Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was interviewed by Belfast entrepreneur Nuala Murphy at a recent event in the British Library about her Lean In journey and latest book, Option B.
“It wasn’t even on my radar that one day I would be interviewing Sheryl Sandberg,” said Nuala. “I always hoped we could ‘bring Sheryl to Belfast’, but I didn’t think she would bring Lean In Belfast to the centre stage at The British Library in London for the first community-led event in Europe.”
Over 50 Lean In Belfast members travelled to London to hear from Sheryl Sandberg, whose philosophy of ‘leaning in’ has proved to be an inspiration to many ambitious women from all walks of life.
During the conversation with Nuala, Sheryl outlined how Lean In started and that the goal was to create 1000 peer-support circles worldwide. Today there are over 33,000 circles in 150 countries, with almost 100 new circles being created a week.
“Research shows that women feel more confident and accomplish more in groups” Nuala said. “Throughout the interview, Sheryl was clear adhere to her own Lean In values, by highlighting the role colleagues have played in the success of the organisation,” she added.
Option B, Sheryl’s new book that was inspired by the heart-breaking sudden loss of her husband, Dave Goldberg, two years ago was discussed. In an emotional discussion, Sheryl spoke of trying to change the conversation away from ‘How much resilience do you have?’ to ‘How much resilience can you build?”.
Speaking after the event, Nuala said, “Those who attended, including myself, have all benefited from the principle of peer support, and the understanding that leadership arises at all levels. I believe that the success of Lean In will continue and through it, we will ultimately achieve a more diverse and inclusive workforce where everyone achieves their ambition.”
This vision is set to be realised, given the the Belfast Lean In circle started with four friends in a coffee shop just two years ago. Since then, membership has exploded to over 1000 and a partnership with Allstate has enabled a leadership programme to be rolled out in 2017.
Find out more at https://www.leaninbelfast.com
Sara McCracken works in communications for an educational body. She previously worked for the Green Party for #AE16 and in the health sector.