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Entries with tag workplace culture .

Happy International Women's Day!

Women of JACO

Today is International Women’s Day so I thought I would highlight a women’s initiative here at JA of Central Ohio (JACO) called Women of JACO (WJACO). WJACO is a group of women who gather throughout the year to engage and impact local students, network with other female professionals, participate in professional development opportunities, promote their career and industry to local students, and further the mission of Junior Achievement (JA).

Elizabeth Brown 3This last Friday, WJACO hosted a panel discussion titled Championing Women in the Workplace – providing ideas on how to proactively support women in the workplace and how to address gender issues in the office. The rock star panel consisted of Kelley Griesmer from the Columbus Foundation, Councilmember Elizabeth Brown, and Caroline Worley, owner and Co-Founder of Worley Law. WJACO also had the opportunity to host PhD candidate Jill Yavorsky as the moderator. Jill is an expert on patterns and mechanisms of gender inequality in the workplace as well as unequal divisions of labor between men and women in the home. (Who better to guide the conversation!?!)

With Jill’s guidance, the panel answered questions on career advancement, the wage gap, women mentorship, and work-life balance. There was an abundance of great advice, but here are a few of the key takeaways:

Advancing Your Career & the Wage Gap

  1. Be brave for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to call out a gender issue, it will help people recognize it and change.
  2. Negotiate your salary. Ask for promotions and prepare 6 to 12 month plans.
  3. Don’t self-anchor yourself (aka don’t be afraid to brag)

    1. Every couple of months write down your accomplishments
    2. Recommended Book: Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It by Peggy 

MentorshipJill and Morgan

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – everyone needs a mentor even if you are at the top of your game
  2. When meeting with a mentor:

    1. Set goals
    2. Make Agendas
    3. Talk about challenges in obtaining your goals
    4. Make sure your mentor is committed

  3. Be present for one another, talk about your struggles

Work-Life Balance

  1. Don’t think of it as work-life balance but rather base what you do on your priorities
  2. Don’t overcommit

    1. Recommended Book: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

  3. Finding the right romantic or marital partner is very important

    1. Be a team
    2. Make sure you are supportive of each other

WJACO puts on several other events throughout the year and is awesome opportunity for professional development and impacting the kids in our community. If you are interested in more information email Amanda Turner at aturner@jacols.org.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Applause

Volunteering and its Effect on Office Culture

Volunteering is more than giving time and money at EY – it is their culture.

Their tagline, “Building a better working world”, encourages community involvement. Volunteering with organizations such as Junior Achievement (JA) is one of the ways they connect to the community.

“Volunteering is a daily thing at EY and whenever I talk to someone who has volunteered for a JA In-Class program they always have a big smile on their face as they describe how much they connected to the kids and the kids connected to them,” said Matt Napier, Assurance Senior at EY and JA Volunteer Champion.

How to engage employees in volunteering

Matt started at EY two years ago and heard of JA through the office’s weekly email which communicates different volunteer needs along with office updates.

“I volunteered for the Economics for Success JA In-Class program and I loved it so much I approached Tammy Izzo [EY Central Region Government and Public Sector Leader and JA Board Member] on how I could get more involved,” said Matt, “So I joined the JA Volunteer Champion Committee and became the JA Office Champion, meaning I am responsible for dispersing any information about JA as soon as possible to EY staff.”

An office volunteer champion is a common model for offices to maintain nonprofit relations and promote volunteerism among employees. EY has also incorporated several other tactics, through Matt’s help, such as hosting lunch and learns with JA staff, making sure JA opportunities are consistently in their weekly email, providing incentives for financial giving, e.g. jean day, and including JA volunteer opportunities on employee onboarding days.

[caption id="attachment_226" align="alignnone" width="1024"]ey-volunteers EY employees volunteer to help get JA BizTown ready before students start to attend.[/caption]

EY also sponsors the annual "EY Connect Day" where employees from each EY office spend one day in their community volunteering at a variety of different nonprofits. For JA this could mean participating in JA In-A-Day where volunteers team up and teach all five sessions of a particular JA Program in one day or helping in the administrative offices at JA.

Benefits of having employees volunteer

Studies have shown that volunteering can potentially increase employee productivity, company pride, gratitude in the work environment, and ethical behavior.

One EY volunteer, Alex Criss, described her experience as very rewarding.

“Teaching the JA class helped me develop a number of skills. It was good practice for how to prepare for and give a presentation to a specific audience. I also gained time management skills by managing how to fit each session’s materials into a 45-minute class period,” said Alex.

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There are also team building benefits to volunteering for a JA In-Class program. A new JA campaign initiative, Bring-A-Friend, encourages volunteers to co-teach by either teaching sessions together or splitting the sessions between themselves. EY Volunteer Jesslyn Patel volunteered with her co-worker Kate Pelini [hyperlink to Kate’s article] and commented,

“It was a great way to get an opportunity to bond with a fellow EY member that does not serve in the same service line that I do. I don’t see my friend Kate often, but knowing that I could see her once a week was always exciting!”

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So moral of the story, volunteer!

“I’m so glad I took this opportunity.  It was something I always looked forward to each week, and it was always a nice way to change up the work week! You’ll learn a lot more about yourself than you think through the way you teach, and getting to share life skills with them and see the wheels turning in their minds makes it so worthwhile.” – Kate Pelini.

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  • "I can't think of a better gift for kids than to prepare them for success in the real world." - Aaron Bahe, Columbus City School Teacher

  • "I loved being the mayor of JA BizTown. I now have a good understanding of how busy business can be." - Gabbie Schneider, JA BizTown Student

  • "I loved my job as the CFO! It was so much fun. If I did this everyday it would be great!" - JA BizTown Student

  • "Kids are capable of more than we know. JA is a great way to demonstrate the real life skills they will all need." JA of Central Ohio Volunteer

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