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

A leading authority on women’s leadership, Jo Miller is a sought-after, dynamic, and engaging speaker, delivering 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 has traveled widely in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East to deliver keynotes and teach workshops for women’s leadership conferences, women’s professional associations, and Fortune 1000 corporate women’s initiatives. Jo is founding editor of BeLeaderly.com. Learn more about her speaking engagements at www.JoMiller.net and follow @Jo_Miller on Twitter.

Recommended

Leaderly Quote: Take the lead (like a boss!)

Here at BeLeaderly.com, we don't believe in waiting for permission or an invitation to be a leader. So don't wait for someone to promote you ...

Leaderly Quote: You don't have to be the CEO

In her article, 7 Little Acts of Leadership, one of our favorite Be Leaderly contributors Susan J. Ritchie says: "Leadership isn’t just for leaders, you ...

4 Thoughts You Need To Let Go Of So You Can Delegate Already

Intellectually and theoretically you know you need to delegate. You could list the benefits (it allows you more time to do your ‘secret sauce’ work ...

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. ...

11 Leadership Lessons Learned

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

Influencing Without Authority—Using Your Six Sources of Influence

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

9 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

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

6 Critical Missteps That Hurt Your Career Advancement

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

25 Questions to Ask a Mentor

A few years ago, around the time when I was launching this blog, ...

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 ...

4 Characteristics of Leaders Who Get Hired and Promoted

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

Be Leaderly’s Selena Rezvani Discusses ‘Career Stretch’ & Readiness on SAP Radio
Be Leaderly’s Selena Rezvani Discusses ‘Career Stretch’ & Readiness on SAP Radio

‘Career Stretch’ & Readiness: Does It Differ From a Gender Lens? Stretch opportunities – those

How to Take Control of Your Reputation at Work
How to Take Control of Your Reputation at Work

The most important career capital you have isn’t your technical skills or academic pedigree. It’s

Emerging Leader Spotlight: Liza Lee Luk
Emerging Leader Spotlight: Liza Lee Luk

Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what they’re doing to

Get Smart About the Wage Gap: 10 Great Reads for Equal Pay Day
Get Smart About the Wage Gap: 10 Great Reads for Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day 2018 falls on Tuesday, April 10. This date brings the gender wage

How to Score a Flexible Work Arrangement
How to Score a Flexible Work Arrangement

Do you ever fantasize about having more flexibility in your workday? And what about those

Not Every Problem Has an Easy Solution
Not Every Problem Has an Easy Solution

It’s time to retire the saying “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions.” Even though

Leaderly Quote: See a gap, fill a gap!
Leaderly Quote: See a gap, fill a gap!

You don’t need a title or a team to be a leader. You can lead

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? This month’s popular

Emerging Leader Spotlight: Kelley B. Hall
Emerging Leader Spotlight: Kelley B. Hall

Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what they’re doing to

Awkward or Awesome? What Your Hand Gestures Say When You’re Giving a Speech.
Awkward or Awesome? What Your Hand Gestures Say When You’re Giving a Speech.

It’s the day of the annual meeting and your team is present from five locations

Leaderly Quote: Self-promotion is self-preservation
Leaderly Quote: Self-promotion is self-preservation

With study after study showing that women are more apprehensive about discussing their general competence—let

You Won’t Make Friends With Everyone at Work. Earn Their Trust Instead.
You Won’t Make Friends With Everyone at Work. Earn Their Trust Instead.

“We started out as cube neighbors at the beginning of my corporate career,” says Joanne

How to Decide if an Employer’s Culture is Right for You
How to Decide if an Employer’s Culture is Right for You

It’s long been demonstrated that companies that create great work cultures see big benefits from

25 Inspirational Songs That You Can’t Celebrate International Women’s Day Without
25 Inspirational Songs That You Can’t Celebrate International Women’s Day Without

What better way to toast the awesome strength of International Women’s Day than with some

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 2018, Be Leaderly