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How Can Millennials "Lean In?"

About one year ago, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In took the world by storm. As the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sandberg took on the inequality of women in the workforce in her first book. After a year of travel, lectures and interviews, she introduced a new edition of Lean In with more guidance aimed towards millennials as they enter the job market.

Since the launch of Lean In, Sandberg sought a goal of 1,000 Lean In Circles—small support groups—that have now almost reached 20,000 worldwide. These groups are small circles of peers that meet on a regular basis in order to share and learn from one another. The support groups are based on the idea that people work best when collaborating with one another. The groups consist of eight to 12 individuals in similar stages of their lives in order to ensure that each person is able to contribute and get the most out of the meetings.

In her travels, Sandberg will often stop to visit these Lean In Circles. In an interview with the Associated Press, Sandberg expressed that the most common question she gets is, “I really want to ‘lean in,’ but HOW?” The new version of her book includes several added chapters, where women of all socio-economic backgrounds and races tell their stories.

Courtesy of Ithaca Wong / Flickr

Photo courtesy of Ithaca Wong / Flickr

Sandberg said that much of what the up-and-coming workforce needs is concrete advice for the future. Simple but vital concepts like how to perfect a resume, nail an interview  and negotiate a salary are among the things she addresses. As she gets young women to engage and perfect these basic skills, she hopes they will be more ready to climb the ladder of their chosen profession and continue to gain more power in the workplace.

Sandberg’s first edition of the book was not well received in all circles, as many criticized her lack of attention to race or socio-economic obstacles. Critics say that Lean In speaks to a specified, highly educated and privileged group of women. The cost of the equality reform, many have said, was put on the backs of women.

Sheryl Sandberg may try to overcome these criticisms in the newest edition of Lean In. However, she will most definitely continue to challenge young women to push themselves when entering the job market through her latest edition. Sandberg believes acceptance and perseverance towards gender equality in the workforce will continue to expand as those of the millennial generation begin their careers.

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