When I think about Women’s History Month and what it means to me, it really comes down to my own realization that it takes the people in your circle to make a success story—including my own.
Lean In is one of my favorite reads of all time. It’s a non-fiction book written by Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, about empowering women to achieve their ambitions.
It was 2013 when I first read Lean In. I was on a plane with my husband Charles headed to Aruba—the first time we were away for more than a night from our then-15 month-old-son Charlie. I needed to distract myself from the guilt of being away from Charlie, the excitement I had for my trip and the resulting guilt from my excitement.
As I read each page, I was nodding emphatically and pointing out excerpts—I felt that Sheryl Sandberg had a camera into my life and was speaking directly to me. I was inspired and thought of many scenarios where I could benefit from leaning in.
One of the things that jumped out to me was Sheryl’s acknowledgment of her husband’s role in helping her achieve career goals. Charles is an integral part of my success. His profession affords him 2 days at home during the week, and those days are spent running errands, including daycare drop off and pick up, laundry, and cooking dinner (his go-to’s are Campbell’s Dinner Sauces!). He’s my cheerleader when I’ve had a tough day and always encourages me to lean in myself.
Women have the tendency to try and solve everything alone, myself included.
But I have learned to depend on my team, the people in my circle, to help achieve my goals. We need to involve others—and the others are not always women—but they are all invaluable. That’s why, as the lead for Women of Campbell (WOC), my team and I have been adamant about involving men in our goal of driving culture change.
Our intent through WOC is to provide visibility into the differences between women and men on how they work and approach challenges in the workplace. We believe that when there is open and honest dialogue and awareness, we can help Seek the Power of Different (one of our company values) and embrace it to help us win in the marketplace.
Just like I need my guys at home to help me achieve my personal goals, I need the support of every Campbell employee to help WOC provide true growth and positive impact.
So on this Women’s History Month, and every month after it, I encourage women AND men to join the dialogue—to come together and build those success stories. And don’t forget to lean in!