Recently, over on Womenetics, Julie Zimmer cataloged her own experience of starting women’s affinity group in her firm. Like many woman starting the process of a women’s group in an organization, Julie found there were unexpected obstacles she had to overcome in order to successfully get her group off the ground.
Career Girl Network is honored to work with multiple corporate women’s groups nationwide, and I’ve personally have the pleasure throughout my career of working with countless corporate women’s groups. So to piggyback on Julie Zimmer’s first hand experience from the ground up in her own firm, we’re giving you a few tips and tricks on women’s groups and why they’re important in your business?
What is a corporate women’s group?
- A way to ensure the women in your corporation are meeting, supporting, and helping one another get ahead.
- An affinity group that brings women together for networking within the organization.
- A group that provides a path for partnerships between the women in your organization and other women in your industry.
- A collective that supports nonprofit organizations and community causes together.
What are key steps starting a group in your workplace?
- Get people on board from every level in an organization. You have to get top women involved in the process as well as entry level women. To have a successful women’s group, everyone has to get involved.
- Loop in the guys! Women’s groups, especially new ones within an organization, can sometimes (unfortunately) be viewed as a waste of time by male partners. Take the time to explain the benefit to the business not just to the ladies, but to the gents as well.
- Money talks! Great women’s groups have budgets as well and money to spend. You’ll need that cash to bring in great speakers, support nonprofit organizations, plan events, and much more. By getting the powers that be on board, you may be able to get a small budget for the project that will grow over time.
Women’s groups are just one key to retaining women within your organization. If women feel supported and a part of a strong group, they are much more likely to hang out longer and rise within a company than they are to look elsewhere. So take Julie’s advice at Womenetics and our advice here and get the ball rolling if it’s not already. The women you work with and for will thank you!