Today is International Women’s Day!
The 2021 theme for this year’s annual celebration is #ChooseToChallenge. From the International Women’s Day website: “A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change”.
We are living in some challenging times that is for sure! And change can be hard. But also exhilarating, exciting and required if you want to continue to grow. Both as an individual and an organization.
Narrative Science started a Women’s Group a few years ago to help motivate and empower our talented women to grow and change while feeling supported by each other. Our NSWG meetings were always something I looked forward to, especially when we could be together live and in-person (ah…remember those days?!?!)
While the pandemic has certainly changed how our company operates we did not want our support system to get overlooked, especially at a time when we probably need it most. So this year we set out to be a bit more intentional about how we want to spend our time together.
We broke down the goals for our group into three areas; personal connection, sharing resources and learning and development. I have provided some examples of how we are supporting each goal with various activities:
- We started a monthly coffee lottery where we randomly select two individuals from our group to receive a Starbucks gift card to put towards a Zoom coffee chat at their convenience. It’s an attempt to replicate the spontaneous coffee chats that were an important part of our in-office culture.
- Casual, fun events are being scheduled each quarter to help the group stay in touch personally, laugh and simply enjoy each other’s company. Current planned events are online cooking classes, game nights and streaming movies/shows together.
- Instead of a traditional “Book Club”, we have started something we termed “Content Club”. A group volunteer selects a topic and shares content that everyone will read/watch/listen to prior to our meeting. The group volunteer will then lead an insightful discussion during our meeting. This quarter we will be listening to and discussing “How I Built This” featuring Whitney Wolfe of Bumble. At 31, Wolfe Herd will be one of the youngest female CEOs to take her company public. You can listen to the episode here.
- We also keep a running list of inspiring podcasts, books, groups, webinars…you name it! Everyone at Narrative Science is encouraged to take time for self improvement so we wanted to have a handy go-to resource available when you have carved that time out for yourself.
Learning and Development Initiatives
- Guest speakers are being lined up each quarter to bring in other perspectives and generate new ideas. Our February Guest Speaker was one of our very own Narrative Science employees, Stefanie Caldwell. Stef founded ManifestHer to help women realize their biggest dreams. As part of this she’s led a number of successful programs AND has written a book! Stef was generous enough to lead our group through a goal setting exercise that was incredibly rewarding and motivating.
- We know that sometimes there are topics people in the group might want some insight or advice on but are hesitant to ask in front of others. One example was “how to ask for a promotion”. We have started an Anonymous Q/A session where anyone from the group can submit questions prior to our meeting anonymously and we will spend the session discussing.
Our hope is by setting clear areas of focus with dedicated time for each, we are covering the major reasons our women’s group wants to continue to support each other. And by planning ahead and providing the calendar of initiatives in advance, our members can pick and choose the events that interest them most.
I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to get to work with such a talented group of women at Narrative Science and we are all looking forward to a year of challenging growth and change together! Happy International Women’s Day! #ChooseToChallenge.