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Chloe Laws
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The  #LeanInTogether viral campaign was founded by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of google, to empower all women to achieve their ambitions. The non-profit organisation's aim is to try and promote women supporting and celebrating one another's accomplishments so that we can collectively be uplifted. The sentiment 'Together women can do more, go further, and change the world' embodies what this movement is about. 

So, why do we need this campaign? Well, in the UK the full time gender pay gap is at 10%, and the part-time pay gap is at 34.5%. On top of that statistic, 70% of people who are paid national minimal wage jobs are women, only 17% of the board directors of the top 100 FTSE companies are women and at least 75% of mothers have primary responsibility for childcare in the home. 

Gender inequalities in the workplace are still extremely apparent, which is why women need the #LeanInTogether Campaign. Women wanting to succeed are already facing far more obstacles than their male colleagues alongside trying to battle against the daily sexism that continually tries to limit their place in society. This is why the idea of women supporting one another is so important, because it's tough out there and it shouldn't be made tougher by other women. 

The #LeanInTogether Campaign has set up a mentoring scheme, whereby women at any stage of their career can volunteer to be a mentor- because having an honest input from someone you respect can seriously improve your chances of going further.

The campaign has also initiated circles of 'Positive Peers' (there are already 28, 000 circles around the world) which join together women in small groups to set up regular meetings so that they can boost one another's confidence and grow together! 

The further two support systems set up are the 'Work place ally' and the 'Role model for girls', which both teach women and girls to push back against gender bias with the help of other females. 

The organisation's new campaign is debunking the old saying 'behind every great man there is a great woman' with 'behind every successful woman is another successful woman'- a far more relevant saying for today's society. The video features inspirational and powerful women like Kerry Washington, Emma Watson, Lena Dunham, Megan Kelly, Eva Longoria, Serena Williams, Selena Gomez and Abby Wambach. Now that's a group of women I'd love to have drinks with. 

The celebrities all name the women who have impacted their careers the most, with Emma Watson naming Sophia Coppola and Lena Dunham thanking Jenny Konner. 

This campaign has inevitably received some backlash, like from those who claim that 'we don't need feminism anymore' (and other remarks that I care not to repeat), but the statistics mentioned above and the experiences that the majority of women have encountered in the work place show otherwise. 

Some critics note that the campaign is geared towards 'employable' educated women, or that the women featured in the video aren't representative of most. Which is true, but personally it's comforting to know that these women have faced barriers similar to our own and that despite them, and with the support of other women, they have risen to success. 

Look at Diane Kruger's recent interview with Town and Country magazine, where she revealed that she has frequently been labelled as 'difficult' for protesting about not being paid the same as her male co-stars. 'I have yet to be paid the same amount as a male co-star, and absolutely I've been labelled a bitch, or difficult to work with, when I've spoken up about something'. Kruger's experiences of inequality in the workplace shows how rampant of an issue it is; that even those perceived to be in the privileged top 5% still face sexism at work. 

Get on board with the hashtag #LeanInTogether Campaign or join one of the organisation's groups near you. If every woman decided to treat other women a little more kindly, or supported one another more, the positive consequences would be dramatic. Hopefully the work of this organisation and the many other groups fighting for women's rights will make the world the next generation will live in a more fair and safe place.

Photo Credit: Pinterest
Video Credit: Lean In Youtube

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