Facebook COO launches Together Women Can campaign

Spreading awareness of the power of peer mentoring

sheryl
Credit: Get Everwise/Flickr

Lean In, an organization committed to offering women the ongoing inspiration and support to help them achieve their goals, has launched campaign called “Together Women Can” to spread awareness about the power of women supporting each other.

Lean In and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in an interview with ABC News that her greatest hope for this campaign is that “we recognize what is already happening, which is that women are supporting other women. We will celebrate women. We will get rid of the myth that women are other women’s worst enemies, because they're not. We will start celebrating leadership in women and little girls everywhere.”

The campaign has released a video featuring successful women including Lena Dunham, Selena Gomez, Megyn Kelly, Eva Longoria, Abby Wambach, Kerry Washington, Emma Watson, Serena Williams, and Sheryl Sandberg.

In the video, these women pay tribute to other successful women who mentored and inspired them to reach their own goals and powerfully impact their own careers. The video message is simple yet poignant: “We are more powerful when we empower each other. We are more courageous when we encourage each other. We are allies, not rivals. Together we are funnier, smarter, more ambitious, braver, badass, bolder, invincible, unstoppable. When women lean-in together we accomplish amazing things. Let’s lean-in together.”

The movement is endorsed and supported by the United States Federal government. In September 2015, the US Secretary of Defense, Dr. Ash Carter, announced the Department’s ‘unconditional support’ for the Lean-In organization through providing service members and civilian employees space and time to participate in their own Circles.

“I highly encourage our people to take advantage of DOD spaces made available before, after, or during work hours to take place in these peer-mentoring relationships,” said Carter.

My wife, Jennifer Bhartiya who works for the U.S. Government brought Lean In’s new campaign to my attention. She participates in Lean In and told me, “It inspired me and motivated me to pursue more positions of leadership and influence. It helped me network, conned and learn from other women in my career field.”

The campaign and Lean-In are not just about women supporting women, men can play a big role too. In an interview prominent Linux developer Sarah Sharp once told me the critical role men like her dad, husband and colleagues played in helping her.

The campaign strongly emphasizes the importance of men’s highly significant roles in supporting women. There are many tips specifically for men: “How to be an All Star Dad”, “How to be a ‘Stand Up’ Guy,” “How to be a 50/50 partner, and “How to be a Workplace MVP.”

Lean-In says that “Men have an important role to play in reaching equality, and everyone benefits when they do. Children with involved fathers are happier, healthier, and more successful. Couples who share responsibilities have stronger marriages. Diverse teams and companies produce better results. Leaning in is not just the right thing to do—it’s the smart thing to do.”

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