Voices in the Crowd Call For Entries

Have you ever been so captivated by someone’s personal story that it changed your outlook on life, the way you interact with others, how you conduct business, what goals you set for yourself? Join the Women’s Business Council for a captivating group of stories inspired by Moth Radio that will expose you to a powerful network of people in this Region who you may have never seen or heard from before!

Hear short, live stories relating to the business world presented by 7  “storytellers” who will voice their varying perspectives and personal journeys relating to their careers – some making brave, hard choices where other paths may have been paved by an aha moment. All stories will stir the fearlessness in you and leave you with actionable advice you can pack up “to go”!

Submit Your Story!

In preparation for our Voices in the Crowd event, we want to hear from you! Please share your story and you could be chosen to be featured as a speaker at our event on November 13, 2018! Your story should be told from your heart, in a short concise manner, two minutes total. No cliffhangers please! Your story should in some way tie back to business in order to align with the true mission of the Women’s Business Council.

Story Theme: Risky Business

“If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done,” said author Tiffany Dufu. What story do you have that aligns with taking risks and reaping rewards in business? We want to hear it!

How to Share:

Call our Voices in the Crowd Submission Portal: 518-992-6511

Be prepared to share the following via voice message:

Name, Phone Number, Email Address, Your Story-In a Short 2 Minute Pitch

Deadline for Submissions:

April 30, 2018

Chosen “Voices in the Crowd” will be notified in June, 2018.

Here are some story telling tips and tricks from Moth Radio, our inspiration for this event!

13 Fears That Keep Women from Being Remarkable

Founder and CEO of Women Igniting Change™, Robbin Jorgensen caught up with us recently and shared how women leaders can overcome the status quo and become the fullest expression of who we are.  Below is some sage advice on how to overcome our irrational fears:

StockSnap_S1MTGHEBU4Whether you’re boldly walking into your boss’s office to discuss a conflict on your team or you’re walking onto the stage to deliver an important keynote address, you will likely be confronted with the rush of unease, nervousness, or, let’s face it, outright fear.

As women, we are all too familiar with how this feels – your palms get sweaty, your heart begins to race, you feel energy rushing through your body and all you can think about is how to avoid it: flee, fight, or freeze.

I’m not talking about the self-protective, instinctual fear that has evolved as a protection mechanism. That kind of fear is good for you. It rushes in when you’re in true danger and spikes your adrenaline so you can defend yourself or get to safety should the need arise. I call this rational fear.

The fear I’m talking about is the one that comes from your thoughts and is linked to your limiting beliefs about yourself and the world around you. This kind of fear is based in scarcity and self-doubt, and it keeps you stuck in a loop of inaction, rather than moving you forward toward what you want. I call this irrational fear.

In the organizations we work with, we help women leaders see their irrational fears for what they are: Falsehoods that keep them stuck in the status quo and prevent them from becoming the fullest expression of who they are.

I’ve compiled a list that I think shine a spotlight on the most common fears that cause women to shrink and shut down. The first step in getting rid of them is being able to identify what they are.

How many of these fears ring true for you?

  • Fear of being seen – This is when you try to fade into the background or hide rather than speak up, step forward, or insert yourself into situations.
  • Fear of living outside your comfort zones – This is when you refuse to try something new or to do anything that causes you to feel uncomfortable or awkward.
  • Fear of failure – This is when you avoid any situation, task, or commitment where uncertainty of success comes into play. You don’t try; therefore, you can’t fail.
  • Fear of feeling like a fraud – This is also called the imposter syndrome. It’s when you are convinced you have no idea what you’re doing, so you just fake it. You are sure that eventually “everyone” will find out.
  • Fear of being unprepared – This is when you never feel like something is quite ready.  It could always use one more tweak before you show it to anyone. You never move from novice to expert because you are plagued by self-doubt.
  • Fear of rejection – This is when the fear of hearing NO keeps you from trying anything at all. You are more concerned about the possibility of rejection than you are of reaching your highest level of success.
  • Fear of being wrong – This is when you don’t want to be seen as uninformed or ignorant.  You lack confidence so you refuse to assert your opinion or to contribute your knowledge and experience.
  • Fear of being ridiculed – This is when you are afraid of what “they” might say about you so you refuse to put yourself, your work, your opinions or your answers out for others to see.
  • Fear of not knowing enough – This is when you refuse to trust yourself. No matter how much education, training, or real-world experience you have, you are trapped by insecurity.
  • Fear of sounding stupid – This is when you are so afraid of what others think about what you have to say that you sit quietly and bite your tongue — even when you know you are right.
  • Fear of Success – While it may sound counterintuitive, many women are afraid of success.  Success requires you to be seen, to speak your mind, and to do more. The fear of others’ expectations, letting people down and letting yourself down is what fuels this fear.
  • Fear of speaking your truth – This is when you are certain about a visceral truth, yet you hold back your words anyway. Women often yearn to speak their authentic opinions, but go along with corporate norms for fear of backlash.
  • Fear of standing in your power – This one is HUGE. This one is a combination of all the other fears combined. It’s embodies a reluctance to honor your space in the world. This is a refusal to acknowledge your core values and your right to have a voice.

How many of those did you identify with? If you’re anything like me, you have several of these fears colluding together at any given time.  They’re toxic and they can become paralyzing. Isn’t it crazy how much we allow something that’s irrational to stop us from achieving our full potential?

The thing about these irrational fears is that once you step outside the self-talk loop and get a fresh perspective, you can see the folly in believing them.

If you’re really ready to release these fears that are holding you back, I recommend choosing ONE to start with.

Here is a three-step practice that you can begin to use immediately:

  1. Acknowledge your fear –Your body doesn’t know the difference between rational fears and irrational ones. Your physiological responses are the same. Take away some of the fear’s power by choosing to see it and deal with it.
  2. Ask it what it’s trying to tell you – The root of your fears is self-preservation. Yes, even the irrational ones are only trying to protect you. Ask your fear what it is trying to teach you, stop, and listen for the answer.  If you want to get a little advanced, write it down and you’ll start to see patterns emerge that you can address.
  3. Take one step away every day – Make a daily practice of taking a small, bold step away from your fear. Take control and defy it. Small wins away from fear will build your confidence, and several small wins will result in big accomplishments.

Overcoming your fears won’t be easy, and it certainly won’t happen overnight. It takes commitment and persistence, and often, support from someone who can offer you a different viewpoint. But, if you stick with the practice, you can eventually see your fears for what they are and work around them.

If you’d like to speak with a Women Igniting Change™ strategic solutions partner about some of our innovative practices for creating an organization that transforms your women leaders into strategic business partners you can reach us at:  support@womenignitingchange.com or (888) 467-6127.

Help Our Neighbors in Cohoes Rebuild

From the desk of Amanda Goyer

CAP COM Federal Credit Union’s charitable giving arm, CAP COM Cares Foundation has established a fund account for Cohoes Fire Victims in an effort to help raise funds for families and businesses impacted by the devastating fire on Remsen Street.

Donations can be made at any of CAP COM’s ten branch locations www.capcomfcu.org/locations or by mailing a check made payable to: CAP COM Cares Foundation 4 Winners Circle Albany, NY 12205 (MEMO: Cohoes Fire Victims)

The CAP COM Cares Foundation is working closely with the Cohoes Mayor’s Office, Cohoes Community Center and the Red Cross of Northeast NY to ensure funding is allocated to the appropriate parties where the need is most present.

Thank you for considering partnering with CAP COM to help our neighbors in Cohoes rebuild!

CAP COM Cares Foundation Launches Individual Giving Campaign

From the desk of Amanda Goyer

The CAP COM Cares Foundation, the charitable giving arm of CAP COM Federal Credit Union, has launched its Patron of the Foundation Program. The program enables individual donors to give monthly or annually through an automated donation platform, while receiving public recognition for their generosity.

The Patron of the Foundation will allow the CAP COM Cares Foundation, which has donated more than $3.2 million to the local community since 2003, to establish a recurring fundraising stream, enabling deeper community giving. It will also create meaningful experiences for donors through volunteer opportunities and community partnerships.

“We have dedicated our mission to providing unique and unforgettable experiences for both Foundation recipients and benefactors,” said Amanda Goyer, CAP COM Community Relations Manager. “The Patron of the Foundation expands on this mission, and lets donors experience their positive impact firsthand.”

The Patron of the Foundation is open to anyone who wishes to support its ongoing efforts in the Capital Region community. Monthly giving starts as low as $10 and can provide up to 12 local, underprivileged children backpacks and school supplies.

To learn more visit: www.capcomfcu.org/patron.

How Companies Can Leverage Gender Diversity to Drive Innovation and Performance

Founder and CEO of Women Igniting Change™, Robbin Jorgensen caught up with us recently and shared some advice on how organizations can elevate the talent of their women leaders WHILE surpassing their goals in the process. Read what she had to say below:

Founder and CEO of Women Igniting Change™, Robbin Jorgensen

If you want your organization to thrive in today’s marketplace, diversity is key. While we know this intuitively, research has also proven that diverse companies significantly outperform their homogeneous competitors.

Many organizations that are ready to start leveraging the potential of a diverse workforce begin by implementing and re-evaluating women’s leadership initiatives. At Women Igniting Change™ we work with a lot of companies who have the best of intentions. They want to implement strategies that help women in their company feel valued and engaged. They want to provide the education necessary to ensure they have a pipeline of high potential women ready to take on additional responsibilities and move into senior leadership positions. The only way to ensure the success of goals like this is to stop and evaluate what is and isn’t working, and then strategically map out a plan of action.

Unfortunately, the Corporate culture is 95% reactive and 5% proactive. Leaders are so busy putting out fires that there isn’t time dedicated to proactively think through how something should be designed and implemented. What we often see are organizations that – despite doing their best to offer programming that offers real value – aren’t offering streamlined programming that connects to the bigger picture. They hire multiple outside vendors to come in and do “one off” programming, hope the value sticks, and move on to the next one.

So, how do you ensure that you’re adding solid value to the women in your organization WHILE surpassing your organization’s goals in the process?

By creating a solid framework.

Here are our four essential keys to creating a framework for a successful Women’s Leadership Initiative:

1 – A Comprehensive Strategic Plan

In order to have the impact that most organizations desire, they MUST take the time to implement a comprehensive, strategic women’s leadership development plan.

First – It’s imperative to determine what the overall objective of the program is.

  • What is it you’re trying to accomplish? What are the desired tangible outcomes?
  • WHY is it important that this be achieved?
  • How does this program align with other key corporate initiatives?

Second – Who should be in charge of the program? The most effective programs have key stakeholders from across the organization working together in a consistent, structured manner.

Three – What does the program look like when it’s done and done well?  It’s imperative that organizations take the time to complete this step.

2 – Ensure Strategic Alignment with your Corporate Growth Strategy

Implementing a women’s leadership initiative without tying it back to the corporate growth strategy is simply checking a box.

What is the 3-5 year plan/strategy for gender diversity? The best way to achieve those goals is to look at every facet of the strategy and then reverse engineer a plan of action that begins with your women’s leadership initiative.

3 – Measure Program Effectiveness

Too many programs exist without an effective measurement and ROI calculation. It’s essential to “inspect” what you “expect.”

Establishing key performance indicators (KPI’s) that measure effectiveness and offer the opportunity for course correction is critical to success.

  • What are the elements that need to be measured?
  • How often should check-ins occur?
  • How should the information be communicated and to whom?
  • How is the learning being applied back to their roles? How is that being quantified?

4 – Create a Sustainability Plan

Without sustainable benchmarks, the whole thing was just a really nice idea. Once you have a plan that works, how will you not only sustain it but help it evolve and grow?

Many initiatives can fall flat if they are done the same way year after year. So, it’s essential to map out how your organization will sustain and grow your women’s leadership initiatives.

Of course, there are multiple layers underneath each one of these categories that are essential to ensure success, but starting with these four as a benchmark will guide you in the right direction.

If you’d like to speak with a Women Igniting Change™ strategic solutions partner, we’d be happy to share some of our best practices for creating a comprehensive plan for your organization that transforms your women leaders into strategic business partners. You can reach us at:  support@womenignitingchange.com or (888) 467-6127.

Another way you can learn more about Women Igniting Change™ is to join us on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 from 11:30am-1pm,  at an upcoming program. Earn the six transforming steps that will IGNITE 2018!


Inspiration to Persevere

If you missed last week’s Women’s Business Council Program event, here is a testimonial from a past Women’s Business Council Women of Excellence recipient, Alissa Quinn.

“I listened to one of the most profound speakers, Regina Calcaterra, author of Etched in Sand, a NY Times best seller about her emotionally powerful story of how she endured a series of foster homes, abandonment and abuse living on the streets of Long Island with her four siblings.  My mind is spinning about all of the possible ways each one of us could do one thing to help an older child in foster care, incidentally a topic being tackled by the TV show, This is Us. Congratulations to the Women’s Business Council of the Capital Region Chamber for hosting such an inspiring and shining example of this exceptional professional woman who went on to become an attorney and Executive Director of New York State Utility Storm Preparation, appointed by Governor Cuomo. Calcaterra gives back to the community she survives, and is currently a partner of a law firm.”

Alissa Quinn
Alissa Quinn, Senior Vice President, UBS, The Quinn Wealth Management Group and Regina Calcaterra, Partner, Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP

Sorry not sorry

Thank you GE Women’s Network for inviting Women’s Business Council members to a brown bag lunch with  Robbin Jorgensen, CPCC, PCC, Founder and CEO of Women Igniting Change, a global -purpose driven organization geared toward unleashing the contributions of women around the world. The interactive discussion was held at GE on Wednesday, September 27, 2017. It was a pleasure to meet strong women who find solutions for the world in a male dominated industry.

If you missed this opportunity, there is still an opportunity to learn from Robbin Jorgensen, CPCC, PCC at an upcoming Women’s Business Council program this upcoming January. Expect interaction and inspiring dialogue with like minded women who get to the point and help you become your best advocate. You’ll have unique action steps that you can start practicing right away.  Here’s mine:

  1. Listen to my sage voice.
  2. See challenges as potential for growth.
  3. Ask for focused feedback.
Robbin Jorgensen.jpg
left to right: Rebecca Whalen, Capital Roots; Kathleen Lincoln, GE Power; Robbin Jorgensen, Women Igniting Change; Leslie Foster, Siena Research Institute; and Sarah Boink, Special Olympics New York

Reunite Flights

CapComImageWBCPostOctDo you, or does someone you know, miss a loved one currently serving our country? Cap Com Federal Credit Union’s Reunite Flights program provides two active duty military personnel free, round-trip airfare to come home in 2017 or 2018. Nominations will be accepted through October 31, 2017. Winners will be chosen and announced on Veterans Day!