Women learn how to weather COVID storm in business
September 11th – For the first time in over a year, the local Women in the Workforce Luncheon welcomed business women in person.
The nearly two-hour event on September 9th at The Foundry on Shawnee was hosted by the Tahlequah Region Chamber of Commerce and coordinated by Gabrielle Perry, Operations and Events Manager for TACC, and Angela Tinsley of Remax Select.
“The Women in Business Luncheon was perfect,” said Nathan Reed, CEO-President of TACC. “The Chamber is delighted that this event is back to support women in business in our community, and this event in particular for women in the workforce.”
Over 40 local business women attended the lunch and were briefed on how the pandemic presents new challenges and opportunities for women in the workforce.
Morgan Scholz, Director of Programs and Partnerships at the Startup Junkie Foundation, was the guest speaker for lunch.
“She’s really great at what she does and that’s the kind of thing she does for a living,” Perry said. “She said mentoring is a big deal to her and she wants to keep being a part of it. It’s her way of doing something that she loves and making a positive impact on the community at the same time.”
Talking about career advancement during the pandemic and beyond, Scholz said success and advancement were measured differently.
“She said a lot of it is how you see it in person and how the people in your office see it. She said you can have a great office relationship and that you can always be the person who stays long and does all the chores completed.” . It still won’t put you above everyone else, “Perry said.
Scholz said that employees can take a step above others when they begin to understand their worth and what they bring to the team.
“The pandemic presented its challenges where many people had to work from home to home-school their children, and it may look different for everyone, but you can still do these things if you are not in an office setting said Perry.
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If some people find it easier to work from a computer screen, then develop skills so they can channel it in person, Scholz said.
Scholz brought up the topic of human resources – reassessing recruitment and retention – reminding the group that it was an unprecedented time for everyone.
“She said when you are in that HR position where you have to spend money, it costs money to hire someone because it costs you money to leave the seat open and then hire someone you can keep,” said Perry.
Scholz thinks it is important that every person in every team feels valued. An example would be asking those who didn’t quit the job to explain their main reason for staying.
“A lot of people looked for jobs during the pandemic because they were kicked out of a position they’d been in for a long time,” Perry said.
These people ended up taking jobs that weren’t necessarily career-oriented but can open the door to other opportunities or opportunities.
“The negative side of being there for the job and not going to be there for a long time,” Perry said. “It’s only going to be a temporary job, and if that’s not what you are looking for, you need to be able to spot it early so you can keep the good people who will make your company better through the pandemic. “
The Mingle & Jingle lunch is scheduled for December 9th, and Perry said planning for it should begin sometime this week.
“We look forward to bringing this event back quarterly and will see everyone in December for the next,” said Reed.
For more information on Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce membership and events, please visit www.tahlequahchamber.com.