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News: Lean On Me

Lean in Beijing was featured today in the Global Times:

Allison Ye, 27, first watched a video of the talk in March. A few months later, she teamed up with 25-year-old American friend, Mariel Reed, to establish Beijing’s first Lean In circle.

“The TED Talk (by Sandberg) about women in leadership inspired me a lot,” said Ye, who works for a State-owned enterprise. Ye and Reed often have conversations related to family and work. Their opinions are usually divided; Ye believes that women can balance family commitments and work, while Reed disagrees.

Before she began planning Lean In Beijing, Ye tried to persuade Reed, who had recently ended a long-term relationship, to embrace ideas about independence and ambition championed by Sandberg.

“At the time, neither of us was certain about our life or career decisions,” said Reed, who works for an NGO.

Ye shared an English copy of Sandberg’s manifesto with Reed, who couldn’t put the book down.

“It was comforting and empowering to encounter in the book a lot of the bigger issues we were struggling with,” Reed told Metropolitan in an e-mail interview. Women around the world face many similar challenges, such as trying to lead in the workplace, balance family and work commitments and find a suitable life partner, she said.

In June, Ye and Reed joined five other women to discuss members’ roles and the group’s structure. On August 25, Lean In Beijing held its first meeting at a Sanlitun pizza restaurant. More than 70 Chinese and foreign women, mostly friends and acquaintances of the organizers, attended to share their stories and ideas.

The meeting was divided into two parts. To break the ice, attendees split into 10 small groups and familiarized themselves through a four-minute question and answer session. In the second part, groups discussed workplace and life issues before a representative from each group summarized findings to everyone.

Check out the full article online here or the PDF version here.

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