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The Year of Inclusion: Women’s Leadership Council 2019 Recap

December 30, 2019
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Oswald Companies Notebook

In consideration of Oswald Companies’ commitment to diversity & inclusion, our Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) kicked off 2019 by highlighting the distinct, yet subtle, difference between these two critical components of contemporary corporate culture.

This year, our WLC focused the spotlight on embracing inclusion, elevating differences and shifting mindsets to create a shared table with a shared conversation.

These efforts commenced in earnest during the spring with our Ultimate Spring Clean Boot Camp, an event which highlighted the importance of an uncluttered life — both mind & body, home life & work life.

Group women in Oswald Conference Centre

Additionally, we reinstituted our golf outing which featured a clinic and a 9-hole scramble. The day was an enormous success with interactive conversations and fun enjoyed by all — clients and prospects!

Our fall lineup included a panel discussion titled The Power of Women in Sales, where several prominent Oswald speakers opened up about their respective careers, challenges and how they achieved sales success.  It was such a powerful conversation that many asked for a smaller, more intimate discussion into 2020. Suggestions included:

  • group settings
  • encouraging women to pursue and think differently about opportunities
  • how to “hold my own”
  • how to be confident in meetings.

During the fall, our signature event, We’re In This Together: The Importance of Belonging in the Workplace, concentrated on the gravity of belonging. WLC embraced this topic as an extension of inclusion and brought together several Northeastern Ohio leaders who successfully overcame a myriad of challenges to “fitting in.” The lively discussions featured diverse stories, thoughts & suggestions focused on how to resolve such daunting challenges.

group of women

In a fortuitous turn of events, the concept of belonging captivated the membership of WLC to such an extent that we elected to emphasize this theme at our year-end shareholder meeting. Here, WLC hosted a first-of-its-kind panel where employee-owners discussed their respective paths to “fitting in” at Oswald. Belonging is that nebulous concept which seems most noticeable when it is NOT intrinsically felt. In short, it’s that critical and often overlooked element which allows employees to feel as though they can be their authentic selves without fear of reprisals or reproach. By its very nature, belonging is each individual’s responsibility. Perhaps Oscar Wilde said it best:

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”

Our panel discussion ended with a call-to-action for all employees to find their “belonging” story. We need to be ourselves, create connections and get involved. Once these obstacles are overcome, only then can our individual and shared purpose empower us all to realize the sweet miracle of belonging.

In consideration of the foregoing, WLC looks eagerly towards a continuing, vibrant conversation in 2020!

Related Content:

Oswald’s Collaborative Culture: Focusing on Inclusion and Commitment to Community

Oswald Women’s Leadership Council: The Power of Belonging

The Year of Inclusion: Taking your Seat at the Table