Meeting in a Box: Women’s History Month

February 19, 2014 6:26 pm
Register for the 2014 DiversityInc Special Awards and Culturally Competent Healthcare events,
October 21 & 22 in New York City.
Women's History Month

Patricia Harris, Sonia Sotomayor

This Meeting in a Box tool is designed for distribution to all employees. You may use portions of it or all of it. Each section is available as a separate PDF; you can forward the entire document or link to it on DiversityInc Best Practices; or you can print it out for employees who do not have Internet access.

For Women’s History Month, we are supplying a historic Timeline of women’s achievements, Facts & Figures demonstrating women’s advancement (and opportunities) in education and business, and our cultural-competence series “Things NOT to Say,” focusing on executive women. This information should be distributed to your entire workforce and also should be used by your women’s resource group both internally and externally as a year-round educational tool.

[CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and DiversityInc Best Practices subscribers.]

1. HISTORIC TIMELINE

We recommend you start your employees’ cultural-competence lesson on the increasing value of having women in leadership positions by using this historic Timeline. It’s important to note how women’s roles have evolved, how flexible work arrangements allow more women to combine family and professional responsibilities, and how many glass ceilings still have not been shattered. The Timeline shown here illustrates significant dates in women’s history and major historic figures.

Discussion Questions for Employees

What have been the most significant changes in women’s roles in the past 50 years? In the past 10 years?
Ask the employees why they think there has been so much rapid change and, most importantly, if it’s enough. Have women talk about their own experiences and men talk about the experiences of their wives, daughters, sisters and friends.

Why are “firsts” important to note? What other barrier breakers have you witnessed in your lifetime?
This is a personal discussion designed to help the employee note other barrier breakers historically (cite Elizabeth Blackwell, Muriel Siebert and female CEOs, including General Motors’ Mary Barra, available at www.DiversityInc.com/fortune-500-ceos). This discussion can be further explored after the Facts & Figures section below is discussed.

Women's History Month Timeline 1

CLICK ON IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD

[CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and DiversityInc Best Practices subscribers.]

2. FACTS & FIGURES

After discussion of the timeline, the next step is to review available data and understand areas in which women have made significant progress in the United States but major opportunities remain. The data we have chosen to present here represents information of relevance to corporate America, such as education (available labor pool), business ownership, and progress in gaining executive and management positions. Where applicable, national data is compared with DiversityInc Top 50 data, to show what progress the leading D&I companies are making.

Discussion Questions for Employees

Why has it been so difficult to get girls and women into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) positions and what should schools and companies do to change that?

What are the best ways to convince girls (early) of the benefits of math and science?

How do you get more women in your company interested in operational roles versus traditional support/staff roles?

Why do you think women represent less than 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs?

Who do you see as the leading female role models in your company?
Reference www.DiversityInc.com/fortune-500-ceos and have a higher-level discussion on what it takes to become a senior executive at your company, the role of resource groups and mentoring in supporting this, and what the employees see as valuable ways to increase the pipeline.

Do women have different management styles than men? How is having a woman boss and/or mentor different?
Use this teachable moment to honestly discuss different styles, including confrontation/criticism, self-promotion/branding and decision making. For more information, go to BestPractices.DiversityInc.com/male-female-leader

Women's History Month Facts & Figures 1

CLICK ON IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD

[CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and DiversityInc Best Practices subscribers.]

3. THINGS NOT TO SAY TO EXECUTIVE WOMEN

Our popular “Things NOT to Say” series includes these interviews with three women leaders about offensive phrases they’ve heard in the workplace and how best to respond to them to further cultural-competence education.

Discussion Questions for Employees

What other phrases have you heard addressed to women and others from underrepresented groups? Discuss how these phrases and stereotypes impact office morale and productivity. For more information on this topic, go to http://www.diversityinc.com/atwg-oxford-dictionary/ and http://www.diversityinc.com/atwg-black-friends/

What role do you think the company should play when offensive comments occur?
Have the employees talk about under what circumstances they would report offensive comments and what they believe the company should do. Get advice from DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti at www.DiversityInc.com/atwg-offensive-language

After today’s lesson, what would you do if you overheard a colleague make one of these comments?
Continue the discussion with each employee having a plan of action on how to address offensive language.

Things NOT to Say to Women at Work

CLICK ON IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD

[CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and DiversityInc Best Practices subscribers.]

Register for the 2014 DiversityInc Special Awards and Culturally Competent Healthcare events,
October 21 & 22 in New York City.
Tags: