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Leaning In

In 2010, Sheryl Sandberg’s talk on “Why we have too few women leaders” attributed this challenge to too many women leaning out, and the corporate sectors inability to retain female staff in a corporate space. Today women face the hard choice between professional success and personal fulfilment, or spend copious amounts of energy trying to find the perfect balance between the two.

Her talk, and subsequent book, coined the phrase Lean In, and encourages both women and men to evaluate the current systems that reinforce a scenario where women are substantially underrepresented in leadership positions, politically, socially and in the workplace.

To contextualise this debate and provide a space for dialogue around the inherent challenges preventing women from leaning in, TEDxCapeTownWomen 2014 stimulated conversation about the challenges inhibiting women from taking hold of or participating fully in any opportunities that inspire and excite them.

Ideas were shared about addressing the inherent gaps women and girls in Cape Town encounter, and also provided a platform for some personal stories of women who are leaning in, and blazing the trail for others to follow. The diverse line-up included award-winning director Jolynne Minnaar and healthcare innovator and menstrual health activist Kim Smith.