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Ellevate Squads - What’s Changing? What’s Staying?

Ellevate Squads - What’s Changing? What’s Staying?

Last year, we launched a new way for Ellevate members to build meaningful relationships with like-minded women: Ellevate Squads. After many conversations within the network, it was clear to us that a supportive community— people who have your back, open doors, and give you honest feedback— is a big part of what it takes to push forward in a male-dominated world. Women like you want to connect with other smart, ambitious women out there conquering the world, but you’re all so busy! While we all want to meet the right people outside of our normal circles, we also want to get the most out of the time and energy we put into networking.

[Read more about the initial Ellevate Squads Launch]

At Ellevate, we’re always listening for feedback from the community. Hearing from our members- both the positive responses and the more critical feedback- is what helps us improve, and taking action to improve the Ellevate experience is what drives us.

In 2017, we heard loud and clear that we needed to provide more support for Squad Mods, as well as clearer guidelines and expectations for Squad member engagement each week. There were also a lot of questions about the makeup of Squads- some were appropriately diverse, and some felt unbalanced.

In response, we're excited to launch the following changes:

New options when applying for a Squad, including choosing a Local or Global Squad and new times of the week for meetings. Member profiles have been upgraded, with career stages and new professional goals, which will help us pick diverse, yet balanced Squads.

Deeper resources for Squad Mods, including a full Information Center with tips and insights for all participants, more curriculum options, and an onboarding program of webinars, as well as full-time support from Ellevate.

Clearer guidelines around when members should be removed from a Squad, and a tool to let Squad Mods remove disengaged members. If a Squad member doesn’t attend the mandatory Kick Off and doesn’t follow up within 24 hours, they can be removed from the Squad.

Weekly curriculum emails from Ellevate, with discussion prompts and frequently asked questions, as well as downloadable Goal and Hot Seat worksheets to help members prepare for the program.

Improved handling of time zones for Global Squads; to reduce confusion, members will see all meeting times translated into their local time zone, and can update their location and time zone on their member profile.

We’ve decided not to launch single-industry or single-goal Squads today; diversity is one of our core values, and we believe that learning from women that come from different backgrounds and have varied goals, accomplishments, and experiences is key. (This isn’t to say we won’t do this in the future- there’s still a lot on our roadmap for 2018!)

Squads were developed and refined to help you...

Avoid the dead-end coffee dates.
Trying to network, but busy? Get the most out of your time by building ongoing relationships with a group looking to do the same.

Get outside of your normal circle.
Your Squad will get you- but will also offer insights and unbiased, candid advice from inside other companies, industries, and backgrounds.

Be purposeful, focused, and efficient.
In less than the time it takes for a lunch break, make investing in yourself through professional development a part of your routine.

We also want to recognize that Ellevate Squads are not…

Homogenous communities of group-think.
Ellevate Squads are intentionally diverse, created with a balance of different backgrounds, achievements, and goals. This bring unique solutions to light and surfaces strategic opportunities.

For women with extremely unpredictable schedules.
We expect you to show up each week to support your Squad; missing one or two meetings is understandable, but if your schedule is too busy to support weekly meetings, consider applying when you’re able to invest more time in yourself.

Somewhere to only focus on yourself.
A balance of give and get is important. You’ll have specific moments to share your goals, but you should listen and give to the group proportionally, without dominating the conversation.

All Squad members also agree to our Code of Conduct:

Squads are a confidential space for you to support each other, to share your goals and challenges, to celebrate your wins, to clear your roadblocks and to hold one another accountable. Please keep Ellevate’s Values top of mind: be respectful, value the diversity of the group, practice gratitude, and search for action-oriented solutions.

We expect that you'll support your Squad by attending weekly video calls; by submitting an application, you are committing to this investment in yourself and others. If you unexpectedly can no longer attend weekly calls, please change your selected meeting time or withdraw your application.

With these changes, we’re thrilled to be reopening Squad applications. If you’re as excited as we are, you can apply between February 21 and March 7th here

Questions or feedback? Email anytime.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.


Continue learning with this Ellevate Playbook:

Ellevate Network is a community of professional women committed to helping each other succeed. We use the power of community to help you take the next step in your career.

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