The Tuesday following the monumental Women’s March that united millions of women and allies across the globe, Limeade women also gathered as one. We kicked off our “Women in the Workplace” group — our first professional group devoted to the well-being of women. The energy was palpable as women of all different titles and departments sipped wine and engaged with one another through laughter, discussion and stories.
STARTING SMALL, THINKING BIG
This group didn’t start as a top-down HR initiative. I joined Limeade six months ago after earning a graduate degree in Sociology and was eager to immerse myself in a culture-centric company. Gender equity, especially in the workplace, has always been an issue heavy on my heart and mind. When learning that Limeade didn’t currently have a community devoted just to women, I jumped in, determined to make this a part of our culture. Recruiting help from our People Team, I got to work planning the kickoff event.
The kickoff agenda was brief and the menu was simple — inexpensive bottles of wine, Ghirardelli chocolate and assorted cheese. We started the evening with words of support from our CEO and CPO then separated into small groups to share stories about female role models and moments of success in the workplace (aka a #girlboss moment). Finally, we closed the night with an activity to develop the 2017 agenda. Using sticky notes and a white board, members wrote down ideas and activities to cultivate a supportive and impactful women’s group. Attendees brought forward diverse ideas from virtual happy hours to be more inclusive of remote employees to exploring compensation gaps in our own company.
It was important that both the intent and content of the group was driven by our employees yet supported by leadership. We started small and believed that by empowering our attendees to own this group that it would become something much bigger. The overwhelmingly positive feedback from the evening and eagerness of members to keep the energy going reminded us that this was the most powerful approach.
To continue a balance of organizational support and power to our people, we intend to follow a cadence of one quarterly social event sponsored by our People Team and one monthly event led by a member passionate about a topic they brought forward. In 2015, Limeade ranked #22 on 100 Best Workplaces for Women. Our hope is that we continue to earn our spot on this list, and firmly believe that this begins with listening and responding to the voices of our female employees.
As we grow as a company, the need to be intentional about supporting ALL our employees in work and in life becomes increasingly more important. We anticipate that this group will be one of many that speaks to the needs and unique experiences of our employees. By creating the space to speak, think and connect with one another, we serve the well-being of our employees today as well as pave the path for those to come.
Each quarter I will share the highlights and lessons learned during this adventure of starting our first professional group. Stay tuned for more updates on how the group unfolds!