Progress hosted a MassTLC Women’s Peer Group yesterday at our office in Waltham, Massachusetts, which welcomed women from all over the state’s tech community. Women gathered to learn about building and leading a thriving women’s group in their organization from Jennifer Lohan, Product Manager at ERT who runs a well-established women’s group at the company.
The event began with Loren Jarrett, Progress CMO, welcoming the crowd and stating the overall importance of a women’s group at Progress. She stated, “the women’s group at Progress empowers women, gives them resources and support, and serves as a driving force for making inclusion and diversity part of our culture.” Past events from the women’s group at Progress include a celebration for International Women’s Day that involved participation from all global offices, and a discussion held in the Sofia office led by our CMO who shared her insight on how to become a leader in the workplace.
After Loren shared her thoughts on how the women’s group ties into the inclusion and diversity approach to our culture at Progress, Courtney Ferrucci, Senior Social Media Specialist and Executive Board member of Women@Progress, led a Q&A with Jennifer Lohan. Together they discussed all challenges that pop up when establishing women’s groups, and Lohan graciously shared her insight and lessons learned with the crowd.
The overall theme of the discussion was women empowering women. For women in the early stages of starting a women’s group, Lohan urged them to “Be visible, be vocal… and prove you have a business case that’s worth investing in.” After all, women’s groups are formed to give women at companies the tools, resources, and support they need to become leaders, which ultimately benefits the business. Lohan continued, “If you want to create space for women to step into leadership skills, then teach them the skills that they want.” Whether it’s public speaking, budget management, or time management; catering the program to teach these skills is what’s important.
The Q&A wrapped up with women in the audience addressing questions to Jenny, and then asking each other how they solve certain problems in their own women’s groups. Overall, it was an amazing event that provided much insight from not only Jenny, but from all women who shared their opinions in the crowd.
Jarrett remarked, “It was inspiring to have 45 leaders from the MA area tech community join us here at Progress for a substantive discussion on Inclusion and Diversity and running successful women’s groups. We are proud to be a part of the Boston-area tech community and to be contributing to the incredibly important dialogue around Inclusion and Diversity in tech.”
As the women’s group at Progress grows, we hope to host more empowering events like these, so stay tuned for more noise coming from the Women@Progress group!
Ferrucci concluded, “It was an honor to host Jen and the MassTLC Women’s Peer group. We all are working beyond our normal day jobs purely out of passion to enact the change that will create increased inclusion and diversity in our organizations. I am grateful to work for a company that creates spaces for this important dialogue to happen and in awe of the amazing programming coming out of the MA area from so many inspiring women.”
To learn more about MassTLC, click here.
Danielle Sutherby is a senior communications specialist at Progress, where she supports Progress’ employer brand efforts, raises awareness of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) and inclusion and diversity (I&D) efforts, assists in PR activities, and strategizes employee engagement activities worldwide. Danielle is also the co-founder of the first employee resource group at Progress, Progress for Her, which aims to empower women at the company by providing leadership and networking opportunities. When she is not at work, you can find her writing, reading, or acting like a tourist in her own city.
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