In early fall, the National Lean In Organization accepted the Girls’ School Lean In Initiative, a campaign proposed by all-girls schools Marlborough, Archer, Marymount and Westridge to join forces. The school administrators came together with the goal of raising support rather than harmful competition among women and girls in all-girls school communities According to its website, Lean In is a nonprofit started by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg in 2013 that is committed to assisting women and girls in reaching their goals and achieving their ambitions.
According to Sands, upon being accepted into Lean In, the four high schools teamed up (in conjunction with the organization) with the shared purpose of educating young women in a collaborative, supportive and noncompetitive environment, as well as rejecting the judgmental idea of “mean girls” and women being pitted against each other.
Sands announced the campaign at an All-School Meeting on Monday, Sep. 26, and introduced Lily ’18 as the leader of the emerging #LeanInTogether (LIT) club on campus.
Sands said she hopes to promote all-girls institutions while eliminating their faults.
“We’ve all heard it – girls being catty, being mean girls,” Sands said. “I have been an advocate for girls’ schools, and I think that girls can find the right school, the right community, and it doesn’t mean that we have to be rivals with other girls’ schools.”
As well as coordinating meetings between the heads of the girls’ schools, Lean In brought together the directors of communication from each institution to promote the campaign’s goal. Marlborough’s Director of Communications Carly Rodriguez is working on Marlborough’s part to support the campaign.
These directors of communication have been working together to promote the ideals of an all-girls education since it was accepted by Lean In. They organized a photoshoot of students from each of the schools to be used for street banners that are now located near Archer. They are also setting the stage for a Lean In website connected to each of the school websites, and, among other plans, have the tentative goal of producing an informative video for the campaign.
Rodriguez expressed excitement about this new collaboration.
“I’ve been collaborating with the communications folks from the other schools, who I hadn’t really interacted with before professionally. So in a sense we’re all getting an opportunity to lean in together for this project on a professional level, which has been nice,” Rodriguez said.
Sands also mentioned organizing a future Morning Meeting at Marlborough dedicated to Lean In, and allowing leeway for other kinds of campaign growth, such as creating a group of student representatives at each school. Although there is flexibility in this development, Sands and Rodriguez emphasized the campaign’s firm objective.
“Overall, the goal is to not just combat the myth that women and girls don’t support each other, but to reinforce the message to the Marlborough community and to girls in Los Angeles that by leaning in together, that we all benefit,” Rodriguez said.