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LES Women In Licensing (WIL) Committee Puts Framework in Place to Close the Gender Gap

Friday, March 8, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Linda Corcoran
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The largest comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America, Women in the Workplace 2018 by Leanin.Org and McKinsey & Company, reveals that women remain dramatically outnumbered in senior leadership with about one in five women becoming C-suite leaders, and only one in 25 women of color rising to those ranks. The study cites hiring and promotion as the two biggest drivers of this representation.

Enter Women in Licensing (WIL), an LES Committee with a mission to accelerate the advancement of women in the technology and licensing professions. The Committee, chaired by Soody Tronson, recently organized two programs at the LES 2018 Annual Meeting in Boston. Both were well received, open to all genders, and key to promoting the group's mission through networking, mentoring, education, and best practices.

At an Annual Breakfast in Boston, Women in Licensing partnered with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to host a facilitated discussion on salary negotiations.  The national initiative, "Work Smart: How to Negotiate Your Compensation," was presented by Alex Howley, Program Manager at AAUW.

The following day, LES-WIL held its second mixer and guided networking event highlighting issues surrounding compensation with discussions centered in smaller groups for maximum impact.

As part of the LES-WIL  Annual Breakfast, Chair Soody Tronson presented insights into the Committee's initiatives and principles in which she invited all breakfast attendees to consider their role in LES-WIL by graphically displaying "YOU" surrounded by committee leadership. Soody continued by sharing the Committee's framework to organize, drive action, and add value.

Soody's first rallying point was the 70:20:10 Rule, which translates to doing more (not training more) by identifying, securing, and leading the right assignments (70%); connecting with others for feedback, observation, role models, mentors, coaches, and sponsors (20%); and self-study obtained through courses and training (10%). Other internal and external rallying points include the following guidelines: remain relevant and enhance expertise; seize opportunities; and, secure visibility and credit.

What are the key areas of opportunity that LES-WIL has identified for impact? The Committee sees six significant streams:

  • Hearing from trailblazers on identifying the right internal assignments; securing and leading those opportunities; getting the credit and using it to advance your career.
  • Fostering exchanges between the more experienced and less experienced members.
  • Taking on a more active role with organizations requiring licensing as a business tool and involving LES membership.
  • Focused networking programs.
  • Promoting and recognizing members' impact on other members' career development.
  • Curating industry-focused programs to advance and sharpen high-value executive skill sets based on our seniority, sector, experience, and profession for the new market economy.
  • Do not re-invent the wheel, and please do not go for the lowest hanging fruit that has already been picked multiple times. Be gallant and push towards new limits.

These opportunities translate into a strong future for Women in Licensing within the LES circle and externally. Success depends on women mutually promoting, endorsing, and securing speaking engagements at LES events, as well as outside LES. Success will also be driven by programs and tools for particular segments of membership based on individual skills, sectors, and experience. As an interactive group, LES-WIL will help women navigate gender roadblocks as well as identify, secure, and lead right assignments.

Soody's presentation was a rallying cry for a continual two-way exchange that will add value for members and all women in licensing, now encouraged to: participate, volunteer, reach out, provide input, provide substantive programs, be visible, and lend their shoulder!

The Women in Licensing Committee is currently looking for LES members to step into leadership roles. If you are interested in serving as the new Chair or as a member of the committee, please contact Susan Houchins at membership@les.org.



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