Friday, June 10, 2016

Building Bridges with The Women’s Forum



Nanette Bulger
Chief Executive Officer,
Strategic and Competitive
Intelligence Professionals



I have been in industry for many years.  Early in my career, as an engineer, I longed for a certain kind of camaraderie among all professionals, male, female and from all different backgrounds.  But what I found was that it did not really exist back then.  Instead, I witnessed gatherings of silo’ed groups of men, women and divided cultural groups which I did not find helpful.  While the intent of these groups was to build connections, it resulted in creating more divisions than bridges.  My feeling is this: It is a powerful exchange when people come together in the spirit of “understanding” in terms of differences, similarities and perspectives and embrace each others’ positions on a variety of subjects bringing a variety of points of view. The Women’s Series and Women’s Forum is just that venue and we work hard to preserve the nature and philosophy of sharing in this way. 

We conducted our third Forum meeting at the 31st Annual  SCIP International Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida this past May and in both Madrid last year and at this event, many men shared their ideas and stories side by side with the women in our membership.

While the goal of the SCIP Women’s Forum and Series is to focus on women’s issues specifically, we do so in the spirit of building bridges, not only between men and women but with those who come from a variety of cultures as well. 

At SCIP, we cover a variety of topics and cross a number of continental borders.   For this particular forum, which included members from around the world, we discussed the design of the Leader of the Future and ways to break the status quo.   Panelists Tina Bungaard, Corporate Marketing Intelligence Manager, Rockwool International from Denmark and David Ban, Director, International Sales, Comintelli, from Serbia, shared their perspectives.  This was followed by a number of round table discussions and sharing.   We also were treated to a video communication by Ms. Jessica Rosencrantz, a member of the Swedish Parliament who manifested via this communication her support of our work together. 

To give you a little background, our Women’s’ Forum grew from a small group of women 1 ½ years ago to almost 60 in attendance at our U.S. event in May. As a result, we look to expand the program and continue it with a meeting at the 21st Annual SCIP European Summit in Prague in November.  At the Prague Summit, we will have a 2 hour session on designing the leader of the future, since the general consensus has been that we need to dedicate more time to these important and invigorating subject areas.

If you are interested in joining us, please contact Lakshika Trikha or Nan Bulger via ltrikha@scip.org or nbulger@scip.org respectively.   We would be honored to discuss the opportunity to give interested parties the chance to deliver a 15 minute informal presentation on this important international topic.  Afterwards, we will break out into roundtables for further discussion and sharing of insights.  As our philosophy is one of inclusion, men and women alike are always invited.

I feel we change for the better when we do it together.


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