What Does It Take to Be a Woman of Excellence?

Get your nominations in now because, before you know it, it will be time for the Women’s Business Council’s biggest annual event the Woman of Excellence Award (WOE)!

We wanted to help the amazing women of the Capital Region get a little insight into the factors affecting the Woman of Excellence award process. The WOE selection committee is made up solely of past recipients and it is a different group of past recipients every year.  To get their perspective we interviewed this year’s WOE Co-Chair, Kelsey Carr, for her thoughts on what it takes to make an impression on the committee. Here’s what she had to say.

In general what is the committee looking for in a Woman of Excellence?

To start, they strive to select women who best fit the criteria of each award category. Beyond that, it’s those who stand out. This can be anything from interesting backstory, unique career development, a focus on empowering other women, succeeding beyond hardship, passionate community involvement, and so on. The nominations that really “pop” are those that tell a story – focusing on the foundation and development of the individual, as opposed to just their resume.

How long is the process and how does it work?

The selection meeting takes anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours. However, each member of the selection committee reviews all of the applications in the days prior, so on selection day they come prepared with their top two choices in each category. From there, they put all of those choices up on a board, and work from one category to the next with open discussion.

Do you have any advice for someone who is writing a nomination for someone else?

A nomination made under a specific award category can be recategorized to another during the selection process. So when writing a nomination, select the award category that you think best fits your nominee, but also review the criteria for the other categories and be sure to include those details if they apply.

Is there a common mistake or misstep that applicants or those writing nominations can avoid?

Use the 250 words for each essay response wisely! The selection committee has a huge task of reviewing many nominations, so it’s important to be creatively concise. Again, don’t just repeat their resume. Both the essay responses and the recommendation letters carry weight in the selection, so be sure that both present the nominee in an engaging way. Also, if the individual is well-known in the community, don’t assume that everyone knows them or knows everything about them. Everything that makes them excellent, must be included in the nomination.

Anything else we should know?

All I can add is that the selection process isn’t easy. The committee takes the task very seriously, knowing that the end goal is for every single person to walk out of the Award Luncheon in June feeling inspired.

So there you have it, the inside scoop on WOE. We’re already inspired by the dedication of the Award committee but if there’s a woman who inspires you, make sure you follow Kelsey’s awesome advice!

The Award Luncheon will be Thursday, May 31st. Find out more here. 

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