The Lean In momentum in India has definitely taken-off: Urvee Juneja, Chapter Lead, Lean In India & SVP – Three D Integrated Solutions
Lean In India today has 100+ circles with more than 5500 members and only growing says Juneja.
This was right after my move from US when I had joined a start-up and was trying to adapt to culture in this new India. My excitement was soaring, yet I was nervous and anxious about figuring out my identity in a country that I had left 13 years back. There were millions of questions in my mind – does India still has that conservative mindset, do we women have a spot on the table, will Indian workplaces accept a woman who has lived outside the country for so long and the list could go on and on. To be honest, the road was rocky and I was headed for a bumpy ride. I soon realised I was in an industry heavily dominated by men and ignoring women in the room was a regular protocol. I was the only woman in many of these meetings and it was usual for men (of power) to either turn a deaf ear or reject my ideas as being irrelevant. It sure was frustrating for me to navigate in this jungle gym. It was in that moment I decided to read this book “Lean In – Women, Work and the Will to Lead”. The book gave me more than I realised to become a better version of myself. As my 2 cents back to the community, I wanted to also help other talented women around me who were going through similar struggles to make their way up the glass ceiling, start their own little venture and be part of the workforce after their longish break.
I wanted to grow the Lean In movement in India. I joined the Lean In India as a volunteer. Soon went on to become their Marketing Lead and then there was no looking back. I was nominated for the Chapter Leader position for India and Regional Leader for their Delhi Circle. Since then, I have been leading and organising campaigns and power-packed events for Lean In India, in which we have attendance from business leaders across the board. Our collaboration with Chicago Booth, Puma, BlackRock and many others are taking us to newer heights. Men have been equally looped into the dialogue as they are clearly critical to women’s success when it comes to getting their fair share of leadership roles or being caretakers at home.
I knew this was not stopping here. I was given the opportunity to represent India at the Lean In Leaders Annual Meet in California. AND then my true Lean In moment happened - I met my role-model Sheryl Sandberg, a woman who has given my life a different mojo. Yes, a completely different MOJO!
The Lean In momentum in India has definitely taken-off. A recent event on “Building Women Around You” voiced business leaders’ opinions on how women are not only shattering the glass ceiling but also breaking stereotypes. From Glass Ceiling to Glass Cliffs, there were interesting conversations on the changing landscape of women with an ambition. Lean In India has travelled a long distance since the time it has been incepted. With each collaboration, event and campaign, our presence has been felt with a bang. Backed by a strong leadership team, Lean In India today has 100+ circles with more than 5500 members and only growing.
This is ‘Lean In’ to me. It is a choice I made between my fear and leaning into my community to bring courage to my lean in sisters. It is about touching and changing one life at a time including my own. It is about living my life with passion and purpose. It means a world to me.
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