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Takeaways from Women in Eship Design Thinking Event

NACCE Blog ,

The Women in Entrepreneurship Center of Practice hosted an incredible design thinking event Thursday, March 25. More than 25 entrepreneurial leaders and entrepreneurs joined the NACCE team to ideate solutions to some of the challenges presented by the Forbes Coaches Council in "15 Biggest Challenges Women Leaders Face and How to Overcome Them."

We heard from Jen Worth, WELC Chair & Women in Entrepreneurship Center of Practice Leader, about a bit of her journey, and welcomed recent NACCE podcast guest and NACCE Organizational Effectiveness Coach Dr. Monica Curry of Impacting Squared.  Dr. Curry leaned into the challenges that the Forbes Coaches Council identified and grouped them into categories that spoke to her experience.

"As an entrepreneur, it can sometimes get lonely as a team of one. Today’s session reminded me that there are a great many smart, passionate, career driven women and women-supporters that want to find a ‘tribe.’ Jen, Becky, and I, and the other leaders of this national network want to provide that venue. I want to continue to:

  • Make room for all voices to be heard by calling upon every person to contribute, by encouraging women to join the debate, and supporting those women individually as they wish.
  • Inspire women by sharing stories with their businesses, and if I do not know yours yet, in near future.
  • Pass along opportunities that cross my path to other women who might be better fits, and if you don’t know my network yet, I encourage you to follow me on LinkedIn

Through this newfound NACCE ‘tribe’ WE WILL provide each other Access to people and places, Opportunities for ground-breaking projects, and a Community of confidant mentors and allies." - Monica Curry

With Dr. Curry establishing a call for empathy, we identified what challenges resonated with our attendees and transitioned into small groups focus on rapid design thinking about “Building a Sisterhood,” “Being Confident,” “Generating Revenue,” and “Joining the C-Suite/Executive Team.” The workshop was facilitated by NACCE President & CEO Dr. Rebecca Corbin and members of the NACCE team. Attendees spent time together defining the problems and ideating solutions and were asked to build their own prototypes to share with the NACCE community.

“It means so much to me personally and professionally that NACCE is engaged in this meaningful work with many women (and some men too) who see leading with empathy and leaning into uncomfortable conversations to foster inclusion and innovation as necessary. Being a leader can be a lonely journey, but with support from this emerging sisterhood supported by NACCE’s culture of entrepreneurship and celebration, we are invited to a trusted space of connection. I’m hoping that many of participants in this workshop will stay connected throughout the series and join us in November for an in-person retreat in North Carolina.” – Dr. Rebecca Corbin

One thing is certain: community building is key to our work, and we look forward to continuing to find ways to connect our members, our communities, and our networks. We are thrilled that after our teams reported back to the full group about their definitions and solutions, there was a electric energy amongst us that resulted in feelings like those shown in our event word cloud, below:

“Relocation to new areas, promotions, and a wanting a sense of connection over particular issues can inspire a woman to seek a supportive professional network. In the case of women’s entrepreneurship, NACCE could have researched and leveraged existing groups, but instead, made the active choice to “make our own.” The caliber and type of attendees from community colleges across the country for our initial events has affirmed the fact that this network is warranted. I am honored to chair the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Council and lead the work of the Women in Entrepreneurship Center of Practice on their behalf. Today, I am confident we connected yet another set of women who will grow this group exponentially, building connections for each other, and the community college system as a whole.” - Jennifer Worth

We hope you will join us for Leading Ladies | April 2021, a virtual networking hour is designed to bring some levity and reflection to your day as we work to bring our network closer to one another. We encourage interruption, and we mean to have a good time. All we need is your smiling face, willingness to ask and answer questions, and an hour of your time. Snacks, drinks, kid and pet cameos are welcome here. For this Leading Ladies event, we encourage you to wear something that shines as bright as you do – sequins, glitter and your sparkling smile are all welcome! Creative dress is optional, but a prize will be awarded for the most inspiring ensemble, so we encourage you to participate! During this call, we will explore the many ways in which we've all been working to maintain our "shine" during one of the most challenging times in recent history. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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