In a notable choice by an executive and author whose message about leadership has largely skirted challenges specific to women of color, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg chose Washington, D.C.'s Howard University as the site of the launch of her LeanIn.org campus initiative. Sandberg, author of the best-seller Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, announced in remarks at the historically Black college's School of Business Executive Lecture Series on Monday night, "I'm launching the LeanIn.org campus program right here, right now."
LeanIn.org, of which she is founder and board chair, is an organization billed as "the next chapter" of Lean In. It facilitates the formation of 10-member groups of professional women who support each other in making career moves that reflect the book's advice. The new campus program will bring that effort to colleges, in a push that will include virtual appearances by Sandberg herself.
"This is the only one I'm doing in person," she said at Howard. "You," she told the auditorium of business-suit-clad students — mostly women, but at least a quarter of them African-American men — "are the leaders we have all been waiting for."