In the two years that I’ve worked for netlogx, I’ve heard a wide range of reactions when I tell someone that I work for a woman-owned business.  Regardless of the details in my thirty-second elevator pitch about netlogx and what we do, that particular detail always draws a comment.  And from other women, those comments are overwhelmingly positive.

I don’t think I realized the significance of working for a woman-owned business until I came to work for netlogx.  In my previous jobs, I worked predominately for and with men in my company and for and with men as my clients.  Many of those interactions yielded professional experience that I’m grateful for.  But I’ve found that one of the greatest rewards of working for netlogx is working alongside so many strong, confident women throughout the organization as we all strive to make netlogx successful.

I’ve benefited from working closely with many of these women throughout my time at netlogx: as my colleagues, managers, and mentors.  I will never forget a particular Monday afternoon in Santa Fe when Audrey Taylor, Faye Makishima, and Tara Morse arrived before a meeting.  It was the first time all three of them had been to visit the New Mexico project and when they arrived, they immediately went around the office to introduce themselves to the team, which at the time included some netlogx staff, some independent contractors, and many team members from our partner company.   With so many disparate groups in a single office, one of our main hurdles was cooperating as a team and not retreating to our individual company silos.  But Audrey, Faye, and Tara wasted no time introducing themselves around the office, intent on proving that they were there to work and to work with everyone.  As they made their rounds, more than one person circled back to my desk to comment on how impressed they were with the “netlogx ladies” that had just arrived.

Recently, I got to see a different—and much larger—group of “netlogx ladies” come together in support of a cause very close to the heart of netlogx’ core values.  Women (and men!) from across Indianapolis, including many netlogx teammates, gathered together for an annual fundraiser to support Lynn Zettler’s organization, “Woman for Change.”  The organization strives to “make coaching accessible for all women seeking positive change in their lives” and this particular event, entitled “Give Her a Hand,” was designed with the goal of providing funds for more women to be involved in the coaching program.  It was a wonderful event: appetizers, drinks, a silent auction, and an impressive array of speakers, including former mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard.  But the highlight of the evening was the panel of participants: Lynn spoke about how the organization came to fruition, and she was followed by a current coach and a former participant in the program.  Each spoke of how and why they got involved in coaching, and most significantly, how coaching had shaped their professional (and in many ways personal) lives.

One of the things that struck me most was that all coaches involved in “Women for Change” volunteer their coaching experience.  This involves significant time and effort spent listening to, empathizing with, and guiding women as they seek to reach the next level professionally—an invaluable investment, as the former program participant made abundantly clear in her interview.  What a powerful thing: women banding together to support each other’s growth. It resonated with me as I looked around at the netlogx teammates in attendance that night, so many of whom have been invaluable resources to me—many of them as mentors—during my time at netlogx.

These types of mentoring relationships have been intentionally woven into the very fabric of netlogx’ organizational structure.  Many of us have even been lucky enough to receive coaching directly from Lynn, either individually or as part of a larger group.  And since so many of us have benefited from those types of relationships within netlogx, it was a natural fit to cheer on an organization dedicated to mentoring and supporting women so that they can further support themselves.  The “Give Her a Hand” event was truly a full-circle moment for all the netlogx team members in attendance.