What better way to spend the Civic holiday weekend? Sarah Kwan and Christina Rupsingh flew to Palo Alto – the sunny, beautiful hometown of the Lean In Foundation – for a very special trip. Over the course of two days, we met and exchanged ideas with inspiring women from around the world (including places like Japan and Iraq!) who are leading Lean In chapters of their own, as well as the dynamic team behind Lean In.

It was an unforgettable experience to be in the presence of this community – and we were so energized by the time we spent there. Here are 3 key things that really resonated with us:

1. The power of vulnerability and how it can build deep, authentic connection – which Sheryl Sandberg has so courageously modelled, and which Brené Brown’s TED talk perfectly expounds.
2. The extraordinary and unique stories of everyone present – showing that women who lean in come from so many different walks of life.
3. The exponential capacity of a community in which people not only want each other to succeed, but where they champion each other, openly share knowledge and resources, and encourage each other to lead.

Lean-In-Group

One of the many questions we were all posed was this: What does ‘leaning in’ mean to you? – and we thought we’d share our answers here:

Christina Rupsingh: A favourite excerpt of mine is by Oprah Winfrey during her commencement speech at Harvard University: “You will find true success and happiness if you have only one goal. There really is only one, and that is this: To fulfill the highest, most truthful expression of yourself as a human being.” To me, leaning in means striving to realize your full potential; it is all encompassing and truly means finding happiness in both your personal and professional life.

Sheryl-Sandberg-Christina-Rupsingh-Lean-In-Canada2

Sarah Kwan: Leaning In means being fully present in your own life, taking charge of the outcome, and challenging yourself to own and achieve your potential. For me, it also means making space for others to lean in, so we can attain a society that benefits fully from the richness of diverse perspectives.

Sheryl Sandberg Sarah Kwan

We’re so thankful for the women we’ve built relationships with, both at Lean In Canada and in the greater Lean In community, and we’re so excited to be continuing this journey – onwards, upwards, together.

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