.

SwedishEdith Fri 14-Oct-16 00:40:43

Not read Lean In (but read about it) but saw this - Lean Out in Waterstone's which seemed interesting.

EBearhug Fri 14-Oct-16 00:54:26

Yes - leanincircles.org/

It's organised by our women's network. We meet about once a month, but tend to have a break in August and December because so many people have holidays.

We started by following the topics on the website, but these days we tend to do our own thing. This year, we've had sessions on things like the growth mindset, and language use (assertive language and so on). Our next one is something to do with resilience and change. There have also been sessions on time management, on parenthood and work, that sort of thing.

We circulate the slides and so on first - there are usually links to two or three Ted Talks or similar links, and a number of articles. Sometimes there are exercises, too, e.g. to see how fixed your mindset might be. Then at the circle meeting, we discuss the materials and talk about our experiences, ask for advice with tricky situations, that sort of thing. What's said in the room stays in the room.

I find it fun and useful, but I suspect like many of these things, it depends on who organises it and whether a truly open atmosphere is there to allow frank discussion and so on. One of the things I find interesting is that while we're all meant to experience a similar culture and conpany values and expectations around flexibility and so on, in reality, it can really vary massively between different departments and whether you've got a good manager or a total git.

Give it a go for a couple of sessions at least.

I would be interested to know how it works with men. We had a diversity session at work today, and it was all the usual suspects, i.e. preaching to the converted. All the men out there who are the majority of the workforce and therefore a large part of how we experience the culture - they're just not engaged with any of it, don't see diversity and inclusion as anything to do with them. And I feel angry about that.

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