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  • November 16, 2018 9:52 AM | Meghan Goetz (Administrator)

    Women’s Network Flux: A movement for Change Conversations to Continue

    Akron, Ohio (November 16, 2018)

    As a result of continued public interest in the Gender Equity and Women’s Leadership Research Study of Summit County, Women’s Network will host community conversations open to the public.  Meet ups will take place on Tuesday, November 27th from 11:00-1:30 and 5:00-7:00pm and Thursday, November 28th from 11:-00-1:30 and 5:00-7:00 pm at the Akron Summit County Public Library located at 60 South High Street, Akron.  For registration go to:  https://www.womensnetworkneohio.com/Events

    Key findings released on November 9th at the John S. Knight Center Conference revealed that In Northeast Ohio and Akron, women are underrepresented in senior leadership roles and paid less. Women of color are the least represented in senior leadership. And women representation on nonprofit boards is unchanged since 2014.

    Women’s Network exists to Connect, Empower and Inspire women through training, research and thought leadership. For more information on the organization go to www.womensnetworkneohio.com


  • October 02, 2018 4:46 PM | Meghan Goetz (Administrator)


    Breakout sessions that are community focused. Learn more and get your tickets today at www.WNFLUX.com


  • September 10, 2018 11:39 AM | Meghan Goetz (Administrator)

    We have so many amazing speakers confirmed for Flux, a Movement for Change. Be sure to visit the website for full speaker details, bios, abstracts and more!


    Get your tickets to FLUX today!

    ** Members check your email for a special discount code!

  • September 05, 2018 4:30 PM | Meghan Goetz (Administrator)

    Okay, some fun questions. You’re not from Akron originally, but it’s often really enlightening to get a transplant’s perspective on the city. What do you love about Akron?  

    The people!  Women’s Network facilitated an introduction to the community through the Community Leadership Institute.  I met great men and women who are so committed to Akron. Akron has great amenities.  A beautiful ballpark.  Canal Park is surrounded with great restaurants and fun events. The Towpath Trail runs through the city.  The Art Museum is special too.Great community workspace for entrepreneurs in Bounce, the former Goodrich tire factory.  

    Do you have a productivity tip that you swear by?

    Tackle your most difficult projects when your internal clock is at pique productivity.  It is the shortest distance to manage difficult scenarios and find successful resolutions.

    What's one thing you wish you had known early in your career?

    The power of capitalism grows faster when combined with education.  I grew up in an environment that stressed hard work, and that served me well.  But when armed with education, one can travel further and faster down the path to financial freedom

    What is the best career advice you've ever received?

    Know your strengths, lead from your strengths and surround yourself with those who compliment what you are lacking.

    What's your favorite thing to do on the weekend?

    Spending time with family where I can recharge and enjoy those people very special to me. My husband and I love to bike.  We’ve covered many miles of trails this past year. And I enjoy working in my flower gardens. When the cold weather moves in, working on a 1000 piece puzzle, reading a good book or spending a few hours at the gym are ways to recharge from the week.
  • August 23, 2018 9:53 AM | Meghan Goetz (Administrator)

    Women's Network Annual Meeting

    It was 40 years ago, Women's Network Inc became official.

    Join us to celebrate this milestone and 40 years of Women's Network! We are proud to announce Jan Conrad as our Executive Director, as well as our Keynote Speaker for the Annual Meeting! In her new role she will work to build community impact and foster organizational growth and program development.  (Crain's Article). Come meet Jan, connect with other Women's Network members and learn about the amazing events, programs and growth Women's Network has planned!

    Monday, September 24
    5-7:30 p.m.
    The Lodge at Allardale
    141 Remsen Road, Medina, OH 
    Register by Sept. 17

    All Women's Network members will be asked to vote on our 2017-2018 Proposed Board Slate. Details coming August 20, 2018. 

    Thank you to our sponsors: 

                       

    *Check out the pictures below from our 2016 Annual Meeting with County Executive Ilene Shapiro*.

  • August 15, 2018 11:24 AM | Meghan Goetz (Administrator)

    You worked most recently at the Women’s Business Center in Cleveland. You’re here now as the Executive Director of Women’s Network. Have you always been interested in working with and for women, or was there something that triggered that interest and passion? 

    My interest in working with women was triggered over a series of events throughout my life and career, not necessarily connected, yet all with the same theme around courage, confidence and community.

    It began at a very young age.  Raised in rural Ohio, I did not fit the profile of a young country girl.  I loved physical activity and remember playing football with the neighbors.  I also remember being told to “sit like a lady and find a good book.” Being fiercely independent, I tested the patience of my mother whose conservative roots meant women were to be seen but not necessarily heard. She and I did not discuss my interest in going to college.

    When I launched my career in advertising sales, few women were in leadership.  In 1989, I was named as the General Manager of a publishing startup. I gained the opportunity because I was willing to work for an incentive plan, taking a risk around my salary, something no male colleagues were willing to do.  I had less to risk, something no one discussed.

    Upon taking that opportunity, I was fortunate to work for some wonderful men who mentored me.  They saw that I was eager for opportunity in my 20’s. Thankfully, time was on my side and I learned to navigate the waters.

    In 2000, I took a position of leadership in academia and I was shocked to see few women in higher education leadership.  I thought it would be different for women working in a progressive university system. There were a few who did, but for the most part it was male dominated.

     In 2005, I observed the very short tenure of a newly hired female County Manager.  She was appointed after a long-standing male predecessor retired. It was an experience I will never forget.  She was competent and capable, but her biggest hurdle became her inability to navigate the political darts as a female leader. Her tenure was short, and she was replaced by male leadership.  I observed what it did to her confidence and her career, not to mention the fiscal impact to her personally. She needed a community of women but lacked that network.

    Working with dislocated NASA aerospace contractors due to the retirement of the Space Shuttle program, my eyes were opened to gender inequities in that male dominated industry. One brilliant female engineer ended up homeless after she’d depleted her resources due to the hurdles she was facing while seeking funding her business.  Realizing her desperate situation became a defining moment for me. I determined if there was anything I could do to impact parity for women, I would champion that effort.

    Another observation.  Inequity in compensation or promotion or funding was not because of inferior education, in fact it was quite the opposite   Something was clearly inequitable. That lightbulb moment sparked an interest in working to change the culture and the mindset of people, both male and female.

     

    You grew up in an environment that was not the most supportive of women interested in education, business, or leadership more generally. Now, you’re the leader of an organization intensely devoted to supporting women and bringing them to the forefront of their respective fields and industries. That’s a big distance to travel--from where you grew up to where you sit now. What got you here? 

    I’ve lived through tremendous changes in attitudes towards women in the workplace.  I am amazed at how far we have come, and yet how far we must go.

    Early in my career, I worked for men and with men in sales and observed that men often held the most lucrative sales accounts.  I tried to hustle and build my portfolio to impact my income.  I expended tremendous energy and worked longer hours but did not gain parity.  That experience got my attention. As I grew in confidence, I became vocal about an equitable compensation package.

             As I moved into mid-career and became affiliated with the governmental and non-profit industries, the gender biases became even more apparent.  Females occupied a disproportionate share of the lowest paid and most challenging customer facing positions in government. As I’d experienced in earlier settings, I knew I would need to prove myself to advance to leadership.  I crafted a game plan and determined to:

    1. gain/grow the tools I was lacking

    2. connect to influencers and leaders and demonstrate my competence

    3. show up and participate in the conversations and contribute to solutions

    4.  track the outcomes and milestones achieved 

    5. be at the table – and speak! Leading requires being intentional

  • August 08, 2018 1:27 PM | Meghan Goetz (Administrator)
    Women’s Network is excited to announce:

    Women’s Leadership Summit, Flux on November 9th 2018, at the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron.

    Women’s Network is an organization focuses on leadership development for women, equity and unconscious bias in the workplace, and thought leadership on advancing women’s lives and building inclusive communities + workplaces.

    The day will include a facilitated forum to engage the community in a conversation around creating equitable workplaces, particularly as it relates to women.  They will be sharing the results of their Gender Equity and Female Leadership Research Study that provides the demographic data regarding women and minority representation in leadership positions in Summit County.  

     

    The 2018 Women’s Leadership Summit will feature a keynote address from Kathrine Switzer (the first woman to run the Boston Marathon), as well as workshops, lectures, and panels leadership development, organizational change, strategic negotiation, building inclusive workplaces, and more. Several of the afternoon content sessions are HRCI accredited.

    Tickets on sale now! www.WNFLUX.com

    Members check your email for a discount code to save $$

  • August 01, 2018 1:18 PM | Meghan Goetz (Administrator)

    What drew you to Women’s Network?

    Women’s Network (WN) is an organization that has worked diligently to create relevancy for women in today’s workplace and business community.  Over the past four years, they’ve created a culture of women aspiring to learn and lead, in any space, whether it is as a civic leader, entrepreneurship, corporate leadership or as a family architect.  WN is a community of women who aspire to make their world a better place by engagement and action.  Conversations around personal aspirations happen in a safe space and peer learning creates a room full of conversation that facilitates growing professionally and personally. The opportunity to build upon that sound foundation of quality programming is enormous.  With more of my career behind me than ahead of me, it is time to make a difference for those to follow us. 



    What do you think is the biggest obstacle that women face in the workplace today?

        Denial:  A general belief that inequity does not happen in our communities.  We see a few women leaders and conclude that we “don’t have that problem here.”  But it does exist.

    Lack of confidence:  Confidence, or the lack thereof, takes many forms of behavior.  Self-deprecating comments, the self-selection out of opportunities to lead teams or join a committee are prevalent among women.  If the motive is boiled down to a common denominator, often it is lack of confidence in one’s ability to bring enough skill to the table.  With training and support, confidence can grow, and Women’s Network is a great community where one can gain the courage to grow.

    Intentionality:  Deliberate planning for one’s path to leadership.  It takes commitment and focus to build one’s career.


    What do you wish more people understood about women’s (in)equality? Is there a particular thread that you think is overlooked or under-discussed?

    There are real obstacles for women, some of which is stems from the cultural norms we create.  For example, I recently read a New York Times article talking about inequity of chores that starts in the home.  I recall in my own home, girls primarily cleaned, cooked, baked, cleared the table and washed the dishes.   And according to the NY Times, that is still happening in American households. Subtle messages matter. Expectation is set at an early age for both genders.  I do not mean to over-simplify the issue.  However, it is so much about messages learned at a young age.  

    Conversations around workplace parity are tedious.  It requires vulnerability on all fronts. Those conversations can be difficult, and my hope is that Women’s Network can raise awareness, monitor the data and continue to be a thought leader bringing solutions and answers.  We must start with where we are today and we are leading that effort.

    Below, a recent national study provides the status of leadership in broad sectors.

    STATUS OF WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP GAP in the UNITED STATES




    MEN


    WOMEN

    WOMEN OF COLOR

    State Legislators

    75%

    25%

    5%

    U.S. Congress

    81%

    19%

    6%

    U.S. Governors

    88%

    12%

    4%

    Executives

    63%

    24%

    2%

         Source:  Rutgers Center for American Women & Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University

    Locally, Women’s Network commissioned a study on the status of leadership in Summit County.  Results will be revealed at the Women's Leadership Summit, FLUX: A Movement for Change to be held on Friday, November 9th from 7:30am-4:00pm at the John S. Knight Center.
  • July 10, 2018 9:35 AM | Meghan Goetz (Administrator)

    Women's Network & Leadership Akron Applications Open for Class 7!


    About Women's Network CLIApply Here

    Community Leadership Institute Topics

    After a full-day opening retreat, where each participant focuses on their own strengths assessment, each session will focus on one of four dimensions of leadership: vision and strategic thinking, relationship building, delivering results, influence/advocacy. Below is a sampling of learning experiences from past classes for each of the topics:

    • Vision and Strategic Thinking: Adele Roth, Deputy Director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Akron and Suzie Graham, President of Downtown Akron Partnership review and explain the vision, strategies and construction projects pointed at re-visioning Akron. 
    • Delivering Results: Linda Conrad, Executive Director of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, discussed how to go from planning to execution in stabilizing the organization's sustainability and moving the organization forward.
    • Relationship-Building: Derran Wimer, CEO of Summit Education Initiative and Sue Lacy, CEO of ConXusNEO, emphasized how trusting relationships are the foundation for collaboration across organizations and sectors.
    • Influence/Advocacy: Julie Brandle, President of Metis Construction and Kirsten Lino, Akron Business Banking Team Leader of Huntington National Bank, discussed how to use your strengths to excel in your career as well for the community.

    The WN/CLI also features the work of Cindy Biggs, CPCC, ACC a certified coach and trainer who uses the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment, and an opportunity for each participants to complete a Strengths Profile as another lens to inform her growth and development as a leader.

    Class 6 at Graduation:


    Rana Amawi
    CC AGMC

    Denise Basch
    Don Basch Jewelers

    Kimberly Braver
    Westfield Insurance

    Kathryn Bryan
    Dorman Legacy Advisors

    Crystal Burnett
    Summit County Probate Court

    Kelli Crawford- Smith
    City of Cuyahoga Falls

    Lisa Ennis
    Akron Area YMCA

    Lily Holderbaum
    Cleveland Clinic Akron General

    Alyce Jennings
    Summit County Community Partnership

    Katherine Johnson
    New View Communications

    Lia Jones
    The University of Akron

    Jessica Korzhiletskiy
    FirstEnergy Corp.

    Shalini Makkar
    Premiere Medical Reources

    Sue Myers
    Huntington National Bank

    Karen Noftsinger
    The Blick Center

    Tina Sanzone
    Akron Children's Hospital

    Laura Shank
    Apple Growth Partners

    Katelyn Stiver
    JumpStart, Inc

    Kristie Warner
    Gavin Scott Salon and Spa

    Julie Weagraff
    Girl Scouts of North East Ohio

    Heather Welsh
    Sequoia Financial Group

    Stephanie Zelasko
    ACCESS, Inc

    Courtney Zimmerman
    Aurora Research Associates, LLC

     


    Application deadline is August 15, 2018.

    Apply Here


  • May 08, 2018 2:34 PM | Meghan Goetz (Administrator)

    Congratulations to the newest Women's Network & Leadership Akron CLI Graduates! 


    Class 6

    Rana Amawi
    CC AGMC

    Denise Basch
    Don Basch Jewelers

    Kimberly Braver
    Westfield Insurance

    Kathryn Bryan
    Dorman Legacy Advisors

    Crystal Burnett
    Summit County Probate Court

    Kelli Crawford- Smith
    City of Cuyahoga Falls

    Lisa Ennis
    Akron Area YMCA

    Lily Holderbaum
    Cleveland Clinic Akron General

    Alyce Jennings
    Summit County Community Partnership

    Katherine Johnson
    New View Communications

    Lia Jones
    The University of Akron

    Jessica Korzhiletskiy
    FirstEnergy Corp.

    Shalini Makkar
    Premiere Medical Reources

    Sue Myers
    Huntington National Bank

    Karen Noftsinger
    The Blick Center

    Tina Sanzone
    Akron Children's Hospital

    Laura Shank
    Apple Growth Partners

    Katelyn Stiver
    JumpStart, Inc

    Kristie Warner
    Gavin Scott Salon and Spa

    Julie Weagraff
    Girl Scouts of North East Ohio

    Heather Welsh
    Sequoia Financial Group

    Stephanie Zelasko
    ACCESS, Inc

    Courtney Zimmerman
    Aurora Research Associates, LLC

     


    Applications for our Fall Class open on July 1, 2018

    About Women's Network CLI

    Community Leadership Institute Topics

    After a full-day opening retreat, where each participant focuses on their own strengths assessment, each session will focus on one of four dimensions of leadership: vision and strategic thinking, relationship building, delivering results, influence/advocacy. Below is a sampling of learning experiences from past classes for each of the topics:

    • Vision and Strategic Thinking: Adele Roth, Deputy Director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Akron and Suzie Graham, President of Downtown Akron Partnership review and explain the vision, strategies and construction projects pointed at re-visioning Akron. 
    • Delivering Results: Linda Conrad, Executive Director of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, discussed how to go from planning to execution in stabilizing the organization's sustainability and moving the organization forward.
    • Relationship-Building: Derran Wimer, CEO of Summit Education Initiative and Sue Lacy, CEO of ConXusNEO, emphasized how trusting relationships are the foundation for collaboration across organizations and sectors.
    • Influence/Advocacy: Julie Brandle, President of Metis Construction and Kirsten Lino, Akron Business Banking Team Leader of Huntington National Bank, discussed how to use your strengths to excel in your career as well for the community.

    The WN/CLI also features the work of Cindy Biggs, CPCC, ACC a certified coach and trainer who uses the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment, and an opportunity for each participants to complete a Strengths Profile as another lens to inform her growth and development as a leader.


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