The Role Of Alumni Groups In Supporting Women In Leadership

Role Of Alumni Groups In Supporting Women In Leadership

In an article for the American Management Association platform, professional speaker, author, and consultant Katy Tynan discusses women in leadership and career development for the next generation of female leaders.

Working at the intersection of people and technology, Katy supports CIOs, CMOs, and HR officers to optimize the customer experience through a highly engaged, inclusive workforce with a strong focus on organizational development. As such, her insights on supporting women in leadership are immensely valuable. 

We touch on the four career development strategies that Katy recommends for female professionals who want to grow and develop in their chosen fields, as well as take a brief look at how alumni groups can support the vision.

4 Career Development Strategies For Women In Leadership

1. Focus on Fostering Real Connections

Building connections should not be about glad-handing and collecting an impressive stack of business cards. Likewise, a vast number of LinkedIn connections might look good, but if it’s all superficial, there’s no real point to it. If networking is to work, it has to come from a place of true connection. 

Platforms like alumni groups are invaluable in this respect. By leveraging the relationships built over time with co-workers and mentors even after leaving a company, women in leadership can build on these connections when they move on to greener pastures.

2. Outline Your Own Development Plan

Career Plan

Katy encourages women in leadership to take charge of their own professional development by having a plan in place. Many employers offer their workforce opportunities to upskill in accordance with company goals, but it helps to have your own career trajectory plotted out to ensure that your personal goals are also met in these instances. 

Don’t be afraid if the two plans don’t align either. In the age of boomerang employees, the emphasis is placed on a total workforce relationship that includes alumni. Following career plans and returning to a place of work after a period of absence and growth is seen as a major benefit for the organization.

3. Draw On The Experience Of Trusted Advisors

The support of a group of trusted advisors and mentors is invaluable to women in leadership. This network should be as broad and deep as possible. Keeping in touch with prior colleagues and managers via an alumni platform is a good way to receive honest feedback from a diverse group of individuals who know and understand your career goals. 

4. Actively Manage Your Brand

Having a strong, personal brand is imperative if you want to make headway in your career, especially for women in leadership. At the very least, you need to take a good look at how you come across on social media. Having a blog or website where you showcase who you are and what you do is another good step. 

Differentiating yourself from your competitors requires tapping into a variety of resources. Cultivate a broad, diverse network by seeking out platforms that support women in business beyond your immediate industry and occupation.

Conclusion

Women in leadership need to take charge of their career development. This means networking at every turn and leveraging platforms like alumni groups to make new connections and maintain strong ties with former employers and co-workers. 

Sign up to the mailing list for early access to The Alumni Advantage, an end-to-end look at how organizations are recognizing and leveraging their former employees; authored by James Sinclair, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of EnterpriseAlumni.