Over the past few months, I have been involved in organzing an event geared toward the professional women in the Ann Arbor area. I think that it offers a unique opportunity for women to learn about what other women are doing, and to gauge the prominence of women in our community.
So, you might ask the question, "WHY is this a gender-specific group?". That's a rational question, and being in a male-dominated profession, I have spent a lot of time thinking about gender-specific groups. The truth is that the number of women who are active in the business community in Ann Arbor is substantial, but not well publicized. I've been honored to be working with many of them on the committee putting together this event. I have a lot to learn, and I feel that bringing together women for an event will go a long way toward an understanding of what is being accomplished in our area by some top-notch women. I learn a great every day from the men that I'm surrounded by in my field. I'm happy to stretch that a bit and see what I can learn, or what I can offer, to the business community that is comprised of women. In truth, we all benefit from diversity, and having access to both male and female perspectives is critical.
The Women's Exchange of Washtenaw (WXW) is not a membership organization. Rather, its purpose is to organize, encourage, support, educate and strengthen the businesswomen of our region by providing a venue for business connections, skill-building, professional support, and growth. There are several membership organizations in the area (Association for Women in Computing, National Association of Women Business Owners, etc.) that serve a different purpose. I'm interested to see how this group grows and distinguishes itself.
In addition to the panelists (check out the bios on www.wxwbusiness.com), the afternoon will be filled with roundtable discussions on issues decided by the participants. We will include the following breakout sessions:
- Managing Growth
- Learning to Lead and Creating Culture
- Relationship Building
- Visioning: Creating a Path for your Company
The event will be held at Kensington Court Ann Arbor, 610 Hilton Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI. The cost to attend is $50 and includes refreshments and one drink ticket.
Register at http://www.wxwbusiness.com.
I hope that the 5 women who read this blog will join us. <grin/>