Is one of the goals of your Women's March Canada chapter to host or co-host 10-12 Lean In Circles per year to support women's economic security and representation in your community? Use this guide to start!
What are Lean In Circles?
Lean In Circles are small groups that meet regularly to share and learn together. The Lean In organization describes Circles “like a book club focused on helping members achieve their goals.” If members want extra support and structure for starting a Circle, Lean In provides an online space and Circle Kits to help Circle moderators get organized and stay connected.
Lean In recommends that Circles meet 10 times a year, starting with a Kickoff Meeting and then hosting your own Lean In Circles by using Lean In's prepared Discussion Guides and/or by bringing in your own community speakers who encourage women's leadership.
The Lean In website provides free online tools for those who are interested in serving as moderators to host Kickoffs, Education Meetings, and Exploration Meetings as well.
Lean in and Women's March?
The work that Women's March Canad does, our vision and values can be explained in a unifying framework called H.E.R.S., which spells out the women’s rights priorities of Health, Economic Security, Representation, and Safety. Within that framework, Economic Security and Representation speak specifically to women's leadership.
- Economic Security — Women are powerful drivers of economic growth, and their economic empowerment benefits all nations. Women’s March Canada supports the dismantling of economic barriers that obstruct women’s full and equal access to local, national, and global economic systems.
- Representation — Women are under-represented globally, adversely affecting our collective health, safety, and economic security. Women’s March Canada seeks fair and just representation of women locally, nationally, and internationally.
How can your Chapter host Lean In Circles?
- Within your Chapters leadership team, assign 1-4 people to manage your local communities Lean In Circles. The more helpers the merrier!
- With your local Lean In team review the following resources together to get started:
Your First, and ongoing, Lean In Circles
- Have your Chapter's Lean In team review and discuss Lean In's Additional resources to get started.
- Find a space for your Lean In Circle, e.g., local business incubator spaces, chamber of commerce, libraries, etc. A space that complements the vision and mission of Women's March Canada is ideal.
- Speak with possible local sponsors for refreshments for your Circle. Many national organizations, e.g., Toyota Canada, may have community funds just for those purposes.
- Confirm the topic or Lean in Discussion Guide that you'll use for your first (next) Lean In Circle.
- Confirm who will lead your first (next) Lean In Circle, e.g., one of your Lean In team members or an outside speaker who is an expert on the chosen topic.
- 4 weeks before your scheduled Circle, list the event on our Calendar and in your Women's March Canada Facebook group.
- Encourage your team and all your members to share these two event listings on all social platforms, e.g., Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, MeetUp, etc.
- One (1) week before your meeting:
- send out reminder messages to your members and, especially, all who have RSVPd.
- confirm the space with your location host, including information regarding getting to your meeting room and parking
- confirm refreshments for your Circle, if applicable.
- One (1) day before your meeting:
- send out reminder messages to your members and your location host.
- During your first (and ongoing) meetings, set (and confirm) your Circle's goals.
- This is a great resource on this topic: How to set goals for your Circle
- One (1) day after your meeting:
- send out thank you messages to your members and your location host.
- remind your members and your location host about your next month's meeting.
Ongoing Support for your Chapter's Lean In Circle
- Join a Circle or Start your Chapter's own Circle here: https://leanin.org/circles
- if you do find that there are Lean In Circle(s) already formed in your community invite them to join your Chapter and work together to encourage and support women's leadership in your community.
- Make sure your Chapter team and in particular, for these purposes, your Chapters' Lean In Circle leaders, are members of the Women's March Canada Organizers workspace on Slack.
Lean In Resources in Canada