by Jordy Veth
Last year I became a member of the Polaris network because I felt that it is a network in which everyone is sincerely motivated to make a change. The main purpose of Polaris is to bridge the gender equality gap in business. To be honest, that it is not my main reason to be a member. With my experience as a male expert in HR I am used to being the minority myself. Therefore I understand that in essence it has less to do with how I was born 40 years ago as a man, but much more with the value I bring as a human being.
In the last 10 years I have seen how society and business are changing rapidly and I believe that in that changing environment there is a growing need for more diverse behavior, skills and values that are more often expressed by women than men. You can think of expressing empathy, listening, caring and so on. And as a man I have been valued by the people I have worked with for expressing these too. So my main reason is to grow the impact and value of this.
Give & Get Workshop for Polaris
On March 9 I had the opportunity to contribute myself by offering the workshop “Give & Get“.
In my experience networks lose out on their potential because it is quite hard to meet new people, get to know what they do and find who can be of help to you. Looking at a network by simply trying to see what you can get out of it yourself is a limited view on networking. If you change it around by also thinking about how building meaningful relations can support you in helping other people, it starts to become more natural, since helping people is natural to most of us.
The workshop Give & Get is a powerful way in which this can be facilitated. The principle is simple: helping each other by asking for help yourself. The difficult thing is that people upfront want to know how it works and what it will bring. And this exactly the thing that is so hard to explain, you can best understand it by experiencing it at first hand. And this is exactly what happened during the day of the workshop. Once the people started asking for helping and helping each other they started to feel the power and energy of it. On one hand people experienced that asking for help is important and powerful, but also very difficult. On the other hand it was surprising to see in what unexpected ways people were wiling to help each other.
So now that we have started the first workshop I hope this will help more people to take the risk to participate and experience at first hand how powerful this can be. And hopefully this will help all the members of Polaris to grow a meaningful network that does bridge the gender gap and many more purposes.
Quotes from participants
I realised that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. And it can unexpectedly enrich your professional or personal development.
I was surprised that a solution to a problem can be closer and much easier than I have initially imagined, if I just dare and ask for help.
When I asked for help, I came in contact with inspiring people that gave me valuable input for a research for my thesis.
Inge Hommes, RIPE NCC
Polaris will continue to organise additional Give & Get workshops together with Jordy Veth & the School for Mastery. Stay connected with us and check our events agenda to find out when the next one will follow.