To celebrate our 10th year as an organization, we are sharing some of the incredible stories that we've heard from people whose lives and leadership journeys have been positively impacted by IWL Foundation. Hear from Anjanette Jones and Felice Snyder on how their journey with IWL from conference attendees to now conference planning committee members has empowered them to take action in their own careers and within their organization.
What is your role at Covance, and how have you been involved with IWL?
Anjanette: Hi – I’m Anjanette Jones, Executive Director, Alliance Management and Women’s Leadership & Development (WLDN) Steering Committee member at Covance.
Felice: And I’m Felice Snyder, Alliance Director, also with Alliance Management and Chair of the WLDN Covance.
Anjanette: Felice and I work closely with key strategic accounts, internal and client leaders, and women within our organization. I am looking forward to the 2019 IWL Conference this year for many reasons. This is my 3rd year, and every year I come with a different perspective.
Felice: This will also be my 3rd IWL Conference. In addition, this is my 3rd year chairing the WLDN at Covance’s Indianapolis site. My excitement grows each time as I watch the evolution of both IWL and WLDN. We have really learned how to leverage some of the key messages from the IWL within our organization, not just in Indianapolis, but corporate wide.
How has the IWL Conference empowered you?
Anjanette: In 2011, my first experience was exciting and new. I did not know what to expect, having just moved to Indianapolis for a new job at Covance. To say that I was amazed would be an understatement. The speakers were passionate and transparent.
I felt energized and connected to a larger community of women with a common goal to overcome historical challenges. Feeling less alone in my journey inspired empowerment. I left feeling validated with a renewed sense of ownership of my career. I have since achieved many of my career objectives, including being a mentor to others.
Felice: I totally agree with Anjanette. After each conference I have felt more and more empowered to make changes both in my life and within Covance. It’s easy to think that after two-plus decades at an organization, maybe your perspective or power gets diluted; but it’s actually the exact opposite. Watching the generational panels and hearing ‘real-life’ stories makes me realize that I owe it to myself and the other men and women around me to ensure our perspectives and values are heard.
We’ve taken a focus on developing women leaders, providing networking opportunities, and leveraging male allies. The messages we’ve pulled from IWL speakers and workshops have contributed to the growth of our local network and even enticed other locations to begin their own local chapters.
What action has the IWL Conference inspired you to take?
Anjanette: Last year I attended on behalf of Covance, not only as a participant but also a sponsor. Listening to the testimonials of generational women share their #MeToo perspective made me feel even more connected to a bigger cause with a sense of urgency to take action. I have become more active with the WLDN to broaden the scope our mission and commitment to bring awareness. This opened a new opportunity to expand our audience to male leaders. As a result, we participated in the IWL "Activating Male Allies" workshop and continue to look for ongoing opportunities.
Felice: IWL has also challenged me personally and professionally to be a better mentor and coach to the women around me. As a leader at Covance, I want to be a voice and show others how to have a voice. Women should have a seat the table to provide input on their own careers, within their department and their organizations. It’s also allowed me to focus on my personal and career growth.
Now, as members of the conference planning committee, what would you like others to know about this year's event?
Anjanette: This year I am attending again with yet a new purpose, as an active conference committee member. Over the past several months, I have worked alongside smart, strong leaders to develop a compelling conference. The team is committed to bringing an elevated appreciation for working better together in a diverse work place and the value of sharing those experiences. My personal goal is to bring awareness and guidance to a broader audience; empower individuals to take action; and finally encourage others to find ways to “Unite Our Power.”
Felice: IWL isn’t just a women’s conference; it’s a Leadership conference, it’s a mindset, it’s a growth strategy, and it’s our future.
The value that IWL brings to our community and organizations can directly be measured as an investment to growth. Giving leaders and employees an opportunity to find their voice and align thoughts is exactly how successful companies expand. Though I’ve been involved with women’s networks for quite some time – I truly think that IWL’s 10th Anniversary message of “Unite our Power” is the perfect theme and message for everyone to hear.