The pandemic may put a damper on holiday plans, but it cannot dampen the energy and enthusiasm generated by women in staffing! That was abundantly clear at ASA Thrive: Elevating & Empowering Women in Staffing, an event ClearEdge has been honored to sponsor for the past two years. The event, brought to us by the ASA Women in Leadership Interest Group, offered far more than your typical webinar or virtual networking session. The agenda offered four distinct and highly memorable experiences, with valuable content designed especially for women who seek to grow their leadership skills and expand their professional reach in the staffing industry.
Connecting from the Start
We opened with a power networking session that offered participants a quick and immediate opportunity to connect in small groups to provide input on a series of questions. For example:
Q: How do you become a better champion of your own career goals and aspirations, without relying on other people to get you there?
- By learning to say No
- Not being a people pleaser ⎯ slippery slope
- Create your own work descriptions, adding extra elements that encourage personal growth and demonstrate how you can add unexpected value to the team
- Write down your accomplishments
Q: How are you being intentional about rising up other women within your organizations and creating a more inclusive culture?
- Lending flexibility to those who need it, when they need it
- Taking on extra work to support a colleague in need
- Putting people’s names in the pot for promotions
- Going out of your way to compliment when it’s deserved
An Inspirational Keynote
Then we were treated to brilliant advice from Erica Keswin (author of best-selling Bring Your Human to Work and her new book coming in January 2021, Rituals Roadmap). She advised us to “be intentional about what you want to accomplish in a day. Does your calendar reflect your values? If not, what’s getting in the way?” We are all so busy, running from Zoom to Zoom and working on our never-ending to-do lists, so her point is incredibly valid. Slow down, think about what you want to accomplish and make time to make those things happen.
Other inspirational nuggets from Erica:
- Honor relationships
- Keep champagne in the fridge at all times to celebrate successes
- Embrace tiny pivots – the path to success is no longer linear
I had the honor of facilitating the Powerhouse Panel: Real-World Strategies to Propel Your Staffing Career. Our panelists included:
Janette Marx, CEO, Airswift
Kye Mitchell, COO, Kforce
Ranjini Poddar, Co-Founder and CEO, Artech LLC
DeLibra Wesley, COO, The Delta Companies
A few of the most memorable moments:
- Be a deliberate planner… plan for your faith, family, friends, career and wellness.
- Be willing to give back without expectations; you never know where it will lead.
- Lead by example.
- Careers no longer have ladders, they have jungle gyms.
- Make sure your table encompasses people who do not look like you.
- Look for the spark in people who may not have the opportunity to sit at the table.
- Spark the change.
[For more inspiration from amazing women, check out The Edge, ClearEdge’s podcast.]
Speed Talks: Thriving Wherever You Are
This was a new one for me. During this session, trailblazing women shared their personal journeys, including the challenges, coping strategies and results they achieved. Each of our “speed talkers” was riveting:
Actor Rita Moreno: “Stick to what you want, don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do.
CNN Correspondent Arwa Damon: “Our ‘weakness’ is our strength. Our empathy and our feelings ⎯ those emotions that seem like negatives and female, they are our strength.”
Just Law Founder Misty Whitehead: “Find pockets of sanctuary and success in an otherwise chaotic life.”
Business Executive Beth Neuhoff: “Say yes to challenging things. Act as if… acting like you can do it makes you do it. Own your story; it is your superpower.”
We ended the event with a virtual happy hour, allowing everyone to raise their glasses in a toast to the staffing industry’s successful women of today and tomorrow.