1871 joined YWCA Metropolitan Chicago yesterday evening for a panel discussion on the key behaviors and strategies that foster safe and healthy workplaces. The panel featured industry leaders, including 1871 CEO Betsy Ziegler, who shared a number of best practices and procedures on how companies of all sizes can create -- and maintain -- a healthy professional culture. In case you missed it, we've shared some of the panel's most memorable highlights below.
The women from last night's panel (from L to R): Dorri McWhorter, CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago; Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871; Sahory Martinez, HR Strategist at Univision; Renetta McCann, Chief Inclusion Experience Officer at Publicis Groupe
Powerful women from Chicago's entrepreneurial and tech community sat shoulder to shoulder at 1871 yesterday evening to discuss the importance of creating and preserving safe and healthy cultures within the workplace. Brought together through a joint sexual harassment awareness initiative by the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and 1871, a panel consisting of industry leaders and pioneers shared their experiences, challenges, and advice to empower professional women.
We've shared a number of takeaways from the panel below.
1871 CEO Betsy Ziegler provided opening remarks to kick off the panel.
"Soon, 1871 will turn six years old and my goal is to ensure that anyone who wants to come to here knows that they are coming into a safe and progressive environment. We have a responsibility to ensure that everyone in our community treats each other with respect and dignity." – Betsy Ziegler, CEO, 1871
YWCA Metropolitan Chicago CEO Dorri McWhorter moderated the panel.
Sahory Martinez, an experienced HR strategist, talked about the importance of culture and courage in the workforce.
"When individuals in power exercise bad behavior, it will become part of your company's culture because people will follow them. You need a courageous individual to speak up if you want to change that kind of culture because that can be very difficult to do." – Sahory Martinez, HR Strategist, Univision
During the discussion, the panel took questions from audience members.
Renetta McCann discussed the importance of enforcing and upholding organizational standards.
"What you've got to do is be real explicit about your values, your codes of conduct, and your standards. You also have to enforce your standards -- even if that means firing your favorite employee because they broke the rules or violated your company's policy. Be specific about what you don't want, but also be very specific about what you do want." – Renetta McCann, Chief Inclusion Experience Officer, Publicis Groupe
1871 CEO Betsy Ziegler shared her insights on changing gender norms in the tech and business community.
1871 CEO Betsy Ziegler and YWCA Metropolitan Chicago CEO Dorri McWhorter shake hands to wrap up the panel.
"There is a male-dominated culture in the tech community, but we've been able to foster greater diversity and gender parity in our region. When it comes to tech in Chicago, things are a lot different than the toxic culture and behavior that you hear about on the coasts, and I think we will continue to see more women in leadership roles in our community." – Betsy Ziegler, CEO, 1871