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Conversation to Action - Initial Results

On Thursday, June 28, 2018, the Finishing School for Modern Women, with the help of Britten Kuckelman, brought 100 women and men together to brainstorm on how we can make the business climate better for women in Wichita.

To focus the conversation, we broke the topic into five categories:

  • Talent Drain

  • Wage Gap

  • Leadership in the Workplace

  • Women in Government

  • Women Entrepreneurs

Joining the category that they were most passionate about, participants combined their big brainpower to come up with actionable ideas, that could be implemented right away to improve the Wichita economy. All participants voted individually on the ideas they liked the most in all categories.

On first glance, the following are the top three favorite ideas that came from the meeting. We will compile all the ideas and post them soon.

Talent Drain

1. Start early – Start young. Connect our youth with business/professional women.

2. Educate and give parents the tools to help their children dream bigger.

3. Employer educational assistance to college. Students career pathing high school job after graduation.

Leadership in the Workplace

1. Mentorship with both men and women as mentors.

(Including “mini-mentorships” – shorter time span, etc.

- how to move up

- how to set goals

- how to talk about difficult topics with supervisors

2. More conversations like tonight’s – with men

3. Empower people to be a leader by action, not title.

Wage Gap

1. Negotiation techniques – no matter where – demand upfront.

2. Brainstorm to communicate values. Training me as allies – not enemies.

3. Advocacy from business leaders/ develop coalition dedicated to this issue (biz, nonprofit, gov, etc.)

Women in Government

1. Support candidates. (VOTE, serve on committees, volunteer on campaigns, go to local government meetings, walk neighborhoods.)

2. Helping overcome barriers (time, money, etc.)

3. Build confidence by learning negotiating and public speaking skills.

Women Entrepreneurs

1. Mentorship programs.

2. Share knowledge.

3. Encourage girls to go into business/know options.

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