Myra Nawabi will share how Circles can change lives – and the world
The leader of the Bay Area’s largest Lean In Circle, Myra Nawabi, will speak on Wednesday, June 10, 5:30pm at the Los Altos History Museum. Geared to emerging professional women, Circles are changing lives through the power of peer support. “Women are asking for more and stepping outside their comfort zones, and men and women are talking openly about gender issues for the first time,” says Nawabi. The event is free, but registration is required.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s bestseller, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, inspired this movement – women (and some men) are gathering regularly to encourage each other’s ambitions. The book focused on changing the conversation from what women can’t do to what women can do. Lean In Circles take the next step, on the premise that if we talk openly about the challenges women face and work together, we can change the trajectory of women and create a better world for everyone.
And “a better world” is an accurate description – there are more than 22,700 Circles in 110 countries, and that number is growing. Nawabi founded the Palo Alto Lean In Circle, which has over 300 members. A Senior Program Manager at Lockheed Martin ATC, Nawabi says the Circle helped her negotiate for a bigger salary and job title. She got both.
“The idea kept hitting us during our recent exhibit on Silicon Valley,” states Julia Lovin, a Museum board member who works at TechSoup in San Francisco. Silicon Valley: The Lure & the Legends featured several women innovators and risk-takers, and explored their success as well as that of their more numerous male colleagues. “It sensitized us to the fact that women still find barriers in the workplace, and those barriers can be overcome or lessened if we work together.”
Museum president Nomi Trapnell is a life-long advocate of peer mentoring – she brought women together for just that purpose as a rising executive in the 1970s. “It was a time where women were expected to stay as secretaries, not become managers. And there was no talk of work-family balance. At six months pregnant, female employees were required to go home and raise their baby, and were not expected to return to work.”
Times have changed, but the scales aren’t yet even. Lean In Circles are challenging that, helping women, men and even families. Committed to offering women the ongoing inspiration and support to help them achieve their goals, over 80% of members say they’re more likely to take on a new challenge or opportunity because of their Circle.
Laura Bajuk, Executive Director – 650.948.9427 x10 – firstname.lastname@example.org