Louisville women 'Lean In' to help each other and themselves - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Louisville women 'Lean In' to help each other and themselves

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A group of Louisville women are taking the book's workplace empowerment message to heart and taking action. A group of Louisville women are taking the book's workplace empowerment message to heart and taking action.
Amelia Gandara Amelia Gandara

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Facebook's Chief Operating Officer is at it again. Sheryl Sandberg has just launched a new campaign to ban calling girls bossy. She said the word is a put-down that stops girls from pursuing leadership roles. 

Celebrities are joining in this new campaign including Beyonce, Jennifer Garner and Jane Lynch.

Sandberg said girls shy away from leading because they don't want to be called bossy and they don't want to be disliked.

It's the latest step for Sanberg, who last year made waves with her book "Lean In." 

Now a group of Louisville women are taking the book's workplace empowerment message to heart and taking action.  It starts, they believe with supporting each other and sharing ideas on how to make our careers and our lives better places.

Amelia Gandara has packed a lot into her 25 years.

"I moved to Louisville in 2007 to dance with the Louisville ballet," she said. Now, "I'm finishing my bachelors in chemical engineering at the University of Louisville. I'll finish in May."

She's looking at what's next. "Maybe starting my own business, maybe starting my own company," Gandara said. "It's nerve-wracking but it's also exciting."

Over her spring break, she's working on an idea for environmentally friendly tiles that seems to have a little bit of traction.

"If you're not going to sell something that a customer wants, then why are you in business?" she said, showing off her product.

As a woman in a man-dominated engineering field, Gandara has started to look for role models and mentors. "How can we help lift other women up? I'm 25 and trying to make it up there but there are women ahead of me in their 30s, 40s, 50s, how can either they help me, how can they help each other and maybe we can all kind of move up together."

That's the premise of the idea behind Lean In Louisville, which Gandara is helping to form.  Gathering women together to talk about barriers and help one another break them down.

"So there are more women leaders in business and entrepreneurship and really any field," Gandara said.

When you talk to Gandara, it's easy to get the premonition she will be one of those leaders, maybe with this business or maybe with another.  She just wants to make sure there are other women, leading right along with her.

"So I think 10-15 years from now, if we see more women who are leaders in whatever field they're in, I think that we'll know we're a success," Gandara said.

Lean In Louisville is hosting a kickoff event March 12 at 5:30 at the Clifton Center, located on Payne Street in Louisville's Clifton neighborhood. Already well over 100 women have said they plan to be there. The plan is to break into smaller groups that will better be able to work together.

Gandara says she'd like to see women from all backgrounds and careers and even stay-at-home moms. For more information on Lean In Louisville's kickoff event, click here.

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