2016—“It Was A Very Good Year” for WOMEN Unlimited

I’ve always loved that Sinatra classic.

I’m happy to say the title nicely defines how 2016 shaped up for us at WOMEN Unlimited, our corporate partners, their participants in our programs, and the managers and the mentors who support them.

It was a very busy year as well, with a number of changes, enhancements and innovations that have been very favorably received by the management community. Here’s a look at some of the year’s highlights.

Our program for early career women, IMpower, hits the ground running
Based on feedback from our corporate partners, we revised our development program for early career women and introduced IMpower in 2015. In 2016, we rolled out programs across the country and throughout the year. They have met with resounding success and have generated positive impact on both participants and their managers.

We are thrilled that IMpower is helping corporations feed their talent pipeline by developing female talent early in their careers. Here are just a few of the hundreds of comments we’ve received about IMpower.

  • Participants: “My enhanced visibility led to a new position in the company.” “I have received positive recognition that leadership has noticed a difference in my confidence level and willingness to accept challenging tasks.” “My manager confirmed that I am an even bolder leader.” “I was promoted shortly after Session 6.” “I received an offer for a position and will be starting shortly after graduation.”
  • Managers about their participants: “She is much more confident and aligned with corporate strategy.” “Senior management has noticed her taking leadership initiative.” “She is more comfortable with ambiguity in managing people and projects.” “The program is exciting for both of us. I see bigger picture thinking in her.” “She has blossomed. She is more articulate and participative at meetings.”

Two major WOMEN Unlimited publications help corporations embrace and expand gender parity
During 2016, WOMEN Unlimited released two major publications. The first, What Every Manager Should Know About Fostering Female Talent: A Playbook of Proven Strategies is a from-the-field look at the tools, techniques and strategies that executives from Prudential, Colgate, DuPont, Bayer, Chubb and Takeda Oncology use to support and advance the talented women on their teams. Executives answered four major questions about managing their female talent, as well as adding their own experiences and anecdotes. The Playbook continues to be downloaded frequently and requested often.

A little later in the year, we released Developing Female Talent: A Story of Positive Change… A Story of Creating Sustainable Change, literally a publication only we could do. It highlights our unique contribution to inclusiveness based on our thousands of interactions with C-suite executives, senior HR/talent officers, women program participants, their managers, and mentors. It’s the story of our continual first hand observations and learnings from all the key players who need to be engaged if gender parity is to take hold. Based on continuing requests for it from companies across industries, it is also a story of singular interest to the management community.

Webinars bring a range of perspectives on diversity to corporate leaders
In 2016, WOMEN Unlimited hosted two webinars. The first in March, Fostering Female Talent, was a direct result of the interest generated by the Playbook and showcased three of the executives interviewed. They spoke freely about their strategies for developing the talented women on their teams and the challenges both they and the women face. Click here to listen to the one-hour webinar in its entirety.

Then in late September, we sponsored a webinar on STEM: Developing and Retaining Female Talent featuring two panelists with extensive STEM experience. It focused on why women are not entering STEM, the barriers they face when they do and how organizations can “move the needle.” Click here to listen to the one-hour STEM webinar in its entirety.

…And then there was “business as usual”
In addition to these new initiatives, we held our core development programs…enhanced The WUN (alumnae network)…attended and spoke at a variety of conferences and seminars…actively engaged in social media…embarked on new research initiatives…and began revising LEAD, our program for mid-career women to ensure its continued applicability to the 21st Century workplace.

So yes, it’s been a very good year… and we’re looking forward to an even better 2017.

Happy New Year!

Rosina L. Racioppi
President & CEO
WOMEN Unlimited, Inc.