We surveyed the roundtable participants across industries and roles within their companies to understand the challenges their women’s initiatives were facing, because we knew that breaking down these barriers was the best way to achieve success for each women’s initiative.
One of the things we often hear is that people perceive the women’s initiative to be a place where everyone goes to complain. What we know, is that this is far from true, and that there are impactful, uplifting, and empowering conversations at every gathering of these initiatives, and we can’t allow those perceptions to keep us from addressing the challenges that individuals are facing at work, even the sensitive ones.
You reserve the room. You order the catering. You bring in the perfect speaker. You send the invites and track the responses.
You plan an event. And people don't show up.
If you are painfully nodding along, you are not alone. So many of our clients struggle with the challenge of simply getting people to show up for the events that they have spent time, money, and effort to plan. Of course, most people are respectful—they let you know they can no longer make it, they lament that their travel schedule puts them out of the office the day of the event, they promise to attend the next one. The interest and intention are there, which you know because you have asked the attendees what they want. So how can you get past the last-minute fire drills and get people to show up for your events and programs?
Gild Collective uses data and key insights from working with thousands of women to drive strategic organizational change and to provide workplace inclusion trainings to key stakeholders.
We have never shown the real Gild Collective workshop experience here. Admittedly, Kelsey and I are often too busy preparing and facilitating the experiences to pause, reflect, and photograph our surroundings, but this week we tried to do just that.
At Gild, we are notorious for loving to get our hands dirty with a creative project. Although our business has changed and grown a lot over the past few years, we have always had a mission at the heart of what we do that centers around confidence, creativity, and community. And while our central focus has shifted from craft projects to women’s issues (in the form of workshops, strategy, and training), creativity is still at the heart of what we do. We often get questions about why we are so passionate about the benefits of being creative with your women’s initiative participants, so we thought we’d share a few of those benefits here.
We’ve heard just about everything when it comes to the perceptions of women’s initiatives within organizations. We’ve seen organizations where all employees are bought-in—they see the value, and they have both men and women participating in driving equality in the workplace. But, we’ve also seen organizations where there is women’s initiative pushback, or a lack of understanding on what the purpose of the initiative is and the goals it is trying to reach.
Busy. Overwhelmed. Buried under work. Treading water. Barely surviving.
These are phrases that we hear our friends (and ourselves) use on a regular basis when we discuss our jobs. When we combine the stress we feel at work with our personal responsibilities outside of the office, it can often feel like too much to juggle. More organizations than ever are trying to serve their female employees through women’s initiatives, many of which aim to help tackle the constant state of “overwhelmed” that many women are stuck in. These initiatives have the best intentions, and even call in outside resources to plan amazing programming for their female workforce. However, organizers still tell us that one of their biggest challenges in getting women engaged is convincing them that women’s initiatives are worth their time– time that, as we know, is a precious and limited resource.
If you’re new to this series, you may want to check out our recent posts about women’s initiatives: What Are They? and When Do You Need a Women’s Initiative? before digging in here. If you already know that your organization needs to…