Women in BCM: International Women’s Day Update

March 8 is International Women’s Day, the perfect day to hear about the most recent activity from the DRI Foundation’s Women in Business Continuity Management Committee.  

Women’s Day and WBCM

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The WBC M Committee is expanding its global reach and mission to serve women in the resilience professions. Kind of a perfect match, right? The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. This year’s theme is Better the Balance, Better the WorldTake the challenge! Post a #BalanceforBetter photo on LinkedIn and hashtag us #WBCM.

The Pay Disparity Dilemma

CEO Anand Mahindra’s LinkedIn post about the challenges of working women went viral. How many of you struggle to find that balance? In this coming year, WBCM will talk about gender pay disparity and some actions we can take to challenge that.

We have seen some positive changes at the state level. Currently, the states with the strongest equal pay laws are California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington. Forty states and the District of Columbia introduced new equal pay bills in 2018, and 14 states and Puerto Rico passed equal pay laws in the past three years.

A recent Forbes article by gender equality expert, Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, prompts organizations to examine the root cause of potential gender disparities in the workplace. Do gaps exist because more women need to be recruited, because more women are leaving, or because more women are “stuck” in middle management? Once the weakest link can be identified, management can tailor its strategies to close gender gaps.

DRI 2019’s WBCM Track 

Many thanks to all of the women in BCM who attended the WBCM track at the 2019 DRI conference in Las Vegas, and a special shout out to the male allies who attended!

This year, DRI offered a WBCM track across three days of the conference. The sessions talked about WBCM’s goals, what the committee accomplished in 2018, and the new initiatives by which they’re translating members’ excitement into action. And Betsy Sayers brought down the house with her in-person “Ask Betsy” session, after the hugely popular webinar and series of online Q&A sessions (including a new post this week!).

A few of the enthusiastic comments from attendees:

“Amazing session!  So many women (and men) with great ideas, advice and comments.  Definitely joining this group and will encourage my colleagues to do the same!”

“How have I been in this industry for over 25 years and never experienced Betsy Sayers?!  Thank you for being a beacon of light to all of us; men, women, new to the profession and “seasoned”, we all have the ability to learn something new and I did this morning!”

Plan now to attend DRI2020 in Savannah, GA, Mar. 1-4, 2020 for another stellar WBCM track and networking reception.

Mentorship Program Progress Report

In 2018, WBCM rolled out a pilot mentorship program with 10 pairs of mentors/mentees. In 2019, WBCM is thrilled to offer mentorship partnerships, with 25 pairs of mentors/mentees already matched. Please especially consider volunteering as a mentor – you have more knowledge to share than you may realize, and mentorship often provides two-way benefit.

Mentors and mentees meet on a mutually convenient agreed upon cadence to discuss their goals, projects, challenges and triumphs. Both mentors and mentees share experiences and provide support in today’s fast-paced professional environment.

A fun lesson learned from our WBCM Brazil chapter: When mentors and mentees are together, take a photo and post it to the group, consider posting it online, and tag it #WBCM. We’d love to see experience get shared!

Email WBCMmembership@driif.org to volunteer as a mentor or mentee.

WBCM Regional Peer Groups

DRI2019 Conference Attendees got a sneak peek at WBCM newest pilot: WBCM Peer Groups. What are Peer Groups? Think of them as instant, informal networks of professional support that create opportunities for participants to be heard, offer and receive guidance, develop coaching skills, solve problems, and gain exposure to various viewpoints.

A WBCM Committee member will host regional, U.S.-based (for now) peer groups via conference calls each quarter starting this summer, with the goal of transitioning Peer Group leadership to regional professionals. International members may join the peer group of their choice.

Interested in joining a Peer Group? Participants should be willing to commit to one call/per quarter for four quarters and should email WBCM@driif.org (email subject line: “Peer Groups”) with the following: Name and title, business city and state, organization, and business phone.

Join WBCM Today!

Join WBCM by emailing WBCMmembership@driif.org. Let us know if you want to be a mentor/mentee, or to join a regional peer circle.

Thank you to the officers of the DRI Foundation’s Women in Business Continuity Management committee, for the time and commitment with which they volunteer.

2019 WBCM Officers
Diane Doering (Chair WBCM), Mitzi Harlor (Vice Chair WBCM), Marsha Buehler, Karina de Allicon, and Leah Sawyer.

2018 WBCM Officers
Diane Doering (Chair WBCM), Alexandria Brennan (Vice Chair WBCM), Mitzi Harlor, Marsha Buehler, Lynn Meadows, and Leah Sawyer.

Latin American WBCM Liaison
Special thanks to Camila Ishikawa, for setting up a Latin American WBCM chapter.