Beaver

Lean Further becomes first female-oriented alumni association at LSE amid pandemic.

By Cindy Ren

Lean Further, launched in April 2020 by current students and alumni of the London School of Economics, aims to improve opportunity for female students and alumna. Citing the importance and shortage of female-orientated networking opportunity at the LSE, the Lean Further initiative seeks to add an additional layer of support, specifically for women at and recently graduated from the LSE.

Lean Further’s Founder, Andrea Solis (PPE, 2020) claims that Lean Further provides an often overlooked service for female students. She claims that “I found that a strong support network for women was not fully established at LSE(…) this type of support network where it is amongst girls that are not only professional counterparts but friends. This mentality of supporting one another, both as friends and professionally, is unique where we are more than just another network, we are a family!”

Lean Further also claims that it provides an opportunity for experienced members to share their experiences as a woman working in a large variety of sectors, something which they believe is currently inadequately done at the LSE. They claim that this experience can help LSE students and alumni avoid pitfalls and mistakes during their university years and early stages of their careers.

Besides the standard networking opportunities offered by alumni networks, Lean Further also provides a range of services like; mentorship programs, book club and reading suggestions, and women-centric career podcasts. They have also organized a series of ‘takeovers’, allowing students to follow working alumni for a day at their job and to ask questions and see the daily tasks in a wide variety of sectors.

When asked on the future of Lean Further, Galilée Sabouret (PP, 2020), a Lean Further member and mentor state that they aim to expand at LSE and to other universities. She claims that the needs of LSE alumni are not unique among UK universities and that Lean Further fills a gap that other alumni societies and associations miss.

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