On November 1-2 in New York, Fairygodboss will convene leaders and influencers from the Women’s Resource Groups of over 50 major US corporations. The main objective of the sold-out event is to identify ways to make these groups more effective in urgently driving corporate gender diversity. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from influential female corporate leaders, including Beth Comstock, Vice Chair of GE; Karen Quintos, Chief Customer Officer of Dell; and Ellyn Shook, Chief Leadership and HR Officer of Accenture. The program also includes ample time for attendees to work together to identify key tactics and initiatives they can implement to improve outcomes for their company’s gender diversity initiatives.
What are women’s resource groups, and why bring them together?
For many corporations, the first step taken to improve gender diversity within the organization is to create a women’s resource or affinity group. Resource groups exist at 90% of Fortune 500 companies, according to Catalyst. Women’s resource groups come in all forms, but they are generally a loosely connected network of female employees who come together at various events and programs throughout the year. Our research shows that about 65% of women participate in their corporate resource group.
At some companies, women’s resource groups have significant impact — for example, they successfully drive changes to corporate policy on parental leave or flexibility; but at others, their ability to effect real change is limited or various reasons.
When women don’t join or participate in their company resource groups, 33% say they view the groups as too controlled by human resources; 17% say flat out that they are a waste of time.
Our hope is that the Galvanize event can help maximize the functionality of these groups so that they can have a greater impact.
What are we hoping to achieve?
The social mission of Fairygodboss is to improve the workplace for women everywhere. In our travels since we founded Fairygodboss in early 2015, we’ve had the opportunity to speak to many of the leaders of these resource groups — and were surprised to learn that they rarely, if ever, connect to share learnings and best practices.
We believe that one critical thing women in corporate America can do to advance gender diversity faster is to collaborate more. We are inspired by the thought of what can happen if each of these individual women’s groups becomes more effective and also engages with groups from other companies — both within the same industry and without. The strength of the web of women we could build through Galvanize would be unprecedented.
Which companies are participating?
The response to Galvanize has been overwhelming, indicating that there was a true need for a gathering of this kind for the Women’s ERG community. The event is sold out!
Over 50 companies will be represented at Galvanize, including:
Fairygodboss will build and moderate a digital community of these Women’s ERG leaders and will also look to make Galvanize an annual event.
What is Fairygodboss?
Fairygodboss is a marketplace where professional women looking for jobs, advice, and the inside scoop on companies meet employers who believe in gender equality. Reaching over 500,000 a women every month, our community crowdsources hard-to-find and hard-to-ask information from each other ranging from maternity leave policies, to corporate culture around pay and promotion for women. Fairygodboss works with Fortune 500 employers such as Apple, Dell, Deloitte, General Electric and Johnson & Johnson to create transparency about workplaces and to support their efforts to improve the workplace for women.
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