We’re getting amazing RSVP response for our upcoming webinar featuring Heidi Voorhees and Rachel Lange-Skaggs. But we’ve noticed one critical thing – most everyone who is participating is a woman. And as we talked about in our “Glacial Pace” article, and as we learned in this great article from Forbes:
“Most people spend their careers in closed networks; networks of people who already know each other. People often stay in the same industry, the same religion, and the same political party. In a closed network, it’s easier to get things done because you’ve built up trust, and you know all the shorthand terms and unspoken rules. It’s comfortable because the group converges on the same ways of seeing the world that confirm your own.”
If we’re going to realistically contribute ideas and solutions to improve on that horrible #13Percent number, we have to widen our network and get more people engaged in the conversation.
And so, ELGL is going to offer a bounty. If you’re already signed up for the February 4 webinar – great! All you have to do is bring a male colleague or friend along with you. And if you haven’t signed up yet – please do so today. Every man who signs up or participates on February 4 will enter his organization into a drawing for a free 2015 organizational membership in ELGL. That’s a $230 value and the chance for your entire organization to join ELGL.
Listen – here at ELGL, we’re not huge fans of gender based anything. So before you get angry at us for giving rewards to dudes for participating, please know that we wouldn’t stoop to this level if we didn’t see a huge issue where we need to kick start a conversation with a diversity of voices – pronto. Some of the feedback we’ve received from the “Glacial Pace” article reminds us that we need to make this a big tent conversation (which ELGL feels perfectly comfortable hosting). Here’s one of the most honest and true comments we received:
“I am fortunate to have and have had great relationships with strong lady leaders, but I often get the sense that the wrong people are having the conversations about this, as you stated. For example, when I attend ICMA conferences the past two years, I noticed that the people in the room talking about the lack of women in management and the lack of racial diversity in management are women and minorities. The very people who could benefit from awareness on these issues, are the people not in the room attending those conference sessions. I actually took a picture of session attendees at an ICMA session on diversity in the profession because it was so striking. Very few white men.”
Let’s stop having the “wrong people” talk about this problem and get everyone involved.
Here’s the information about the upcoming webinar. We’re going to continue to find ways to broaden the conversation on the #13Percent issue. If you have ideas to help us make that conversation circle bigger – share them! We’re all in this together.
February 4: Women in Local Government Webinar with Heidi Voorhees and Rachel Lange-Skaggs