GE Women’s Network started a program called “My Connections,” which are smaller subgroups that have a common interest/career need that meet periodically. “That way,” Wankoff says, “members feel connected to female leaders and role models on a local level, yet feel they are part of the larger firmwide effort.”. Goldman Sachs established a diversity governance structure that includes a diversity committee in each region. I wanted to create an intimate space where women could gather to network and share resources—inspiring each other to revive old goals, make new ones and move towards them. Research whether there are already a similar services in your local area. GM told us how “that simple phrasing [change] helped our women shift from just discussion to action, and the women in management positions challenged themselves to become not just mentors, but sponsors.”, At GE, the Women’s Network is as diverse and far-reaching as the company itself. An online presence can help any group get attention, even one that is designed to be local and specific. At GE, the Women’s Network is as diverse and far-reaching as the company itself. Gather with women in your local area who share the same goals and interests as you. “But it’s critical that women in the local networks communicate with each other,” says Shoemaker. All rights reserved. Will you have topics of interest only to women or will you have broader issues that men might be interested in. We’ll spend around 60-90 minutes together, with a mix of introductions and structured conversation. Women’s social clubs have been around for generations as pillars of the community and a way for women to mingle. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Then, reach out to like-minded people to get some early members or co-founders. Starting a women’s club takes dedication, organization, and a passion for uplifting and empowering people. A good icebreaker is an efficient way to accomplish three goals. Francesca Di Meglio, Monster contributor A report from sociologists at Harvard, the University of Minnesota and the University of California, Berkeley showed that diversity training and networking alone are failing to help companies recruit or retain women and other minority groups. Professional associations, or what futurist and author John Naisbitt … Do your research. Send out a monthly wrap up of events with a newsletter, and use it to help recruit new members. It can be a better idea to start with an open group where all the program participants meet to share thoughts and feelings. Attend copious events sponsored by other organizations to see what works. Are You Ready To Start Bringing Women Together? Once you have an interested group of committee members, you will want to carve out clear goals and objectives for your women’s club. One of the hallmarks of a company that prioritizes gender diversity is an active and thriving women’s network. I haven’t come up with a name yet. Is there a need you see? The article published by Monster.com, “Why and How to Start a Women’s Network at Your Company” gives some key pointers for getting it off the ground. Here’s what we learned: For example, Beth Castle, Program Manager for The GE Women’s Network told us, “the GE Women’s Network is led by a group known as the “Cabinet,” a senior executive team. You are able to help other women of all ages not merely by giving the data, but by giving them an area exactly where they may be affected by optimistic women in the community. 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If you have other members to help, you can then delegate responsibilities to give everyone a role in the group. Find core group members who are passionate, driven and prepared to put the time and effort in. Give careful consideration to your messaging. It is also important to consider the networks, resources, and funds needed to maintain an organization. There are so many women out there that want to connect and learn from other professional women. Do you want to study a particular book of the Bible? Decide what your group will be about. It’s National Mentoring Month: Who Are You Mentoring? Then, reach out to like-minded people to get some early members or co-founders. Christian Women Business Organization (CWBO) is a proactive networking group of professional Christian women who own businesses, work for corporations and ministry founders. Growth X Network - Dubai. If you have other members to help, you can then delegate responsibilities to give everyone a role in the group. A key overarching takeaway: companies support for these organizations is key, but what really leads these groups to success is active participation from members in the business. However, it is not easy to build an authentic and productive network. Goldman Sachs hosts numerous events, including partner receptions, a Women’s History Month Networking event, and a “Goldman Sachs Women’s Network Rising Star Breakfast” that recognizes emerging women leaders from the firm. We had a lot of talented women at junior levels, but stalled out midway to the top. It may be that other individuals in your community who want to help women have a fully operating organization. We desire to see each woman be successful. Privacy Policy, Why and How to Start a Women’s Network at Your Company, You Want a Mentor? Part of HuffPost Business. GM’s women’s network, known as GM WOMEN (Women Offering Mentoring, Expertise and Networking), is a voluntary group of salaried women headed by a key business leader, Senior Vice President – Global Manufacturing: Alicia Boler-Davis. When possible, recruit senor women managers to be actively involved, bringing the structure and influence your group will need. Why do you want to start your group? We’ll start right at 6 pm, so please join on time. 4. Start by deciding whom you are going to target. Here’s what we learned: All four companies that we spoke with made a point of telling us that their leadership comes from corporate sponsors rather than from dedicated staff. At General Motors, GM WOMEN makes a point of highlighting how its work dovetails with the overall strategic objectives of the company, in particular growing GM’s revenue share of the women’s market. About 90% of major U.S. companies offer ERGs, including internal women’s networking groups. 1. Start by deciding whom you are going to target. Yet, despite the proliferation of these groups, most work in … Women’s social clubs have been around for generations as pillars of the community and a way for women to mingle. The hubs determine what areas they want to focus on from community outreach to developing women in key areas including commercial, technology and operations.”, At KPMG, local chapters of KNOW customize their own approach. However, many women’s networks start with a bang but end up fading from view after several months or years as the result of a lack of strategic focus, wavering group morale, poor organisational buy-in and negative perceptions of the network – on the part of women and men. To start a support group, first come up with a mission statement that outlines the vision and goals for your group. Women In Business Networking If you’re a business woman, don’t pass up an opportunity to join WIB. Both Karen and I believe that each small women’s group is another link in the chain that works to connect women … You can start a group there to include forums and discussion, relevant links, photos, and more.
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