How fitting, that on the day when Equal Pay is observed, the California Moving and Storage Association hosted the first ever, women lead event. The “Women On The Move” Event brought together at least 58 participants via Zoom.
Our panel was moderated by Griselda Gonzalez and Olga Garcia of CG Moving Co. and featured Jeanette Homan, President of Lambert Enterprises Inc., Laurie Griffiths of VIP Transport, Shiree Hammer of California Relocation Services, Inc. and Casey Myers of Champion Risk and Insurance Services. Steve Weitekamp , President of the CMSA and our current Chairman John Chipman Jr. welcomed the attendees and introduced the panel.
We talked about women leadership and how companies can benefit from including women in decision making and leadership positions. In the subject of confidence, we talked about breaking barriers and using self-awareness in a positive way, admit when we do not know about a certain topic and reach out to others, both men and women to learn.
The subject of having a growth mindset, an open mind approach to work with a learning attitude was also discussed. Jeannette Homan spoke about exposure to learning opportunities and how we can build confidence thru knowledge.
On the topic of creating boundaries within our professional and personal lives, during the times of COVID 19 and beyond, Casey Myers shared about the challenges that working out of the home can present and how pursuing hobbies separate from her spouse helps her maintain her sanity. Casey also spoke about showing up to meetings and stepping up to volunteer and not feel left out of events when one may not be familiar with a sport or activity (such as golf!) and find other ways to remain visible.
The issue of working with one’s family and its dynamics was also brought up, and how we need to lead by example and create a work environment where people are held equally accountable. Olga brought up how creating that type of culture in turn creates employee ownership of the organization’s goals and the feeling of belonging and contributing to the company’s achievements.
Laurie shared that she has been able to grow professionally by having a learning attitude and mindset, that when we are open to learning, learning happens. Whether that is how/what not do or how/what to do, there are always learning opportunities.
On the impact the pandemic has brought to women in the workplace, we talked about how 2.3M females vs. 1.8M males have exited the workforce. Acknowledging that the barriers for women do look different than they do for men, how do we, as industry leaders create opportunities for women to re-enter and stay in the workforce? Jeannette said that she understands the challenges of raising a family and re-entering the workforce, and that she encourages flexibility and support to those who may have to work remotely or have different schedules. Shiree shared how when the pandemic hit, women in her office created the “California Relocation Academy”, they brought their school age children to work so that the company operations could continue.
In terms of resources to further our personal or professional development, panelists agree that connecting with each other, educating the next generation of leaders in our industry and companies, supporting and promoting women’s leadership are key. As is participating in learning workshops with trade associations such as the CMSA, the International Association of Movers and not only attending chapter meetings but stepping up to volunteer in leadership positions. Casey recommended a book called “Chatter”.
We ended with a call to action, to speak of gender and pay equality, because in order to create change, we need to be aware of the issues first.
By the way, our local CMSA chapter has this store in observance of Women’s History Month and the CMSA Women on The Move event. You can still purchase a unisex t-shirt or mask, All profits benefit the CMSA Charity and Scholarship Fund.
Here is what participants had to say:
“Speaking to each and every person, with a smile, no matter what level they are on, is key!” Cindy Johnson L. of Lambert Enterprises Inc.
“Having been involved with the industry pretty much my whole life I very much enjoyed hearing from others who also work with family members and how we all do our best to be mindful of those in our company who may not be “blood” family to make sure they are treated with the same respect. We do consider our entire team our family” Roseann Cardinale Orlebeck of Cardinale Moving & Storage, Inc.
We would not have been able to raise close to $3,800 without the support of J & S Paper, Lambert Enterprises Inc. , Champion Risk and Insurance Services, CDS Moving Equipment, New Haven Moving Equipment, Dewitt Move Worldwide and to everyone who attended!