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Who to invite to your Lean In Circle

We recommend recruiting 8-12 members to join your Circle (this is the ideal number for everyone to be able to actively participate and share in each Circle meeting), but you can start small: invite 2-3 friends and build from there.

Who you invite to your Circle is up to you.

Women in Circles typically have common identifying factors or shared experiences, allowing them to provide and receive peer-to-peer mentorship. It’s up to you as the Circle Leader to determine which specific identifying factors will unite the women in your Circle. For example:

  • People who work in the same industry or function as you
  • People who share the same identity group as you
  • People who live in the same location as you
  • People who have similar career goals to you
  • People who are at a similar career or life stage as you

Once you’ve decided who you would like your Circle to be for, here are some suggestions for how you might approach members to join:

  • Friends
    • Many women already have a circle of friends who they turn to for support and advice. Make it official by forming a Lean In Circle centered around a specific goal or topic.
    • Or, invite 2-3 friends and ask them to each invite a friend, too. It’s a great way to expand your network and get to know new people!
  • Co-workers
    • Many women start Circles with co-workers at their company who share their identity group, career, or life stage. It’s a great way to build a strong support network at work.
    • Circles in companies work well both in person (with others in your direct office) and virtually (as a way to connect with other women across offices or different geographical locations)—many women have found mentors or unlocked new career opportunities through the network they built through their Circle.
  • Someone you want to get to know better or someone you don’t yet know
    • If there’s someone you admire and would like to get to know better, inviting them to participate in a Circle with you is a great way to do that.
    • Post about your Circle on your social media channels as a way to recruit women in your wider network—you may be surprised who is interested!

Use our sample invitation language to invite people to join you