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U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter holds a news conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia Aug. 20, 2015.
Jonathan Ernst—Reuters

In an effort to expand the number of women and minorities in leadership positions in the military, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Monday will endorse “Lean In” discussion groups inspired by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s bestselling book.

Carter and Sandberg will meet with 15 women from all ranks and services at the Pentagon who already lead Lean In groups, a senior defense official said, Reuters reports. Carter will promote the meeting of more similar groups, even during work hours.

“If you look at the numbers, it’s clear that we are not where we should be in terms of the leadership reflecting the overall force,” said the official, Reuters reports. “It’s important that our force reflect the nation that it protects.”

Thousands of women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan alongside men, and women make up 15% of the military. But women leave military service mid-career at twice the rate of men.



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