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Lean In Beijing’s 2014 Spring Kickoff event

On March 23, more than 60 women from different backgrounds, industries, and stages in life gathered for an afternoon of sharing and discussion with Lean In Beijing’s 2014 Spring Kickoff event.

Separating into several 8-10 member groups, the afternoon’s discussions replicated the supportive structure a Circle, small professional peer groups, for those who want to learn more or who are interested in starting their own.

Members of Lean In Beijing’s Organizing Team, Yolanda Wang and Maggie Zhang, shared their experiences starting their own Circle. Inspired by Lean In Beijng’s 2013 Kickoff event, they founded grew Think Tank (WeChat ID: THINKTANKBEIJING), a women’s professional development group and WeChat blog, now with nearly 3,000 subscribers (update: 10,000+ as of July 2014).

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For nearly two hours, these small groups engaged in lively discussion, moderated by Lean In Beijing team members, to share experiences and challenges in life and the workplace. For many individuals, this experience was unique—never before had they experienced such positive, mutually encouraging groups of women.

At school or in the workplace, it’s easy to develop competitive feelings towards others—until a new experience opens our eyes to something new. Rather than competitive, our relationships can be mutually beneficial and supportive. By learning from and supporting one another, we grow stronger, together.

In 2014, Lean In Beijing managed to host similar events and foster more opportunities for connection and growth.

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