As you may remember from our first blog post (read it here), the BDA Women’s Group initially set a goal to ‘go live’ in Q3 2023, which was defined as meeting ‘regularly’ and hosting our first quarterly event. We accomplished that goal … and then some!
The key to a successful project lies in skillfully balancing the initial burst of enthusiasm with the necessity for a lasting and adaptable framework that aligns with the project’s long-term goals. Quite a challenge indeed! After the initial excitement, we distributed a short survey to our colleagues who had expressed interest, asking a handful of questions surrounding what they were seeking from the Women’s Group, skills they would bring, and their anticipated commitment level, given work responsibilities.
Given the wide range of roles and skill sets within our BDA workforce, it was no surprise that the survey yielded a variety of responses. However, from a programming perspective, this posed a new challenge: how to provide meaningful content for each member. Responses from our audience were evenly divided between individuals seeking professional growth and learning experiences, and those who were looking to build connections and foster a sense of community. While some expressed their interest in taking leadership roles, the majority expressed a strong desire to actively participate. The level of commitment ranged from weekly engagements to attending quarterly events. We certainly had our work cut out for us!
Our five-person leadership team, over a period of several months, met frequently to develop the survey responses into the following structure for the remainder of 2023:
- Semi-monthly “coffee talks” – Teams calls where colleagues connect and discuss work and personal topics in 30-minute time zone-friendly Teams calls. No agenda, just meaningful conversations.
- Quarterly Events – Led by colleagues with expertise in specific areas, these structured internal events are designed to enhance knowledge and collaboration within our team.
The semi-monthly coffee talks have been a huge hit with a variety of people joining each time. As we move into fall, we will be adjusting those to more closely mirror another of BDA’s culture initiatives: PODs, (more to come on those!). One session per month will remain a casual format while the second will center around Fin-Tech topics/articles submitted by group members.
As a symbol of our beginning, we kicked off our quarterly events with a vision board workshop hosted in July 2023. For anyone unfamiliar with boards, these boards were used as an empowering exercise, it allowed participants to visually manifest their goals and focus areas. Often done annually and around the New Year, the vision board is a tool that can be used to revisit goals as ‘real life’ happens. Participants spent the time creating vision boards and sharing ideas on professional goal setting. Our last quarterly event for the year will be the first in the Group’s speaker series, as one of our very own, Robin Ranzal, shares insights from her accomplished career in FinTech.
Through these forums, BDA Women’s Group has connected colleagues and created opportunities, just as we had hoped when this idea was first hatched in early 2023. In the words of Gabby Castro, “Being a part of the BDA women’s group has been such a game-changer for me! It’s a supportive space where we lift each other up, and I’ve gained valuable insights and inspiration. Proud to be a BDA woman!” 💪
Verosha Moodley echoes similar sentiments, “The BDA Woman’s group is genuine connections based on mutual respect and shared passion that help us reach our full potential, creating a network of trusted woman who support us and move with us towards our goals. As a united force, we will continue to attain extraordinary heights in the tech space!”
Excited to reflect on a successful inaugural year filled with valuable connections, fruitful collaborations, and continuous learning. We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be sharing our plans for 2024 in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!
BDA Women’s Group Leadership Team: