Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook who is also known for her much talked about 2013 book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” believes that women power can change the future too. Being the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board in 2012 and named as the Time 100 most influential people in the same year, Sheryl is taking the Lean In concept further as a program specially for women from across the world.
The program is now coming to India for all female software engineers. According to The Hindu Business Line, Lean In is all set to reach the country later this month and to do so it has tied up with Anita Borg Institute (ABI), a non-profit organization focused on the advancement of women in computing, which will design courses and provide networking opportunities for women engineers in India.
The Lean In program right now is made of three core features – Community, Education and Circles. The community is made of the website and the Facebook page where women and men can share personal stories about careers or related issues. The Education involves A series of free, online video tutorials on topics such as leadership and negotiation, largely developed by Stanford University’s Clayman Institute for Gender Studies. For India this is where ABI would be filling the shoes.
Finally, Lean In Circles are guidelines for women to form small peer groups that meet regularly to discuss the tutorials and their own experiences. These include detailed instructions and meeting timetables. However they are as good as suggestions. According to ABI, Circles will enable them to connect with women CEOs over career and business opportunities.
Sharing thoughts with Business Line on bringing the concept to India, Geetha Kannan, India Representative of Anita Borg Institute (ABI) expressed, “The company is planning to bring in the ‘Lean In’ initiative and aid them with learning tools. Discrimination against women at workplaces coupled with societal pressures has resulted in women not taking up engineering as a profession as compared to men.”
She further added that, “There are issues of women being unable to continue with their careers due to marriage and such factors. With Lean In, ABI will develop videos, training, and resource materials to help women in technology.”
While ABI is planning to build communities for women cross different companies, learn and discuss different topics such as cloud computing, big data, analytics using technology, it is also planning to approach some universities in a bid to educate and connect women engineers at an early stage in their careers.
According to Hillary Clinton – “Women are the world’s most underused resource.” However, Lean In is trying to make a change and if you think as women you can make a difference in your work life then head straight to the communities of Lean In or the ABI and be a part of the community and discussions.