My reflection - Bringing Sheryl Sandberg to Belfast (via the British Library, London)
At my first Lean In Belfast meeting, I was late to the table as I joined literally two years ago this month, and at every subsequent meeting I've attended since, Lean In Belfast and Lean In Ireland founder Nuala Murphy reiterated our 'BRING SHERYL TO BELFAST' mantra.
And last Friday, she did it!
Nuala hosted a fireside chat with Sheryl in London but, to be honest, the event was in Belfast in all but location with 50 delegates from Northern Ireland crowded into the intimate venue hanging on Sheryl's every word.
It's taken me a week to personally process and reflect on the enormity of what I experienced last weekend!
From volunteering in the lobby, to being so not worthy of meeting Sheryl in the green room circle before she addressed the 200+ women, men and a nine week old baby girl packed into the lecture theatre, to resonating with too much of what Sheryl had to say, to meeting Lean In members from across Europe informally afterwards and to attending Intelligence Squared Option B event on Saturday hosted by Adam Grant with guest speakers Sheryl Sandberg and Malala Yousafzai (someone pinch me).
A lot has already been said and written about Nuala's fireside chat with Sheryl and snippets of footage can also be found online but I think the overarching memory I have is one of a true moment of joy when I turned around and scanned the room and observed a room full of business people with the same goal of ultimately making the world in which we work a much better place for ourselves and for the next generation.
Sadly we'll (probably) never rid the world completely of bullies and begrudgers but if you're reading this and feeling overwhelmed with how a colleague, manager or employer has treated you, made you feel or what they may have said to you, please know that you are not alone. In some shape or form most of those dedicated to Lean In have either experienced what you're going through or will at least have empathy for you.
As Malala said, 'feeling hopeless is pointless'.
Touch base with your nearest Lean In circle and experience a moment of joy... tomorrow will be a brighter day and maybe tomorrow we'll realise that dream of truly bringing Sheryl to Belfast.
#togetherwomencan #leanin #leanintogether #bettertogether