My friend, Faith Blackwell, recently posted something that sat in my brain to noodle on for the better part of this week. Faith is all about community so when she shared this, it got me right in the feels.
This is quite possibly the very best message for 2021 and the only reason I spend so much time vetting in the Females and Finance Facebook Group community. The calling we have at F&F started out a whisper and today is a mighty roar!
Becoming very clear about who you are and what you want means you're not going to be for everyone. Not even by a long shot. And the good news? You're not supposed to be.
When I originally started Females and Finance in 2018, my goal was to recruit, train, and advance more women and diverse talent in financial services and financial technology. However, what I've learned along the way is that I'm not actually doing this work, at least not me personally.
Don't get me wrong - recruiting, training, advancing women is still very much a part of our organization's support structure, but they are the byproduct of the actual work I do as the Chief Engagement Officer at Females and Finance.
My three areas of focus for our community are:
We help our members succeed in their job. This means we meet the professional where they are and provide assistance specific to their calling.
We provide valuable networking opportunities. This means we meet the professional where they are and provide meetups, gatherings, discussion boards, connections specific to their calling.
We provide access to specialized training and education on a variety of topics that help us and those we serve. This means we meet the professional where they are and provide workshops, financial technology demos, education specific to their calling.
And I get up and do this every single day, and yes - even on the weekends.
This means vetting members is critical to our mission and vision in being a steward to a community that supports more than 3,000+ in size. We want our community to be safe for all who enter and supportive to all in need.
There are many companies who come to Females and Finance to 'partner' with us in providing a resource specific to one of our areas of focus, however, even they are vetted to make certain they will gel with our members and provide a real return for all parties involved.
Vetting is a good practice for anyone building a community. Whether that is membership organizations, hiring employees, or building a financial services practice. Do business with those who understand your calling. Otherwise, it's not business - it's busyness.
Sheryl Hickerson - CEO, Females and Finance