This week at MetLife Australia we will be launching our first Lean In Circles, as a way to support women in our organisation build confidence, gain skills and grow their networks through sharing perspectives and experiences.

The idea of Lean In Circles was born out of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s bestselling book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead1. Since then there have been more than 41,000 Circles launched in over 170 countries.

Lean In Circles are small peer groups of women that meet once a month to learn and grow together. They provide women with a safe space in which they can share the challenges that are unique to them in the workplace, while simultaneously offering leadership skill building.

At MetLife, we have customised Lean In Circles to fit the needs of women in the business. The concept aligns with our Diversity & Inclusion and Global Women’s Initiative strategy and objectives to support, develop and engage women at all levels in the company.

MetLife’s Lean In Circles in the US engage over 1,000 women annually – from all departments, job levels, tenure and locations. In fact, we are continually recognised by as a premier partner for the strength of our program.

Now we’re starting them in Australia. Why? Because we want to help women thrive at MetLife. We are committed to building greater gender diversity by increasing opportunities for women in the business and we want women to seize these opportunities. Lean In Circle members report feeling more confident in their roles, stepping outside their comfort zones and actively advancing their careers.

From a business point of view, we want to be able to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace and ultimately drive greater value for our customers. 

I’m looking forward to seeing where our Lean In Circles take the women at MetLife Australia.

Mary Gabriel
MetLife Australia, Diversity & Inclusion Thrive Committee
Women Business Network Lead


  1. Lean In Women, Work and the Will to Lead By Sheryl Sandberg published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group March 11, 2013.