Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has a new call-to-action for women. After encouraging women to lean in at the workplace, the Lean In Author has now amassed a hit squad of badass women to spearhead a new #LeanInTogether movement.
“Behind every woman is another successful woman. 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 can get to equality. Together we can raise our voices. Together we can stand to anything and anyone. Together we can make the workplace a better place. Together we are funnier, smarter, more ambitious, braver, badass, bolder, invincible, unstoppable. When women lean in together, we accomplish amazing things,” say Serena Williams, Emma Watson, Kerry Washington, Selena Gomez, Abby Wambach, Eva Longoria, Lena Dunham and Sheryl Sandberg in an inspiring #LeanInTogether promo video as they pay tribute to the women who have impacted on their careers and encourage all of us to lean on each other. “Let’s lean in. Let’s lean in Together. We are on the same team.”
Tennis superstar Serena unsurprisingly, name drops, her sister and fellow tennis superstar Venus Williams who fought hard for equal pay for women players at Wimbledon. The recently retired USWNT footballer Wambach finds it hard to describe the effect football pioneer Mia Hamm has on her own life and career. Actress and activist Emma Watson tells us how Sofia Coppola supported her work and made her believe that she can do more. Critically acclaimed and award-winning actress Kerry Washington is not sure what her life will look like without Shonda Rhimes who wields power compassionately and responsibly on set.We love the empowering #LeanInTogether message and what it stands for. There’s so much we could achieve together if women can support and help each other at the workplace, by being mentors and forming alliances. The myth that the “Women are their worst enemies” is longer valid in the modern workplace, as Dunham explains, “The idea that another woman was, in some way taking something that belongs to you is shifting.” Women often don’t speak up enough to promote themselves because they are conditioned to be team players – and that can render our contributions invisible. By celebrating each other’s work, we can make sure women get the credit they truly deserve.
While #LeaningInTogether makes a catchy T-shirt, slogan, we think it needs to go beyond a 90s Spice Girls song from their “Girl Power” era.
Apart from sports and entertainment, we women are rocking in other fields such as science, tech, comedy, entrepreneurship and other fields. Where are the rest of us in the video?
The barriers women face in the workplace are not just personal, but cultural and structural ones which are deeply embedded in the workforce. What if it’s the workplace that’s broken? Must we always be working within the system? Or should we hold the employers accountable? Instead of breaking the glass ceiling, can we explore building an entirely new system that supports diversity and equality from the ground up?
We have yet to see an Asian face, women or men, in any of the #LeanInTogether campaigns. Will that be addressed in the next round? Looks like it’s not just Hollywood that didn’t get the memo that we Asians apparently do exist. Hello … from the other side?
Don’t get us all wrong. Sandberg does deserve credit for putting herself out there and starting a revolution in the workplace. And it’s great to see her focus on fostering collaboration and cooperation rather than competition. But now the #LeanInTogether message is out there to the masses, where do we really go from here?