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Leaning In @ Stanford Libraries



I am pleased to announce that Stanford University Libraries have started a staff Lean In Circle, based on the Voices & Influence curriculum developed by the Clayman Institute for Gender Research. Lean In Circles are designed to empower the participants to be more effective leaders and to contribute to an organizational culture where all members can fulfill their potential and thrive. Our Circle, named Leaning In @ Stanford Libraries, is one of the first staff groups at Stanford.

Leaning In @ Stanford Libraries is a pilot group, started at the request of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research to serve as a model for future Lean In Circles, both at SUL and around Stanford. Specifically, the Clayman Institute asked Chris Bourg, our AUL for Public Services, to create a staff Lean In Circle. Chris' leadership role within the libraries, combined with her record of research and publication on issues of leadership and diversity, make her an ideal candidate to initiate a Stanford staff Lean In Circle.

Although librarianship is a female-dominated profession, women are still under-represented in leadership positions relative to their numbers in the profession. This is especially true in senior leadership roles at top research libraries. Moreover, as libraries become more digital and more reliant on technology expertise, our organizations are affected by the well-documented problems of gender inequality in the technology industry.

We at the Stanford University Libraries believe that our organization and the library profession at large are most effective when all of us are able and encouraged to contribute based on our skills, talents, passions and ideas, not based on our gender. Providing opportunities like the Leaning In @ Stanford Libraries Circle is one way we are activating that belief: by empowering and equipping our staff to talk about and overcome the obstacles we all face in the workplace and at home.

I anticipate that this pilot group of 14 current and emerging female leaders will serve as an example and a catalyst for additional Lean In Circles for both men and women at Stanford University Libraries and across campus.


by Michael A. Keller

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December 9, 2015

December 9, 2015