An important group has joined the fight for gender equality: professional male athletes. NBA celebrities made a video supporting #LeanInTogether, Sheryl Sandberg's newest campaign to include men in her "lean in" philosophy. In the video, the athletes talk about supporting the women in their lives, saying, “When men lean in, everyone wins."
The Facebook COO and author of Lean In launched Lean In Together as part of her nonprofit LeanIn.org, encouraging men to join the fight for equality by supporting women at work and at home. Lean In Together partnered with the NBA and WNBA to produce a PSA, starring LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, among others, showing their participation in the cause. In the video, Atlanta Hawk Al Horford encourages viewers to "Help women aim high."
Lean In Together, based off of the website, revolves around men being more supportive fathers, husbands, coworkers, and managers. The website offers tips for men to help the women they love succeed, including being a 50/50 partner who splits childcare and housework evenly, challenging gender stereotypes in their parenting, and helping their daughters lead.
According to the Lean In Together website:
Children with involved fathers are happier, healthier, and more successful. Couples that share responsibilities have stronger marriages. Diverse teams and companies produce better results.
When it comes to raising boys, the focus of the initiative is on teaching them about gender equality by valuing intelligence over toughness and not telling them to "man up."
The campaign also made a video with the MAKER documentary series, videos highlighting women in different industries, featuring powerful women speaking about the positive impact the men in their lives had on them. Ruth Bader Ginsburg talks about her late husband's support for her career. She says:
My dear husband Martie, he was really interested in what I thought. Most boys at that time really didn't care if a girl had a brain, in fact it would be better if she didn't.
Hillary Clinton describes her father's support for her ambitions. In the video she says:
My father had been a football player in college, a kind of rough-and-tumble sort of a guy, but he was just as supportive of my aspirations as of my brothers.
The valuable role of involved and supportive fathers is a major part of the Lean In Together campaign and Sheryl Sandberg advocates for men to join the fight for gender equality be helping their wives and daughters. In the video Sandberg says:
We need to live in a world where men do half, women let them do half, and being a parent's not a full-time job for a woman and a part-time job for a man.
A recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows that the average American woman performs four hours of housework and childcare every day, while the average man contributes only two and a half hours. Lean In Together aims to close this gender gap in household chores and parenting, along with supporting women at work, where they still make an average of 78 cents for ever dollar men earn. Men supporting gender equality will help close these gaps.