Jeff Stephenson, P.E., is the Team Leader of [...]
As Sain Associates’ founder, Hack Sain, used to say in a very blunt manner, “Since half the brain power in the world is inside women’s heads, you’d be stupid not to encourage the development of women in the workplace.” Our firm’s history is rooted in a paradigm of valuing the contributions of women, which continues very prominently today under the leadership of Jim Meads.
As a female business woman in a profession dominated by males, this topic has been important to me for many years. I had recently wanted to get engaged with a group of women in business that would be more diverse than just engineering professionals. When I heard from a member of Young Business Leaders (YBL) that the group had recently formed Women Business Leaders (WBL), I was excited to start attending monthly meetings. I enjoyed the meetings and soon volunteered to serve on a Steering Committee to help host events. That involvement led to my being asked to serve on an Advisory Board.
I am so passionate about this group because one of my earliest career mentors was a woman engineer. She invested a lot of time and energy to help me learn and grow, and encouraging other women is a way of paying back the investments that benefited me. Over the years, at Sain and through other professional organizations, I have gained a lot of experience with administration and strategic planning. I’ve been happy to support the group with that experience.
As with most new organizations, we are still working out all the kinks, but the repeated positive feedback we get from women who attend our events is very encouraging. One of the things I love about WBL is that the women who attend are diverse in many categories, such as age, race, profession and family status. While there are many differences between us, we all have the common desire to strengthen our faith and build fulfilling careers.
Statistics published by Barna Group tell us that 72% of working women committed to faith feel overwhelmed, which is why it is so important for women in business to support and encourage each other. WBL provides the supportive environment that allows working women to talk about workplace challenges, celebrate successes and help each other.
Here’s a look at the WBL Ministry Model:
- Fellowship – This involves brunches, dinners, coffees/teas, one-to-one appointments, referrals, other special events, WBL website and social media.
- Support – One-to-one discipleship, small group community discipleship, mentoring and personal counseling.
- Impact the workplace – Training specific to the needs of women in the workforce, such as professional skills, healthy relationships, work/life balance, gender issues and conflict management.
- Impact culture – Forum to discuss cultural issues as they affect the workplace, providing a safe community to discuss and decide the appropriate course of action in the difficult cultural environment. Biblical worldview training related to ethics and culture to facilitate ethical decision making at home and in business.
- Impact the community for Christ – Opportunities to serve the needs of our communities.
A great opportunity for any woman to get involved with WBL will be our upcoming Joy to the World event that will be held on November, 19, 2015 at Regions Auditorium. Details about the event will be shared on the WBL Facebook page, and you can email email@example.com to be added to the WBL subscriber list.