Courtney Omell | 

Lean In Girls — A FREE Program Teaching Leadership to Young Girls

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I read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg when it came out in 2013. I was a couple of years into my first full-time job after college and felt like the book was written just for me. I’ve taken much of what I read in the book to heart and used it in my career. Now, the Lean In Organization (led by my girl Sheryl and Rachel Thomas) developed Lean In Girls, a leadership program aimed at young teens.

As a mom of two young girls, the curriculum speaks to me in the same way the book did years ago. This program, which just launched on July 27, 2023, focuses on empowering young girls and equipping them to be self-assured, resilient, and inclusive leaders. Find out more about this initiative and how you and the young girls in your life can get started.

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Lean In Girls offers six hours of free curriculum online.

an iphone with the lean in girls website pulled up on it

The full course is 15 one-hour sessions, but the first half (six hours total) is available to anyone for free online. In the first two parts of the program, participants learn to celebrate leadership superpowers and challenge stereotypes.

Here are the one-hour sessions you’ll access for free when you sign up.

  1. Put Your Values into Action
  2. Lean into Your Strengths
  3. Challenge Stereotypes
  4. Reframe Failure
  5. Embrace Risk-Taking
  6. Set Bold & Healthy Goals
  7. Celebrate!

The second half of the course is free to Lean In partners. These partners consist of a network of over 1,400 corporate and nonprofit organizations that are committed to gender equality.

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It is designed for young teens 11 to 15 who identify with the girlhood experience.

The curriculum is specifically designed for young girls and non-binary teens who identify with the girlhood experience. Materials were developed in collaboration with experts, including Stanford scholars, and are rooted in ethnographic and social science research. Young teens who participate in these groups discover more about themselves and learn there are lots of different ways to lead. They also feel more confident in their own abilities and build strong connections with each other by learning together.


The free Lean In Girls curriculum focuses on learning strengths and defying leadership stereotypes.

three people standing around a cell phone while smiling

Parents, caregivers, and teachers can find strength-building activities and tools to speak on important topics like bias and allyship. Girls learn to embrace their own leadership skills and reject stereotypes about what girls can and cannot do. The idea of leadership is broadened to include traits like empathy and creativity so girls know they’re already leaders in their own unique ways.


Get started by gathering a group of girls and learning together.

If you’re interested in the Lean In Girls program, visit to get started. All you need is a group of girls ready to embrace their leadership skills. The free materials also offer advice and resources for the adults in girls’ lives. So, you’ll have every bit of information you need to start the conversation and begin the process.

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