2018 really is the “Year of the Woman.” And companies like Epsilon and Media IQ are championing women’s inclusion in corporate settings with Women in Leadership initiatives. We spoke with Stacey Hawes, President of Data, Epsilon, and the folks over at Media IQ’s WiQ program to gather a few tips for those looking to establish their own Women in Leadership programs.
Give Women The Tools To Better Their Communities
“Part of the goal for us is to not just give women a voice, but to encourage them to get involved with other women’s initiatives in their own community.” – Hawes
“Community matters. In a Boston Consulting Group poll, they found that supporting internal and external networks for women was ranked as one of the top five most effective diversity interventions by 38% of all women respondents. That speaks volumes. These networks, as we hope WiQ will do, provide a valuable alternative channel of information and support for women working towards parity in traditionally male-dominated industries.” – WiQ
Be The CEO Of Your Own Career
“Lean In is a term Sheryl Sandberg uses, but it really should be Step Up. You should be aware and not feel like you’re second at the table. You’ve earned where you are and have the confidence that you’re just as, if not more, competent as the men in the room. Speak up. Find your voice and use it.” – Hawes
Build A Good Support Network
“Supporting women facing big decisions about taking parental leave, considering an overseas posting, or accepting a major step up in responsibility led to big rewards in terms of retention and advancement. That support takes many forms, including administrative help, offering and enforcing flexible work schedules, and providing logistical support; and it makes a significant difference in whether a woman takes on new challenges and thus advances herself in the organization.” – WiQ
“Mentoring younger women is one of the greatest gifts. As experienced women in the field, we know how to navigate business politically, what pitfalls to avoid, and we can provide that safety zone for the younger generation to ask and learn from. We have the responsibility to encourage them to find their voice and ask the right questions.” – Hawes
Men Have A Role In This Work, Too
“There are a lot more women in the workforce, in meaningful roles, than there were 20 years ago. We’ve earned the right to sit at the same table as they do, and if they’re protesting, men need to take a step back and look at their behavior, and then change it.” – Hawes
Epsilon’s Women in Leadership Initiative has programs in 12 offices across the US and over 165 participants. Over the next year, Epsilon will roll out the initiative at 25 additional offices, including in Toronto, Canada and Bangalore, India.
WiQ is MediaIQ’s Women’s Leadership program, designed with three clear aims to raise awareness of gender equality, to build and promote a supportive community, and to be an accessible platform for resource and education on diversity.