Women have been known to thrive during times of hardship. That was the subject of the recent WWPR virtual panel, “The Resiliency of Women: How We Can Learn, Share & Grow Together – While Apart”, held in partnership with News Generation. It highlighted the ways that we, as women, can look to the future while also staying present. The panelists gave attendees solid advice concerning both professional and personal life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moderator Susan Apgood, founder of News Generation, began the panel by addressing the importance of making connections in everyday life. This ensures that relationships are strong during uncertain times, not unlike the current climate. This is one of the many reasons why WWPR is such a great community to be a part of. The support that we give one another and the lasting connections we make are invaluable.
Frédérique Irwin, founder and CEO of Her Corner, addressed the importance of economic recovery. While gender equality is incredibly important, right now the economy takes precedence. Irwin also discussed the creativity and resourcefulness that women possess. A great example of this comes straight from Irwin’s own life. Her daughter has organized a series of food drives, inviting the community and neighbors to donate items, and delivering them to local pantries. Her daughter and the community have already donated over 5,000 pounds of food. Irwin also shared her insight on how we should be thinking about the future when the crisis is over. She explained that we have all had a shift in paradigm on various levels and that kids have especially learned that there is so much at stake. Irwin said she ultimately hopes that everyone takes the things they have learned during this time with them when life returns to normal.
Katelynn Wiggins, Staff Well-Being and Engagement Manager at the American Psychological Association, discussed intentionality. We all need to be more intentional when working from home, especially regarding communication and work/life balance. When working from home, we cannot just drop by employees’ desks. So she suggests we check in with them to see how they are faring, and that we should not be afraid to pick up the phone. Wiggins talked about her office’s transition to Microsoft Teams, creating a virtual break room, coffee breaks with the CEO, and channels for people to chat about a wide array of topics, making the online workplace as comfortable as possible. Wiggins stressed the importance of self-care, and that we should never hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or mental health professionals.
Ana Morales, Managing Director of Commercial Services at United Bank, shared her insight on how women are cutting costs and reducing stress. One idea that Morales offered was to cut monthly subscriptions and paid phone apps that you may no longer need. She also suggested that this may be an opportune time to teach our children about finances, in whatever way makes sense for their age. Since we have more time together and finances are a common topic in this situation, use it as a learning opportunity for them. On a personal note, Morales shared her hope that we will all continue to be there to support each other in the small ways, dropping off a home-cooked meal, sending a card in the mail – as we have grown to cherish during this time.
Thank you to all who tuned in, and please check out more virtual WWPR events here.