Top Organizations to Receive Diversity and Inclusion Honors Award At Annual Conference

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The Association of ERGs & Councils (a practice group of PRISM International, Inc.) released their annual list of the Top 25 US Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), Business Resource Groups (BRGs) and Diversity Councils set to receive the tenth annual 2019 ERG & Council Honors Award™ at an award ceremony during the 2019 ERG & Council Conference in Orlando May 3rd.

The 2019 ERG & Council Honors Award™ is the only annual national award that recognizes and honors the outstanding contributions and achievements of ERGs, BRGs and Diversity Councils. It was established in 2008 by the Association of ERGs & Councils, a practice group of diversity and inclusion consulting and training firm PRISM International, Inc.

The 2019 ERG & Council Honors Award™ recipients are a diverse combination of US organizations representing most sectors, geographies and sizes. “This year we had a diverse pool of highly qualified applications representing 1,079 ERGs, BRGs, Diversity Councils and their chapters,” states Fernando Serpa, Executive Director of the Association of ERGs & Councils. “We also had several non-Top 25 groups demonstrate best practices and results that deserve to be recognized and they will be receiving the Spotlight Impact Award™ that highlights the achievements of these select groups in the categories of Organizational Impact, Talent Management and Culture of Inclusion.”

This year, for the first time, the Association of ERGs and Councils will bestow the honor of Top Executive Sponsor of the Year. “We wanted to recognize and call out the important role executive sponsors play in developing, supporting and enabling their ERGs and Councils to succeed,” Serpa said.

The 2019 ERG & Council Honors Award™ Top 25 recipient rankings will be revealed at the May 3 award ceremony at the Disney Yacht & Beach Club Resort in Orlando, Florida. The Award Ceremony and Conference is open to all diversity and inclusion professionals involved with ERGs, BRGs and Councils.  This is a great opportunity for individuals to learn and share best practices, network, grow and celebrate, to become inspired and be renewed…all for the purpose of increasing their impact on key organizational and business objectives. Learn more by visiting ErgCouncilConference.com.

The 2019 ERG & Council Honors Award™ recipients in alphabetical order include:

  • American Airlines – American Airlines Diversity Advisory Council
  • Atrium Health – Atrium Health Divisional Diversity Councils
  • Bank of America – Military Support & Assistance Group ( MSAG)
  • Cleveland Clinic – ClinicPride Employee Resource Group (ClinicPride ERG)
  • Cleveland Clinic – Military/Veterans Employee Resource Group
  • Cleveland Clinic – SALUD
  • Davenport University – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council
  • Entergy Corporation – Entergy Employee Resource Group
  • Erie Insurance – Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council
  • Froedtert Health – Froedtert Health Diversity Council
  • General Motors – General Motors Employee Resource Group Council
  • KeyBank – Key Business Impact and Networking Groups
  • Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals – Mallinckrodt Inclusion & Diversity Council
  • Mount Sinai Queens, part of the Mount Sinai Health System – Mount Sinai Queens Diversity Council
  • Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, part of the Mount Sinai Health System – Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Diversity Council
  • National Guard – Joint Diversity Executive Council
  • Northern Trust Corporation – Advancing Professionals Resource Council (APRC)
  • Northern Trust Corporation – Women In Leadership Business Resource Council (WIL BRC)
  • Northwestern Mutual – Asian ERG
  • Northwestern Mutual – Northwestern Mutual Women’s Employee Resource Group
  • Novant Health – Asian Business Resource Group
  • PNC Financial Services Group – Corporate Diversity Council
  • State Street Corporation – Professional Women’s Network – Massachusetts Chapter (PWN-MA)
  • Texas Instruments – Texas Instruments Diversity Network (TIDN)
  • Turner, Inc. – Turner Business Resource Groups
  • U.S. Bank – Spectrum LGBTQ Business Resource Group
  • U.S. Bank – U.S. Bank Proud to Serve

The 2019 Spotlight Impact Award™ recipients in alphabetical order include:

  • Dominion Energy – Dominion Energy Executive Diversity Council (EDC)
  • FedEx Services – Diversity and Inclusion BRT Council
  • Food Lion – Diversity and Inclusion
  • MUFG Union Bank, N.A. – Women’s Initiative Network (WIN)
  • Summa Health – Diversity and Advisory Council

The 2019 Executive Sponsor of the Year recipients in alphabetical order:

  • FedEx Services Diversity and Inclusion BRT Council – Rebecca Huling
  • Perdue Farms Inclusion Council – Randy Day
  • Southern California Edison Company (SCE) Women’s Roundtable (WR) – Maria Rigatti
  • U.S. Bank Proud to Serve – Mike Ott

About the ERG & Council Honors Award™
The ERG & Council Honors Award™ is the only annual national award that recognizes, honors and celebrates the outstanding contributions and achievements of ERGs, BRGs and Diversity Councils that lead the diversity and inclusion process in their organizations and demonstrate results in their workforce, workplace and marketplace. Learn more by visiting ERG & Council Honors Award™.

About the ERG & Council Conference™
ERGs and Diversity Councils are vital links for improving organizational results. However, to remain impactful and effective, they need opportunities to increase their skills and knowledge and to learn and share best practices. They need opportunities to network, celebrate and grow. This is the purpose of the only annual conference designed specifically for ERGs, BRGs and Diversity Councils. Learn more by visiting ERGCouncilConference.com.

About the Association of ERGs & Councils
The Association of ERGs & Councils is a practice group of PRISM International Inc. and the premier resource for transforming Employee Resource Groups, Diversity Councils and Employee Network Groups to impact key organizational and business objectives. Learn more by visiting the ErgCouncil.com.

About PRISM International, Inc.
PRISM International Inc., a Talent Dimensions company, is a WBENC-certified, full-service provider of innovative and proven consulting, training and products for leveraging diversity and inclusion, addressing unconscious bias, increasing cross-cultural competencies and creating more effective ERGs and Diversity Councils. Learn more by visiting PrismDiversity.com.

What Are the Most In-Demand Job Skills?

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interview candidate

By Greg Stuart

Are you in the market for a new job? Is 2019 the year that you decide to make a change in your career? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you need to get an idea of what skills are in demand.

I’ve written many articles on this subject, and most of them tend to lean heavily on the technical side, certifications, etc. I believe that this year, technical certifications will carry less weight than they used to. I see a trend in companies, inside and outside of Silicon Valley, where soft skills are starting to become more important. Lots of projects are manned not by one person, but by a team of people. To be an effective team player, you need certain soft skills to complement your technical skills to be successful. Let’s take a look at some of the most in demand technical and soft skills for 2019.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is becoming the king of the datacenter. With more and more adoption each year, cloud computing is poised to have a big 2019. Security measures are getting better, government entities are trusting the cloud, and new cloud-based certifications pop up every year. I realize the term ‘cloud computing’ is broad, so what areas of cloud computing should you focus on? Amazon, Amazon, Amazon. Amazon’s cloud computing platform is taking the market by storm. VMware’s cloud offering caved to Amazon’s stiff competition and instead focused on forging a partnership with Amazon going forward. Learn Amazon Web Services—take advantage of some of their online free training. Other options are training for Microsoft’s cloud offering, Azure. Find training on Azure and become proficient at it; Microsoft is staking a bigger-than-expected claim in the cloud space.

Adaptability to Change

Is this a skill? I believe it is, and it’s become a necessary skill to learn. If you work in the IT career field, you already know that it’s an ever-changing landscape. New technologies crop up every year, many companies will adopt these newer technologies and expect you to figure out how to maintain it. If you focused only on Dell storage, your whole career—and all of a sudden, your company—does a forklift upgrade to NetApp storage, you have to be willing to learn a new system, or get a new job. Adaptability applies not just to technology changes but also personnel changes. In many of our job roles we are tasked to work as a team, and sometimes that proves difficult. Learning to adapt to change can help greatly in this area. Adapting to change means being flexible, and being flexible opens up so many possibilities for success.

Mobility/Mobility Security

The ability to work remotely has increased steadily over the years, and mobile and Internet technology has made advances. With a 4G connection, we can connect and work on spreadsheets in real time with other colleagues, hold virtual boardroom meetings with WebEx and Skype for Business, and check and answer emails as needed on the go. Learning to become proficient with enterprise mobility suites, such as VMware Workspace One (formerly AirWatch), can help you to safely and accurately provide corporate resources to your workforce on the go. With more and more corporations allowing their employees to access corporate resources on their personal mobile devices, it has become increasingly important to secure those resources. Mobility security is an in-demand skill set now and going forward.

Thinking Outside the Box

This is one of the most overused, cliché terms I can think of, but it rings true, especially now. Thinking outside of the box also means creativity or innovation—two terms all over the values statements of major defense industry employers. Companies don’t want employees that will follow the status quo when it comes to bringing solutions to market or managing a data center. There are times when the traditional way of doing things won’t cut it. That’s when you need to get creative and find new ways to do old things. Companies love bringing in a new employee and putting them on a lagging project to see if their fresh set of eyes can see new ways to accomplish what has become stale. Learning this skill can open up lots of doors for you.

…And Much More

There are so many other intangibles that companies want to see in their employees, which is why I’ll go back to my earlier statement—soft skills are king for 2019. More companies will hire you and train you on a technology or process if you have the right soft skills and fit in with their philosophies. Spend some time polishing up your soft skills and see what a difference it can make.

Source: news.clearancejobs.com

Facebook VP says this is an immediate ‘red flag’ in a job interview

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Julie Zhuo Facebook VP of Product poses smiling seated in a chair in an office setting

Julie Zhuo is the VP of product design at Facebook. After graduating from Stanford University in 2006, she joined the social media giant as an intern and quickly worked her way up to becoming a manager at 25.

In her 13 years at Facebook, she has interviewed many recent graduates eager to score an internship or entry-level position and says no matter how qualified an applicant is, there is still one interview mistake she’ll always see as a warning sign.

“I would say one red flag when you’re interviewing is to be too focused on status or prestige,” the author of “The Making of a Manager ” tells CNBC Make It.

Facebook is still considered one of the most attractive employers today, and Zhuo says she’s seen her fair share of candidates who only want to land a job at the company because “it seems like the right thing to do, or it’s the next step up for [their] career.”

Rather than hiring someone who only wants to add a prestigious name to their resume, Zhuo says she focuses her attention on the applicants who are interested in making a difference at the company. She says she looks for candidates who are ready to “come in and just do a really, really great job.”

She wants employees who’ll “continue to learn and grow,” she says, “and do what you know is going to help the team the most.”

Zhuo emphasizes that although experience and unique skill sets may help you land an interview at Facebook, they aren’t a top priority for her because “a lot of times people are still in the learning phase and that’s great. That’s OK.”

“What I really look for are people who love to learn and who approach the job with a sense of curiosity and productivity, and who are just really eager to do great work,” she says. “I think that enthusiasm really comes across in an interview, especially in the questions that someone asks and in their tone and body language when interacting with me.”

Zhuo, who is a firm believer that interviews should be a two-way street, adds, “I love it when [candidates] ask me a lot of questions about my team, the environment and the culture that we work in.”

Continue on to CNBC News to read the complete article.

Why Your Job Search Should Start With Companies, Not Roles—and What That Looks Like

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women looking at her computer screen with a smile while job searching

By Abby Wolfe

When Kate Gardner was laid off from her job as a magazine editor, she wasn’t sure what to do next. She tried freelancing for a month or so, but the instability of it ultimately made her want to hop back into a full-time job at a company she really liked (and could see herself at for a while).

So she started job searching—but this time she tackled it differently than she had in the past. She decided to take a company-first approach.

“Doing this allows me to be more specific in what I’m looking for,” Gardner says. “I can look for the positions I want and am qualified for at companies I already know I like.” And it worked out for her—she recently landed a job at one of her dream nonprofits.

“I’m so grateful to have found this work I’m so deeply passionate about,” she adds. “For years I’ve been searching for something that’s made me feel alive and like I have a purpose, and I finally have.”

As a career coach, I recommend the company-first approach to almost every client I work with. I believe more people will end up finding great jobs they love, like Gardner, this way as opposed to spending hours and hours scrolling through a job board.

Here’s why you should try it—and how you can get started doing it today.

Why Adopt a Company-First Mindset

The biggest benefit of a company-first job search is that it’s more likely to land you a gig that you’ll want to stay in for a very long time. This can be especially important for those who are making a career change (and want the effort they’re putting into transitioning to be worthwhile), those who are tired of job hopping and are looking for a more fulfilling career, and those who just want a job they can see themselves in for years to come.

“With the majority of people leaving a company because of culture or people,” says Jena Viviano, a Muse master career coach, “finding the company you want to work for first has a higher chance of working out in the long-term.”

The idea is that when you pursue a company rather than a job, you’re looking for a more holistic experience. You don’t just care about the day-to-day responsibilities—you care about the mission behind your work, your growth, and your work-life balance. All these factors contribute to a happier (and ultimately more successful) career.

And by showcasing when you apply for a job that these things matter to you, you set yourself up to be a better fit for the company—which makes them more likely to hire you.

Another point Viviano makes is that companies are calling jobs all different sorts of things these days, so company-first job searching is just strategically more efficient.

“No longer can you just type in ‘HR generalist’ and find all the HR positions available,” she says. “Some companies call it ‘culture’ or ‘people’ or ‘happiness department.’ So it’s smarter to see what companies align to your goals and then to dive into their career pages to find specific roles” to ensure you’re actually applying to positions that you’d be happy in and qualified for.

How to Approach Your Job Search Company-First

By no means is company-first job searching an “easy way out.” It takes true inner reflection and time to pull off effectively. But because it’ll likely produce better results, it’s well worth the effort.

1. Figure Out What You Care About Most

The whole goal here is to get you into a job you love that fits not only your interests and experience, but your priorities. In order to do that, you need to know what’s important to you.

Reflect on past experience and examine what you liked and didn’t like about each position you held and company you worked for (and write them down). If you’re fresh out of college, this part might be a little harder—so you may consider including volunteer and internship experiences in this exercise to broaden your scope.

Here are some possible things you might consider or jot down:

  • Size: The number of people at your company or in your department can affect how much your voice is heard, the amount of work that falls onto your plate, communication between teams, and more.
  • Location: Do you have a geographic preference, or will you go anywhere? Also, what are your feelings on a company that has offices all over the country (or world)?
  • Stage: At what stage of growth is your ideal company? A startup environment is going to be much different than that of a company that’s been around for decades. (And even “startup” can encompass anything from five people in one room to a nine-figure-revenue, about-to-go-public behemoth.)
  • Mission: Is connecting with the purpose of the company important to you? If the answer is yes, you’ll want to dig to find out what each company’s detailed mission is and if the work they’re doing actually aligns with it, as well as decide if you want to work for a specific kind of mission (for example, healthcare or climate change).
  • Values: Are there values outside the company’s direct mission that matter to you, such as social responsibility? The Muse, for example, has a strict “no assholes” policy, which is such a core value that it’s included in every job description.
  • Culture: Do you prefer working collaboratively or independently? Do you like strict rules and guidelines or more flexibility to rethink processes? Do you like dressing business formal or business casual (or have no preference)? Do you want to hang out with your co-workers after hours or be able to leave work on time to be with your family? There’s no right or wrong answer for the type of culture you believe you’d thrive in.
  • Diversity and inclusion efforts: How important is it to you that the company you work for invests in diversity and inclusion? What does that look like to you?
  • Benefits: What types of benefits do you care about most? Some things you could think about are: learning and development budget, health insurance, parental leave, PTO, flexible hours, and remote opportunities.

2. Make a List of Companies That Interest You

OK, you have your list of things that you care about most. Now, how do you find companies to consider? Here are some ideas:

  • Search for the “top” or “best” companies to work for. You can narrow it down further by specifically highlighting the qualities that matter to you, such as “best companies for working parents” or “top organizations to work for as a remote employee.” The Muse actually creates several lists like this for different locations that may help you identify some good companies in your area.
  • Check out B Corporation and Idealist. If you want social responsibility to be a core value of the company you work for, then these are two great resources. Idealist is a site that specifically highlights organizations that want to make the world a better place, and Certified B Corporations “are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.”
  • Browse social media and recent news. We interact with companies day in and day out as consumers, so consider what brands you love and what’s being said about them online. Maybe you found out that a tech company you follow on Twitter recently instituted four weeks of PTO for its employees, or a retail store you constantly shop at invests in volunteer efforts. Those could be great places to apply to because you already know, believe in, and follow them.
  • Leverage your network. You most likely know plenty of people who work or have worked at a variety of awesome companies. Ask them about their experience! You may be surprised which companies you’re drawn to.

3. Evaluate Whether or Not They Meet Your Criteria

Once you make a list of say, 10 to 20 companies of interest, double check to make sure they align with the attributes you highlighted in the first step.

This will require some more research. You can start with The Muse, of course, as well as the company’s own website, and social media and news coverage can fill in everything in between.

Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article.

Sixers hire first female coach: Lindsey Harding

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Lindsey Harding-Sixers female coach-sits on the bench talking with another coach

Lindsey Harding sat in a VIP courtside seat, long before the fans arrived, and watched Sixers rookie Zhaire Smith shoot three-pointer after three-pointer. Almost all of them splashed. Harding didn’t care.

She leaned to her left, where Raptors scout Kevin Gamble sat, and, without taking her eyes off Smith, said:

“Look. He tilts his head to the side a little bit. Gets it out of the way when he shoots.”

It was an almost imperceptible imperfection, but, for an expert like Harding, it stuck out like a sore thumb.

That’s the sort of expertise that made Harding the seventh female assistant coach the NBA has seen. The Sixers promoted her from pro scout to player development coach. She is the first female coach in franchise history.

The Sixers hired her to scout last summer, but something like this was inevitable. This is just the next step on what the team is sure will be in a fast, fruitful climb.

“After we interviewed her this summer, everyone I spoke to about her said how driven she was and that her knowledge of the game was impeccable,” said Sixers general manager Elton Brand. He expects Harding to head her own team sooner than later: “Whether that’s the NBA, or a collegiate program — I don’t think she’ll be at the player-development level for very long.”

Continue on to Philly.com to read the complete article.

Here’s How to Make Your Mark at a Big Company

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women in the workplace

Working for a big company has plenty of upsides. A large team means there’s tons of room to explore other areas and learn new things. There’s also a lot more opportunity to climb the ranks and—as an added bonus—the office has amazing facilities. But like anything else, there are also some drawbacks to consider.

It’s tough to get to know people outside of your immediate team, you can barely figure out who does what, and you may find it challenging to develop any sort of reputation or name recognition for yourself.

It’s easy to feel like just another number in your massive organization. But the good news is there are some steps you can take to find your footing and make your mark at work.

1. Get Comfortable With Self-Promotion

We’re not always good at drawing attention to our own accomplishments because it can feel a little egocentric. However, owning your contributions and being vocal about them is a necessity when your work can easily slip by unnoticed at a large employer.

This doesn’t need to be as over-the-top as you’re likely imagining. It can be as simple as chiming in with a “thank you” when your boss points to something that was done well (that they weren’t aware that you were responsible for).

You can also incorporate some of your achievements into your introduction to new people in the company—particularly if your work is relevant to them in some way. For example, if you’re meeting someone from the sales team for the first time, you can shake their hand and say, “Great to finally meet you! I’m the one who worked on the new application for your customers.”

That statement not only highlights your work, but also pulls out a common thread between the two of you that you can use to get the conversation rolling.

2. Don’t Skip the Pleasantries

Speaking of conversations, I know how tempting it is to avoid small talk. It feels, well, small and completely inconsequential.

But here’s the thing: small talk can actually be quite memorable, particularly if you know how to do it well. So don’t be afraid to strike up pleasant conversations with people you don’t already know.

Maybe you’re waiting in line for coffee with a director from a different department. Introduce yourself and then get a conversation started—even if it means you just recommend the breakfast sandwiches.

These small interactions are a great way to expand your web of connections within your company and lay the groundwork for a continued relationship. Who knows, the next time you see that person, you might just move past small talk.

3. Raise Your Hand for Opportunities Outside of Your Team

When you’re part of an especially large organization, the bubble of your own department or team feels comforting. It’s daunting to venture out and surround yourself with strangers.

You already know what I’m going to say: If you’re eager to make your mark, you’re going to need to get over that and get used to saying “yes” to all sorts of different opportunities.

Is the product team putting together a golf outing that needs some more volunteers? Step in and help. Is there a happy hour or training program that you’d normally skip or a project that could benefit from a few extra hands? That has your name all over it.

Jump on those opportunities and you’ll meet more people, strengthen your impact, and feel more connected to your company as a whole.

4. Speak Up in Meetings

Do most of your meetings have a lot of different people packed into a crowded conference room? Do you still speak up and actively contribute—or are you too intimidated, so you choose to sit in silence and fly under the radar?

Of course, there’s no reason to chime in unnecessarily for the sake of being noticed. But if you do have something valuable to contribute, gather your courage and make it known.

It’s better to voice your thoughts and your opinions in the moment, rather than following up afterwards with an email. That way you’re giving people an opportunity to associate your face with your name.

5. Be Transparent About Your Career Goals

This tip is important whether you work at a company of two or 20,000. But, especially when you work for a big organization, you need to be upfront and vocal about your professional goals.

Your manager can’t read your mind, and you can’t expect them to advocate for you and your ambitions if you don’t make those known.

Whether you hope to eventually move into a management position yourself, want to learn more about a different department, or would like to pursue some additional training or education, have those honest conversations with your boss.

Not only does this investment in your own career and development help you stand out to your immediate supervisor, but being transparent about your goals also opens the door to other opportunities to make an impact at your company.

6. Solicit Advice From Others

Do you really want to know how to make your mark? Why not ask somebody who’s already successfully done it?

Within your organization, there’s bound to be someone who’s been there for years and successfully climbed the ladder. Reach out to see if you can take them out for coffee and find out more about their journey, as well as pick their brain for advice on how you can follow a similar path.

Even if you don’t walk away with a super-detailed action plan, you still have the benefit of forming connections and relationships with people outside your department.

When you’re one of hundreds or even thousands of employees at your company, it’s easy to feel like a small fish in a ginormous pond. Does anybody even notice all of the hard work you’re doing? Wait…does anybody even know your name?

Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article.

 

What You Need to Know About WBENC Certification

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Not only is the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the United States, but it is also one of four organizations approved by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) certification, as part of the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting program.

Each year, the federal government sets a goal to award at least 5 percent of all federal contracting dollars to certified Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs), particularly in industries where WOSBs are underrepresented. Becoming a certified WOSB and joining the SBA’s contracting program ensures your business is eligible to compete for federal contracts set aside for this program.

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible for WOSB certification, your company must:

  • Be at least 51 percent, unconditionally and directly, owned and controlled by one or more women, who are U.S. citizens.
  • Be “small” in its primary industry in accordance with the SBA’s size standards for that industry. Use the SBA’s Size Standards Tool to check your industry.
  • Have women manage day-to-day operations and also make long-term decisions.

What Are the Benefits?

Becoming a certified WOSB and participating in the SBA’s WOSB contracting program allows your business to compete for federal contracts within a more limited pool of other qualified WOSBs, thereby increasing your chances of winning business.

These contracts are for industries where WOSBs are underrepresented. Check out the SBA’s list of eligible industries and their NAICS codes.

How Do I Get Started?

If you are already a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), you can easily apply for WOSB certification as part of your recertification process at no additional charge.

Before starting the application process, please review the criteria for certification and ensure you meet the SBA’s size standards for your industry. When you are applying for recertification, select “Yes” to the WOSB certification question and upload the documents labeled “WOSB Applicants.”

If you are a women-owned business and not yet certified by WBENC, take a moment to read about the benefits of WBENC Certification to see if it is a fit for your business. WBENC is the nation’s largest certifier of women-owned businesses and our world-class certification standard is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands. If you choose to apply for WBENC certification, you can apply for WOSB certification at the same time.

It’s important to note that once you receive your WOSB certification, you still must complete additional steps to participate in the WOSB Federal Contracting program, including providing proof of certification information through certify.SBA.gov, and updating your business profile at SAM.gov to show contracting officers that your business is in the women’s contracting program. Check out SBA.gov for details.

Where Can I Learn More?

  • Visit wbenc.org/government for details on the WOSB certification process, documentation required, and frequently asked questions.
  • For more information about the SBA’s WOSB Federal Contracting program, visit SBA.gov.

5 Ways to Make Mom Feel Like a Queen for a Day this Mother’s Day

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Rose-Piscine-Wine

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are around 43.5 million mothers in the country, who have given birth to nearly 96 million children. With Mother’s Day just around the corner on May 12, 2019, there will be millions of people looking for a unique and thoughtful ways to make mom feel like queen for a day.

After all, the Pew Research Center reports that moms are spending more time in the labor force today, a quarter of them are raising children on their own, and 77 percent of them report feeling a lot of pressure to be more involved as a parent. Moms today are wearing a lot of hats and are busier than ever before. They will welcome having a day of feeling special and being pampered.

“Moms do so much and for so many people, often putting their own interests aside as they do it,” explains Blake Helppie, managing partner at Rosé Piscine, a wine specifically made to drink over ice. “Mother’s Day is the perfect time to turn the spotlight on her and shower her with gratitude and special attention.”

 

Here are 5 ways to make mom feel like a queen for a day this Mother’s Day:

  • Give her health a boost. Most moms are great at taking care of others, but sometimes they forget to put their own health first. Buy mom a gift that will help make her health a priority all year long, such as a gym membership, online yoga instruction subscription, or sign her up for a health retreat that she can attend.
  • Give her the gift of a break. Give mom a basket that has a nice bottle of wine, such as Rosé Piscine, a good book, and carve out some time for her to relax and enjoy it. Take a look at some of the many things that mom does all day and see which ones you can do for her, to give her some down time.
  • Throw a Mother’s Day brunch. Think about all the moms you know in your area that are special to you. Plan an awesome “Mother’s Day Brunch” and invite them all to attend. Fill the brunch with homemade pastries and options that will go with some wine such as Rosé Piscine or mimosas. Have other men or women you know contribute to the event by providing a dish for the event. Wait on the moms and make them feel special as they chat and enjoy a great time in their honor.
  • Send mom to the spa. All moms love to be pampered with a massage, facial, or by spending time at the spa. But not all of them will set aside the time or funds to make it happen. Get her a gift certificate to a great spa where she will be pampered and renewed.
  • Plan a new and exciting adventure. Take mom on a special adventure, participating in something that is fun and that she’s not used to doing. Think about such options as a nighttime bioluminescent kayak tour, mountain biking, hiking, sailing, or a tour at the nearest art museum. Think about the types of things she likes to do, and then go big with it to plan an adventure she’ll always remember.

“Moms deserve more than we can give them, but these are ideas are a beautiful start,” added Rose_PiscineHelppie. “Add in a heartfelt word or two about how you feel about her and you have a winning combination.”

Rosé Piscine is a French wine that was made to always be served on the rocks. Rosé Piscine is made by Pascal Nacenta in southwest France. The tasting notes include being pale salmon in color, with a light to medium body. On the bouquet, it offers notes of Meyer lemon, skin of peach, vanilla, kiwi and McIntosh apple. Rosé Piscine is made with an indigenous varietal of southwest France: Négrette, which is a small, very dark and tough-skinned grape known for its powerful aromatic qualities. The fruit is sourced in Côtes du Frontonnais, which is located just southwest of Gaillac and just north of the city of Toulouse, on the western bank of the Tarn River. Wine Enthusiast awarded the Rosé Piscine region the Wine Region of the Year 2017 award.

Rosé Piscine was created by Jacques Tranier, the president of Vinovalie, a group of producers in the French Southwest. In 2003, he was on a vacation in Saint Tropez when he saw many women drinking rosé on the rocks. He ordered one to give it a try, only to be disappointed in the taste of the wine being diluted by the melting ice. This set him on a mission to create a rosé that could hold its integrity while being served over ice. To find a store near you or to order online, visit the site at: www.rosepiscine.com.

About Rosé Piscine

A unique rosé wine in that it was created to be served over ice, Rosé Piscine is taking the nation by storm. Over two million bottles of it were sold in France and Brazil last year, and it is now available in the U.S. Rosé Piscine is pale salmon in color, light to medium body, and made from Négrette, a small grape known for its powerful aromatic qualities. For more information on Rosé Piscine or the company, visit the site at: www.rosepiscine.com or visit @rosepiscine on Instagram.

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Facts for features: Mother’s Day. https://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2017/cb17-ff09-mothers-day.html

Pew Research Center. 7 facts about US moms. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/05/10/facts-about-u-s-mothers/

10 Tips to Balance Working Full Time and Going to College

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Woman Taking notes for work and school

By Jess Scherman

The notion that attending college is some leisurely stroll through four(-ish) years where students’ only concerns are completing coursework and figuring out what fun things they’ll do on the weekend is changing rapidly.

While that description might still fit the experience of many students, a sizeable portion of college students need to work full time to make ends meet.

If you’re unwilling to let anything block you from achieving your career and educational goals, the best thing you can do is learn from those who have walked the path before you. That’s why we canvassed a number of working professionals who experienced the pressures of working full time while in school. Take a look at their can’t-miss tips.

1. Create a designated study workspace

Create a space in your home that can help foster optimum learning. “Learning spaces should be clean and organized, ideally decorated with warm paint colors and comfortable seating areas,” explains Elizabeth Malson, president of Amslee Institute. “A desk (or kitchen table) and chair is a must for healthy body positioning for writing and working on a computer.”

Malson also suggests that incorporating elements like a bulletin board you can populate with important deadlines, inspiring photos, or encouraging quotes can assist in creating a mindful environment that is tailored to your personal goals and motivators.

2. Prioritize organization

When you wear a lot of different hats, it can be easy to lose track of some of the moving pieces from the varying responsibilities you have to juggle. This is where organization can play a crucial role, suggests Candess Zona-Mendola, editor of MakeFoodSafe.com. “You need to know where everything is,” she says. “Put things away where they belong. Charge your laptop and cell phone every night. Keep your supplies well stocked, so you don’t need to stop what you’re doing to [replenish].”

If you haven’t previously utilized planners, now might be the time to buy one. “Planners are extremely useful, but are not used enough—especially for someone managing full-time work and school,” maintains Amanda Raimondi, lifestyle expert and writer for Grapevine.

3. Become a master of your time

Time is never more precious than when you’re balancing the responsibilities of working full time and earning a degree. “When you choose to go back to college and have a career, you have chosen ‘the path of greatest resistance,’ and your time is at a premium,” explains Scott Vail, owner of C4 Communications.

To succeed within high-stress circumstances like these, he urges students to be purposeful of how they spend their time. “You must schedule everything—class time, study time, recreation—if you want to be successful over the long haul,” Vail adds.

Even if procrastinating has been your tendency in the past, Zona-Mendola advises to avoid it at all costs if you’re also balancing full-time work. “Get stuff done right away. Have a whole semester to write a paper? Start writing it as soon as you know enough about the subject, whether it’s the first week or halfway through. Turn it in right away. The professor will be happy about it,” she says.

4. Leverage your natural tendencies

Malson believes that one of the greatest services a student can do for themselves is to truly get to know their habits as a learner and learn how to use them to their advantage as they work toward earning a degree.

“If you are a planner, make sure you allocate blocks to complete the program work during the time of day that fits your schedule,” she says. “If you are a night owl or a morning person, plan to use this to your advantage, knowing what hours you are most alert.”

5. Take care of yourself

Zona-Mendola worked as a full-time paralegal while working toward her bachelor’s degree and paralegal degree simultaneously, and she had a hard time prioritizing self-care when she was in the thick of it all. “I went many nights without sleeping and lived on energy drinks. I would also forget to eat,” she recalls. “Don’t be like me. I wore myself down and got sick often.”

Something as simple as getting a good night’s sleep can make all the difference amid your flurry of day-to-day responsibilities. She also recommends scheduling even just an hour a day to destress by reading a book or watching an episode of one of your favorite Netflix shows.

“You may think it’s a waste of time, but having a break every now and then will actually make you more efficient in your daily tasks,” explains Alayna Pehrson, content management specialist for Best Company.

6. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Competent communication skills seem to top nearly every list of tips to be successful in just about any realm. But when it comes to balancing college and full-time work, communication truly is key. “Having an open communication system with your managers and professors can help you,” Pehrson says. “Make sure you and your professors and managers are all on the same page. More often than not, they will want to help you when you are feeling overwhelmed with your workload.”

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

The first time that consultant, speaker, and author Masudi Stolard pursued a degree, it took him 16 years and three different universities to complete it. After shifting his mindset, refocusing his goals, and learning how to study properly, he was able to later earn his MBA in just two years.

One of the most pivotal changes he made was learning to ask for help when he was struggling academically. “I can’t tell you the number of times I had to swallow my ego, swallow my pride and get additional help from a tutor or through a study lab,” Stolard recalls.

Tutoring services can be an invaluable tool for college students. Through the use of tutors, Stolard was able to better grasp the concepts his professors were teaching in class, and he even discovered a few shortcuts related to his subject matter that he wouldn’t have known had he not sought help.

8. Trust in your abilities

Another element Stolard views as crucial to a successful college experience while working full time is consistently choosing to believe in yourself. If you doubt your abilities, he says, you’re more likely to burn out.

“Trust in yourself enough to believe you can balance both work and your education,” Stolard encourages. “Trust that you are aware that both are equally important. Trust the decision you made to move forward with both responsibilities is the right one.” He adds that being intentional about keeping your family and close friends tuned into the benefits that await you upon graduation can help them offer you some extra encouragement along the way.

9. Celebrate small wins

Even as you focus on the major doors that could open for you professionally after earning your degree, don’t forget to celebrate all of your small achievements along the way. “Getting to the degree can be a monumental (and time-consuming) accomplishment. Stop focusing on the big victories, like completing an entire semester, and instead start to string together small wins, like getting an ‘A’ on your test,” Vail explains. “Celebrate turning your paper in on time. Celebrate making it through a tough week or month,” he adds.

10. Remember your long-term goals

“This, too, will end,” Zona-Mendola urges, nodding toward that all too common instinct to throw in the proverbial towel when it feels as if this stressful chapter of your life will never end.

“In the moments when you feel like giving up or giving in, remember that this lifestyle isn’t forever,” she adds. When she looks back at her long few years in college while working at her full-time job, she knows how tired she was and can recall the weight of the sacrifices she had to make at the time. But what she remembers most prominently is how hard she worked to achieve a goal—one that was pivotal on her personal road to success.

Power through the adversity now, Zona-Mendola recommends, so you can reap the numerous benefits that await.

Source: rasmussen.edu/student-college-work-life
About Rasmussen College

Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college that is dedicated to changing lives and the communities it serves through high-demand and flexible educational programs. Since 1900, the College has been committed to academic innovation and empowering students to pursue a college degree. Rasmussen College offers certificate and diploma programs through associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in seven schools of study including business, health sciences, nursing, technology, design, education and justice studies.

Here’s When You Can Use the “Easy Apply” Option on LinkedIn (and When You Can’t)

LinkedIn
Woman applying online for a job on her laptop

Applying for jobs—as we all know—can be a cumbersome process. You could easily spend hours manually entering your work history into an online application, uploading a keyword optimized resume, and tracking down the hiring manager’s name for your customized cover letter.

I’m tired just thinking about it!

That’s why that shiny blue “Easy Apply” button you see on job postings on LinkedIn can be so darn alluring. Just one click and I’m done? Sign me up!

Not so fast. As with all quick fixes, the easier option has its drawbacks. Primarily, you’re trading customization for simplicity. When a recruiter receives an “Easy Apply” application, all they see is a snapshot of your LinkedIn profile—namely your photo, headline, past and present job titles, education, and any skills you’ve listed. That’s it! So if your LinkedIn profile isn’t up to date, is very bare-bones, or doesn’t tell your complete career journey, you probably won’t be hearing from prospective employers anytime soon.

So when should you use the “Easy Apply” option?

When Your LinkedIn Profile Is in Top Shape

If you’ve created a dazzling LinkedIn profile full of relevant keywords, rich descriptions of your experience, tangible achievements, and a stellar headline, you’re in a much better place to use the “Easy Apply” button because you’re offering hiring managers a clear picture of how you’re qualified for the role. If your LinkedIn doesn’t check all these boxes, don’t even think about using the “Easy Apply” button until you’ve fully optimized your profile for your job search (this article on the best tips for an amazing LinkedIn profile as a job seeker can help).

But it’s also impossible to capture the full breadth of your experience on your profile (or resume, for that matter—hence why you should always tailor it to the job) so keep in mind that you’ll still run into opportunities when “easy applying” won’t make sense. In short, only use the button when your profile is a strong match to the job requirements, and opt for a general application when it’s not.

When It’s Not Your Dream Job

As you casually peruse the latest job postings on LinkedIn, you find an opportunity that sounds interesting. Sure, it’s not your dream job, but you wouldn’t mind learning more about the company.

In this scenario, the easy option might be the way to go so you can focus your energies on applying to jobs you really want while still broadening your reach.

If you hear back, that’s great! If not, that’s fine, too, because you know it’s not a role you actually wanted that badly. Just understand that by using this button, you’re a lot less likely to get a response—so think wisely about whether or not it’s worth the risk.

And please, please don’t rely on the “Easy Apply” button if you’ve found your dream job at your ideal company. If you’re jumping-out-of-your-skin excited about an opening, you should set aside time to create a tailored resume and draft a killer cover letter—and reach out to the hiring manager or another networking contact who works there for that personal touch.

When You’re Planning to Attach a Customized Resume, Too

LinkedIn allows you to attach additional documents to your application, so if you have a tailored resume ready to go (or you can whip one up real quick), the “Easy Apply” button may be a great option.

Keep in mind that your LinkedIn profile will be the first thing a recruiter sees when receiving your application, so you’ll still want to make sure that part’s up to date. If your profile doesn’t look great, the hiring manager may not even bother opening your beautifully written resume.

When You’re Not Making a Major Career Pivot

Chances are if you’re planning to make a big career change, a lot of thought went into your decision. Maybe you’ve always harbored a secret fascination with robotics, maybe a chance encounter with an inspiring author made you realize you’re meant to be a writer, or maybe you’ve been diligently assembling an arsenal of leadership skills with the hopes of stepping into a management role. Whatever you have in mind, there’s simply no way that a LinkedIn profile can accurately tell the story of your career journey.

That type of job search requires a different set of tools (like an engaging cover letter), and sadly, the “Easy Apply” button won’t do it for you (maybe someday—that would be incredible).

When You Just Don’t Have the Time

Sometimes you’re working 16-hour days or so overloaded in your life that you can barely focus on your much-needed job search. If you’re pressed for time and know that you won’t be able to tailor a resume or complete an arduous online application before the job posting disappears (which happens all too often), the easy button might be your only option. And that’s perfectly fine in certain instances.

However, it’s always safer to take the extra time to fill out a complete application when life calms down and you’re not strapped for resources.

When It’s Worked for You in the Past

Applying for jobs is never going to be an exact science, so your search will likely include some trial and error. If you’re tempted to use the “Easy Apply” option, give it a try for one or two jobs and make a note of whether it yields any interviews. Hearing back from recruiters is always a good sign that you’re doing something right.

Conversely, if you rarely or never hear back when you use the easy button, it may not be the right tool for you and it’s probably worth pursuing other options, whether that’s applying directly on the company website or doing some networking.

Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article and more career advice.

Tackling the glass ceiling

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Lori Lightfoot is the first woman to be elected Mayor of Chicago and the first openly gay person elected to the post.

“Only 6 percent of the Fortune 500 companies are run by women.” -Recruiter 

The term ‘glass ceiling’ was coined by Marilyn Loden, an American writer and management consultant, in 1978 during a panel discussion about women’s aspirations.

Forty years later businesses worldwide have made great strides when it comes to gender parity. Yet the glass ceiling metaphor continues to symbolize an enduring barrier faced by women in the workplace.

Cleaning the sticky floor

 

To tackle the glass ceiling, we first need to understand the phenomenon of the ‘sticky floor’.

This phrase refers to women typically occupying low paying, low mobility jobs and therefore being stuck at the bottom of the career ladder.

In order to accelerate women through the ranks, a cultural shift is needed.

For example, we at the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce (GHWCC) build networks and give young women strong, successful, female role models to aspire to.

Next, we need to think about how to encourage and attract more women to pursue management qualifications.

The financial times reports that the number of women in MBA programs globally has only risen by 20 percent in 20 years.

This is interesting since it’s been shown in studies that backgrounds in business, finance and STEM are launchpads for female CEOS.

So how can the industry work together with educational institutions to attract and encourage more women to get their MBA and accelerate their growth to top leadership?

It’s about helping women juggle the pressures of work / life / school demands. During my MBA, I found that one of those three elements always had to give to prioritize another.

As employers, the more flexible we are with schedules, the more help we can give to women and encourage to undertake an MBA. This will ultimately help the employer long-term.

Melting the frozen middle

Another obstacle in breaking the glass ceiling is the ‘frozen middle’, which describes women’s career progress often halting in middle management positions.

Sponsorship is one solution to this problem. Sponsors can actively help advance careers – using their influence and capital to advocate for women.

Women need this senior sponsorship – especially in male-dominated industries –  so they’re offered the same visibility in the organization.

The Harvard Business Review found that women with sponsors are 22 percent more likely to ask for stretch assignments to push them further than non-sponsored peers.

In particular, strong, female role models in senior positions can play a huge role in helping women navigate the challenges of more senior roles.

This is something I’m particularly passionate about. Throughout my career I’ve pioneered mentor-ship programs and personally mentored and sponsored employees to succeed.

As a board member of the GHWCC, I am committed to empowering women to reach their career goals.

Avoiding falling off the glass cliff

This sponsorship, mentoring and guidance will be especially important when women do make it into the C-suite and boardroom to avoid falling off the glass cliff.

The term ‘glass cliff’, coined by academics Michelle Ryan and Alex Haslam back in 2005, is the phenomenon of women making it to the boardroom but finding themselves in precarious leadership positions.

It notes that women often break through the glass ceiling when businesses are in periods of risk and uncertainty – and are therefore left with the option to accept an unstable ‘glass cliff’ position or resign and ‘fail’.

But organizations need to continue supporting female leaders once they’ve reached the top and beyond these periods of uncertainty so their careers and businesses can thrive.

This sometimes plays into the female stereotypes of ‘softer’ leaders – when people skills are needed to turn companies around.

We can’t be content with breaking the glass ceiling – we need to make our mark.

Accelerate women, accelerate business

Breaking the glass ceiling and making your mark is much more than a box checking exercise for diversity. More women in senior roles equals more profitable businesses.

Ernst and Young notes that an organization made up of 30 percent of female leaders could add up to six percentage points to its net margin.

So, if we can accelerate the uptake of women in our industries, particularly in senior positions, we can be assured that it’s going to have a positive effect.

If companies worldwide can put the sponsorship and progression of women at the top of their agendas,  we can smash the glass ceiling once and for all.

By Janette Marx, CEO, Airswift