Episode #14: How to Start a Women’s Group at Your Workplace
One of the most rewarding and inspiring things I’ve done in my career is leading a women’s group at my company.
I never set out to lead it.
My journey started with my desire to connect with other women to discuss professional challenges unique to our gender.
I gratefully accepted the few invitations that came my way. I would leave energized and hungry for more.
I kept wondering, “When will the next meeting be?”
I started asking around.
I discovered that all of the past events occurred because an individual stepped up and made it come to life.
That thought inspired me.
If that’s all it took, why not me?
Next thing you know I was leading the charge on my first event.
Other women joined my team to pull together inspiring content, and together we pushed to get the word out.
Momentum built with each group activity.
The momentum resulted in what’s now two successful groups in two major cities, and I’m now the proud national co-lead of an organization that spans offices across the country!
But, it all started with just one small decision.
If that’s all it takes, why not you?
From me to you, here’s my best advice on how to start your own women’s group at your workplace.
Start with what you have.
All too often we let our big ideas hold us back from making any progress.
Small, steady progress will get you there.
You don’t need your first venture to be an event with an expensive outside speaker or a spread of free appetizers.
There are plenty of free or low-cost events you can coordinate to start momentum working in your favor.
You could start a lunchtime book club, where attendees bring their own lunch and connect over the latest topical read. You could book a conference room and do a screening of a documentary available on Netflix, such as RBG or Period. End of Sentence. You could ask an inspiring leader at your company to do a group mentoring session.
What’s easily available to you? What would interest others? Start with that idea.
Know that a little branding can go a long way.
There is a power that comes with giving your group an official name and logo.
When that first promotional flyer goes up, the name of your group itself will spark some intrigue.
Wouldn’t you be more intrigued to attend an event sponsored by a new group versus a one-off flyer?
Make that first promotional flyer or email look good. The better the flyer looks, the better the event will look. Get people interested in learning more and becoming part of the movement.
Don’t worry if you don’t have any design skills. Use an online tool that makes it easy. My personal favorite is Canva.
Prepare a business plan.
You know your company better than me.
It may make sense to have a few successful events before you sit down and propose the use of company dollars towards your group’s initiatives. You may need to present this plan before you even think of scheduling your first meeting.
But, I’m hard-pressed to think of a company in this day and age that wouldn’t be willing to at least entertain your proposal.
Take the time to put together a proposal for your boss or others to approve. If you are unsure how to go about how to write a business plan, don’t worry—I got you covered. Take a listen to my podcast episode called How to Sell Your Boss on Any Idea.
You can do this! Be bold and put your ideas down on paper.
If you don’t do it, who will?
There’s nothing like the positive energy and inspiration you can get from connecting with a group of other ambitious and driven women.
Don’t just think about it.
Be the leader who makes it happen.
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