Is just leaning in ever sufficient? It is time to stand for something, stand together and stand strong. It is time to stand up!
Lately I’ve been wondering if “leaning in” is still sufficient?
I am certain by now many of us are familiar with Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In women’s empowerment movement, led by her 2013 best-selling book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. So much has happened in the women empowerment movement over the past five years, including the Women’s March, #MeToo and #TimesUp, as well as the move to close the salary gap for women in the workplace.
As a human resources executive with over 20 years of experience, I believe it is now time for the Lean In phenomenon to pivot to a STAND UP movement, which is much more aligned with the NEW women’s movement we are currently experiencing worldwide.
So…what does that look like?
Here are 3 examples of how we can all work together to make this shift happen:
#1 Stand for something
“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”
As newly empowered women start to rise in the corporate scene, and as entrepreneurs, it is important that we bind together, support each other and stand up for complete equalization of women in business. For those aware of it, leaning in was a wonderful phenomenon for its time but it’s now time to take that initiative on a path of trajectory. Question the status quo. If you know a woman is being treated unfairly in the workplace (i.e., salary, promotion opportunity), stand up and speak up. Let her know you “see” her and support her so she doesn’t feel like she’s in it by herself.
#2 Stand together
Leaning in was designed to be purposeful for women one-by-one. Now, women must be intentional and stand upon the shoulders of the women who paved the way before them. We must collectively embrace the fact there is room enough at the top for more than one successful and empowered woman. As she rises, we all rise.
Collaboration is the new competition. There is no need to compete with each other. Work together to change the stereotype of women not being able to get along because of jealousy and cattiness. Our male counterparts don’t have that reputation. Instead, they focus on the end goal and making money together. That’s something we can learn from them.
#3 Stand strong
Support the women who are paving the way for equal pay and excelling as entrepreneurs and positions to the C-suite, because it truly takes a village. Send her a supportive email. Like and comment on her posts on social media. Share resources or lend a helping hand. Offer to collaborate when possible. She needs to know her tribe of supportive and empowered women are truly behind her and supporting her, and have her best interest at heart. She is already facing adversity, lack of support, self-doubt and other challenges every day, all while handling the responsibilities of being a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.
Women have always been the backbone of businesses and families. It’s time for us to finally embrace our place, stretch our confidence muscle and take our true place on the throne. We are worthy! We are capable! We are good enough! We are smart enough!
I’m convinced leaning in is no longer enough. We must ALL take a stand together, as we are much stronger and louder together than as a single woman with a single voice. Taking the initiatives behind the Lean In movement and the Women’s March to the next level will now require women to STAND UP, SPEAK UP and STEP UP to truly own their power and place in the world.
Are you ready to STAND UP? If you want different results, you have to be prepared to do something different. Now is our time!