On March 10, Herman Miller’s Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) hosted a conference for employees called “Get Noticed, Get Networked, Get Ahead!” which focused on increasing presence and widening networks.
WIN is one of seven Inclusiveness Resource Teams (IRTs) at Herman Miller that represent the diversity of our employees and our market. The IRTs’ mission is to work toward implementation of business recommendations, with many successes to date—including policy changes and education—to build awareness and celebrate the diversity of individuals. The teams are volunteer-based and each is supported by an executive sponsor. Besides the Women’s team, the other IRTs are Asian, Black, Employees with Disabilities, GLBT, Hispanic, and Male.
This year, the WIN team’s mission is “Growing Future Female Leaders.” To work towards this goal we have focused on initiatives around flexible work arrangements and mentoring programs for office and production workers. We have also sponsored webinars and discussion groups, and the “Get Noticed, Get Networked, Get Ahead!” conference.
The 2-hour conference was attended by approximately 75 people and featured Herman Miller leaders discussing these topics: Building Your Personal Brand, Creating Your Development Plan, and The Importance of Networking. At the end of the conference, attendees were invited to stay and participate in a networking exercise to put to practice the techniques they learned.
I was grateful to have had the opportunity to attend both the conference and the networking event. It was so beneficial to learn that a personal brand is one that consistently reflects my values, shows how others view me, and showcases my skill set. I also discovered that informal development opportunities, such as participating in special projects, are very likely the ones that will have the most impact on my growth and development. And, I learned that in all my interactions with people, truly listening to others is the best way to make a real connection with them. In fact, during the exercise, I made a connection with someone I plan to collaborate with in the future.