Energize Your Women’s Initiative: A Q & A with Christina Roberts of Siemens

Like this on Facebook
Christina Roberts
Christina Roberts

Christina Roberts is the immediate past Chair of the Women’s Information Network for Siemens (WIN@S), and currently leads the WIN@S mentoring program. After appearing as a panelist in the webinar Energize Your Women’s Initiative, Christina offered to answer the following questions from our audience.

Question from Barbara: How can we convince management that having a women’s initiative is a valuable thing to do?

Answer: “If you are allowed, work on finding out some statistics about your organization: Are women leaving your company? Would helping them find a place to connect strengthen your organization? Is there a gap somewhere that a women’s initiative could help fill?”

“Also, take the opportunity to share how you can use this employee resource group to do some stretch assignments for your management. Is there a project that would be valuable to your organization but no one has the time to implement it? Advertise to your management how an employee resource group is there to support the business and that handling additional projects for the greater good of your company is another way an ERG gives back.”

Question from Tonya: How can you stay energized when you keep hitting road blocks?

Answer: “There are always going to be road blocks. One of the best things you can do is meet with all your key stakeholders (from every area of the business) and find out what their expectations are. If you understand where HR, Legal, Compliance, your Executive Sponsor, Volunteers – where everyone is coming from then it helps reduce your road blocks. But when a road block comes up find out what you can do to play in the sandbox – there is always a way around the road block. You just have to understand where the it is coming from in order to work with or around it.”

Question from Selena: Do you include include administrative assistants and hourly blue collar workers in your women’s initiatives?

Answer: “Absolutely – everyone is welcome in these groups and they should always be all-inclusive. This includes men too! We all need development, networking opportunities and the opportunity to connect and a women’s initiative is a great place to help everyone get what they need.”

Question from Louise and Sabra: What are characteristics of successful women’s initiatives?

Answer: “This is difficult because so many people have different definitions. Successes are big and small but I think when you see a cultural shift that you have been working towards, that is when you know you are truly successful. Here are some ways to quantify it and translate that into ‘business speak’: Maybe more women are staying at your organization, or more employees are getting promoted through the opportunities within your women’s initiative. Being able to show this type of data is very valuable (but can be easier said than done).”

Question from Louise and Sabra: What items do members list as the most important things that they value from a women’s network? And what can a network do to be more relevant?

Answer: “Our members value networking and the opportunity to learn more about the organization they work for. A lot of times employees come to work and stay in their area and a women’s initiative is a great place to showcase all the areas of your organization. You can help teach employees about what happens in other groups and give them the chance to meet new people and be able to grow themselves personally and professionally. Exposure is also another benefit that a women’s initiative can offer. Getting the chance to do stretch assignments and start presenting in front of management is a big draw for employees who are looking to grow their careers.”

Question from Maureen: How can we overcome challenges with a diverse group, including outside sales people, inside support staff and management, and find subject matter that works for all?

Answer: “Surveying your membership base to find out the hot topics they are interested in can be very helpful. When you are presenting on a specific topic consider setting up a panel with speakers from all areas to discuss their specific experience. The different points of view can also give the audience the chance to connect with at least one of the speakers and may help educate other groups on different areas of your organization related to the same topic.”

The Takeaway
I hope you learned as much from Christina and her answers as I did. Moving forward, I encourage you to seek out mentors like Christina, take action, and contribute to your own women’s initiative

Jo Miller

Jo Miller is a leading authority on women’s leadership and a sought-after, dynamic, and engaging speaker who delivers more than 70 speaking presentations annually to audiences of up to 1,200 women. Her expertise lies in helping women lead, climb, and thrive in their corporate careers. Jo is founding editor of BeLeaderly.com and CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching, Inc. Learn more about Jo’s services at www.JoMiller.net and follow @jo_miller on Twitter.

Recommended

Leaderly Quote: If you don't have a seat at the table, bring your own chair.

According to the University of New Hampshire's Center for Venture Research, only 19% of angel investors in the United States in 2013 were women and ...

Leaderly Quote: Let’s make sure we’re audacious enough to not leave anything on the table.

Mellody Hobson is amazing. She's the president of Ariel Investments and chairman of the board of trustees for Ariel Investment Trust, as well as serving ...

6 New & Improved Performance Review Methods

This post first appeared at www.punchedclocks.com The yearly performance review can be a stressful time for everyone. Employees don’t like to hear them and bosses ...

Ready to lead?

We'll show you how!
Get email updates from Be Leaderly.

Our mission is to provide the career strategies that help you lead, climb and thrive as a rising woman of influence.

Four Types of Questions To Ask Your Mentor

Have conversations with your mentor gotten a bit repetitive lately? Perhaps you approached ...

5 Ways to be a Leader, Not a Manager

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a manager and a leader? ...

How to Shut Down a Colleague Who Takes Credit for Your Work

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a meeting and the unthinkable ...

15 Songs for Your Leadership Playlist

It was one of those conference moments I’ll never forget: Carly Fiorina had ...

10 Killer Leadership Skills: The Great Differentiators?

Last week at Hallmark I hosted a couple gentlemen from a partner company. ...

6 Critical Missteps That Hurt Your Career Advancement

Let’s face it: it isn’t easy to break out and establish yourself as ...

Influencing Without Authority—Using Your Six Sources of Influence

I am in the difficult situation of being unofficial project lead, responsible for ...

4 Characteristics of Leaders Who Get Hired and Promoted

Imagine if you had the opportunity to sit down with a senior executive ...

Nine Qualities of Female Leaders Who Get Beyond the Glass Ceiling

I’m frequently asked to speak about women in law and specifically the issue ...

5 Things Women Leaders Should Stop Doing. TODAY.

Over the last couple years, I’ve had a front row seat to career ...

8 Types of Courage for Aspiring Leaders

“The truth is that courage resides within you; you must simply decide to ...

9 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

Truly great leaders are hard to come by, but it seems everyone thinks ...

How to Manage Former Peers

Let’s talk about a potentially awkward situation. You get a new role and ...

11 Leadership Lessons Learned

Here are 11 lessons I’ve learned about leadership—mostly from much-admired colleagues, and just ...

Top 5 Most-Read Articles this Month
Top 5 Most-Read Articles this Month

Here’s what other emerging leaders have been reading at BeLeaderly.com this month. Like any of

Be Famous For Something! What’s Your Personal Brand?
Be Famous For Something! What’s Your Personal Brand?

Years ago, in one of my first leadership webinars, I interviewed a woman who was

Three Ways to Grow a Culture of Innovation at Work
Three Ways to Grow a Culture of Innovation at Work

When I was 10 years old, all I wanted was a skateboard. Because my parents

Leaderly Quote: Provide people with the air cover they need…
Leaderly Quote: Provide people with the air cover they need…

“Provide people with the air cover they need to do their best work.” — Jo

Emerging Leader Spotlight: Risa Hunter
Emerging Leader Spotlight: Risa Hunter

Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what she is doing

Let’s Stop Telling Young Ambitious Women to Find a Mentor
Let’s Stop Telling Young Ambitious Women to Find a Mentor

Kaytie Zimmerman is an optimistic millennial, and so much so that she founded a blog

Nervous About a New Leadership Role? Here’s How to Rise to the Challenge.
Nervous About a New Leadership Role? Here’s How to Rise to the Challenge.

I was chatting to a client a while back who told me she was feeling

4 Qualities of an Effective Disruptor
4 Qualities of an Effective Disruptor

Businesses need disruptors to survive. Your company needs people who will question how things are

New Hire Onboard? Here’s What To Do Next.
New Hire Onboard? Here’s What To Do Next.

You’re pretty sure you’ve got this onboarding thing down. You’ve been building your team slowly

Leaderly Quote: Don’t try to do it all
Leaderly Quote: Don’t try to do it all

“Being able to delegate effectively is critical to your success,” says Alice Katwan, Senior Vice

Know When to Say “No”
Know When to Say “No”

The truth is too many people are afraid to say “no” in the workplace, especially

Leaderly Quote: Mentoring isn’t an extracurricular activity
Leaderly Quote: Mentoring isn’t an extracurricular activity

“Mentoring isn’t an extracurricular activity. It’s vital for cultivating an enriching, inclusive community.” — Diana

The Top 5 Most-Read Articles This Month
The Top 5 Most-Read Articles This Month

Are you curious what other emerging leaders have been reading at Be Leaderly.com? Here they

3 Acts of Courage to Transform Your Career
3 Acts of Courage to Transform Your Career

What was your first big, bold, act of courage? For Nithya Ruff, Senior Director, Open

At Be Leaderly, our mission is a simple one: To provide proven career strategies that help you lead, climb, and thrive as a rising woman of influence. If you’re ready to lead, we’re here to support and inspire you.

Subscribe

captcha

PRIVACY

We will never share, rent, or sell your personal information or email address.
Copyright 2017, Be Leaderly