Some may feel this is a little unconventional – a man moderating the Lean In group discussions, but we both feel it’s incredibly important men are a part of this conversation. Men and women need to work together to achieve true equality both in the work place and beyond. And I couldn’t be prouder of him for taking up the challenge.
For anyone who doesn’t know, since Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In was published in 2013, businesses around the world have instigated Lean In Circles – a support network and coaching group who meet regularly to encourage women within the business to lean in and pursue their dreams and develop their careers.
The OH is a massive advocate for women returning to work after starting a family, and has taken up most of the more stereotypical ‘women’s roles’ in our house since I returned to work last February. I couldn’t have made a success of commuting in and out of London four days a week and getting my career back on track after a two year break without his doing so. (And in turn, we couldn’t have made it work without leaning on my mom heavily at times either.)
As I’ve written before in The F Word, building on Anne-Marie Salughter’s message in Unfinished Business, it’s all about team work – whoever your team may consist of, whether you’re looking after three little ones or ageing relatives. It’s not only up to the woman herself to ‘lean in’ and accept the challenge. She needs to be supported to do so.
Last week, the Lean In Circle gave the OH a copy of Sandberg’s infamous book to read in preparation for their first session and a box of Celebrations to welcome him into the fold. He’s going to be brilliant at this role. I’m so proud of him for taking up this challenge and helping to bring men into this conversation.