What is a Circle?

Lean In Circles are groups of eight to twelve women that meet regularly to dig deeper into skill-building materials, grow together and support each other in achieving their ambitious goals. In the meetings you tackle the biggest opportunities and challenges that you face in your journey. The key to Circles is peer support, and the data shows it works.


85% of members credit their Circle
with a positive change in their life.

Circles are led by one or two trained moderators who help facilitate conversation so everyone is heard and valued.

How circles are connected to the chapter.

Circle engagement is centered around two roles.


  • Come to the meetings
  • Actively participate
  • Share your story
  • Expected time commitment is 2 hours per month for 1 year


  • Everything members do
  • Leadership responsibilities include:
    • Plan, schedule, and facilitate monthly meetings
    • Estimated time commitment:
      • 4-hour one-time Moderator Training Workshop
      • 2-3 hours per month for preparation

Circles are built on three core values


Circle Options

Circles can either be Local Circles, which are composed of women in the same geographic area (i.e. North Seattle, Eastside, etc.) or Themed Circles that are focused on a specific topic or industry (i.e. working moms, business owners, etc.).

Check out the current Themed Circles offered by Lean In Seattle members:

Not finding a Circle that's the right fit? Start your own and connect it to the Seattle Chapter! We'll help you recruit members here and and on our Facebook page.

video resources about circles

Lean In Circles are a place to help you tackle the dozens of challenges you face every day as you navigate your career path as a woman. With community, accountability and encouragement, you can tackle even the biggest challenges in your life.


A short overview of the kinds of Lean In Circle meetings (education and exploration) and what you'll gain from them. Meeting content is flexible and selected by your Circle as a group, but these are frameworks frequently used.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the time commitment to be in a Circle?

Circle meetings typically last 2 hours and are held once a month. Circles should aim to meet regularly for at least one year. Your Circle decides as a group when to meet, so you have a voice in making the timing work for you. If you choose to be a moderator, expect 2-3 extra hours per month of preparation/planning time.

Q.  Who will be in my Circle?

It can vary by Circle, but generally members share similar geographic preferences and are in a similar career stage in order to provide the benefit of peer support.

Q. Can I pick my Circle location?

Yes, in the Circle request form, you can indicate your preferred location, or if location doesn’t matter to you.

Q. Can I change Circles?

Absolutely. Sometimes a Circle is not the right fit due to personalities, goals, or location. Simply visit the Circles page on LeanIn.org to find a Circle that is looking to grow and is aligned to your Circle goals. If you're unsure of a Circle's goals, then there's a place to send a note to the Circle to inquire further. We recommend that every Circle talk about this topic during their kickoff meeting so everyone knows what to expect. You can let your Circle know that you’re moving to another Circle that better suits what you’re trying to accomplish. No shame, no judgement.

More Circle FAQs can be found at LeaninCircles.org/FAQs


  • Download a copy of the Kickoff Meeting Guide for a sneak peek of how to start a Circle
  • Get meeting videos and discussion guides at LeanIn.org
  • Grab additional moderator training and planning resources from our public Google Drive.
  • Interested in starting a Circle at your organization? Contact us! We can help!

Contact Us

Contact us with your questions about Seattle Lean In Circles.

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