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Meet the Co-founder of Lean In DC

Learn how Sruti Ramadugu grew Lean In DC from a small circle into one of Lean In's largest regional chapters.

By LeanIn.Org on May 5, 2016.
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This week, we had the special honor of hosting Sruti Ramadugu in our office. Sruti is the co-founder and Regional Leader of the Lean In DC Chapter. Lean In Chapters are regional networks comprised of Lean In Circles, small peer groups that meet regularly to support one another.

Lean In DC is one of the largest regional chapters, containing over 30 Circles and more than 1,500 members. We had a chance to talk with Sruti about her chapter and one of their most successful campaigns—the Equal Pay Day campaign.

Sruti co-founded Lean In DC in 2013 with several peers, including Erica Zimmerman and Madeline Meth. They were inspired after reading the book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

“We started noticing more and more that women are not represented at the highest levels of government and business. We decided to meet regularly to problem solve and help each other overcome roadblocks in our professional lives,” Sruti said. “From there, the community grew—and we started thinking we could do more together.”

Today, Lean In DC organizes a number of events throughout the year, hosting guest speakers, trainings, and networking happy hours. Sruti’s favorite event is their annual Equal Pay Day campaign.

Equal Pay Day symbolizes the date in each new year that women would have to work until to make the same amount of money men were paid on average in the previous year. To draw awareness to this date, the Equal Pay Day campaign partners with local businesses to offer customers a discount equal to the pay gap. The campaign includes bars, restaurants, coffee shops, thrift stores, and exercise studios.

“Madeline had the amazing idea to run a pay equity campaign, and we decided Equal Pay Day was the perfect day to do it. We’ve run the campaign now for three years.” said Sruti.

“Year after year, the equal pay campaign is always a huge success. Last year, it involved more than 1,000 Lean In Circles members and business owners,” she continued. “It’s great to see so many women and men come together to support equality. In our experience, local business are incredibly supportive of equal pay.”

Lean In DC is one of more than 31,000 Circles that exist in 150 countries worldwide. See how you can join Lean In DC or another Circle near you, or if you have your own group in mind, start a Circle today.

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