A few months ago, I “met” Kelly Peckham from SmartPak. (Got horses? Check out SmartPak.) Kelly was looking for speakers for her in-house women’s leadership group (SWAG). SmartPak’s group likes to host various types of events (speeches, panels, videos, demos, etc.), related to various personal and professional topics. After we did a demonstration of our self-service platform’s capabilities, Kelly was all signed up for the event manager’s newsletter and sending out speaker invitations. She was all set. But Kelly took things to the next level. In December, Kelly got our newsletter describing our idea about 2019 being the Year of Women Helping Women.  I’ve shared some excerpts from her letter to her female co-workers below. Hi SWAGgers! Innovation Women sent out a wonderful article this morning, called The Year of Women Helping Women.  The article urges us to promise to help one other woman succeed or grow in 2019.  Below is the list of their suggestions on how to do that, with some added comments specific to our organization.
  • Make an employment recommendation. Know a woman looking for a new job? Reach out on her behalf. Get a call from a recruiter. Make the woman on your list your first recommendation.
    • SmartPak: Share our job page with your friends and family: We often pay for referrals!
  • Read a good book by a female author? Post a review on Amazon for her.
    • SmartPak: Also, share your book recommendations with SWAG.  The SWAG book page will be moving to our new SharePoint site soon.  If you have a book to recommend now, just email Dina, Jen B, or Kelly.
  • See a terrific speaker? Tweet out a great quote from her and tag her.
    • SmartPak: Share information about that speaker with the SWAG distribution list.  In the near future, you will also be able to post info to our new SharePoint site.  For bonus points, reach out to the speaker and find out if she would be willing to speak at one of our lunch sessions!
  • Invite another woman to lunch, or coffee. Ask what she needs and follow up.
    • SmartPak: An invitation to join a doggie walk is also helpful.  (SmartPak is a pet-friendly office!) You might not know how to help her, but just being willing to listen can be very helpful on its own.
  • Volunteer to be a mentor.
    • SmartPak: Mentorship is great.  But there is also sponsorship.  If you are in a leadership position, and you see a woman who deserves to promoted, don’t be afraid to speak up and suggest her for a promotion (even if it’s not in your department).  There’s a long history in the business world of older men sponsoring younger men.  We need to see older/experienced women sponsoring younger women.
  • Tell a woman you admire all about it.
    • SmartPak: You can do this in person or via email.  Handwritten notes are also wonderful!
  • Get invited to speak on a panel? Suggest another woman also be asked.
    • SmartPak: Most of us don’t receive many panel invitations.  But don’t be afraid to pull a woman into your meetings and presentations.  Last year, I was asked to do a presentation by myself.  But there was another woman who really deserved to be included, so I asked her to do an introduction.  It was not “filler”.  She gave an amazing 2 minute intro that made my presentation better, and everyone else in the room had a chance to see her shine.
If you have other suggestions on how we can support each other, please share. Have a Safe & Happy New Year! -SWAG 😊
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