Women supporting each other
What resilient women do is on my mind at the moment. My participation inspired me in last week’s BCI WiR USA Chapter panel discussion on Women’s Experience in Business Resilience at All Career Stages. I hope you connect with the Women in Resilience (WiR) group. Otherwise, I anticipate you will ally with and support its activities. Advancing women in the field is a good return on investment (ROI).
Last week, I shared my experience moderating and how worthwhile I felt it was. Don’t worry; I’ll get back to regular business resilience topics this week. Yet, I wanted to pause to explain how valuable WiR opportunities are. Over the past month, I’ve been tracking the rise of an organization called Chief, whose mission is to connect women leaders. The Women’s Networking Society out of NYC also tries to connect professional women globally. There are also various groups on LinkedIn for women Entrepreneurs and small business owners. These seem like well-meaning efforts to support each other in business environments.
Advancing others is advancing myself, too
However, some groups appear to be pay-to-play platforms. That situation always makes me leary that there will be an expectation to uphold specific behaviors or beliefs. For others, agreeing to help plunges you into countless hours of volunteer work and navigating personal agendas. Honestly, I often prefer the independent route, where you can express your opinion without reprisal. Lately, I have seen the value of giving back to build the Resilience community.
For me, this especially pertains to encouraging the next generation of professionals. I am the rare breed who doesn’t expect or want everyone to think like me. Instead, I prefer to surround myself with people of differing opinions. In my experience, this attitude aids me in leveling up my own game and gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the work around me. Knowing all sides of issues helps me better make up my mind. I recognize this may be an unpopular approach.
Creating support networks
So, instead of following practitioners who only espouse my point of view, I learn from many opinions. Taking the approach works for team development, as well. Instead of surrounding myself with like-minded people of similar backgrounds, I cultivate a brain-trust approach to differing opinions. In my experience, this always leads to better outcomes. Of course, no one wants to operate in continuously fractious environments. We could certainly use more networks that embrace women’s membership.
Instead, resilient women gather others around her that can provide alternative opinions. To best help each other, that may include divergent backgrounds or expertise. Cultivating an Arthurian roundtable structure symbolizes equal footing of ideas or input. Regardless of gender, I would like to see more groups forming with this mindset in the future rather than the committee hierarchy. My experiences with groups like the Association of Continuity Professionals (ACP) or NEDRIX were mixed. Yet, I still believe in the strength of networks. I am so thankful for the women in my network.
Pushing resilience forward
I have never found a networking group with which I felt sympatico fully. Maybe that is why I started Disaster Empire over three years ago. There is value in having a place for your unique voice. However, I also enjoy the strengths of the collective voices of the Resilience Think Tank. Still, there is usefulness in cultivating a standalone place for women’s perspectives and input.
I’d like to see a globally recognized group that links together diverse thoughts around common goals. For my part, I recommend women focus on all aspects of resilience as a starting point. I expect the more we speak on our suggestions to achieve resilience and propose solutions, the more abundantly accepted the field will become. There are so many opportunities for good practice in business resilience that women can add their expertise collectively and individually. Let’s move forward together.