Fredrickson Learning is a certified WBE company that believes in equality and community. To celebrate International Women's Day, we asked some of our community members to share their thoughts on International Women's Day and what it means to them.

-Jay Kasdan, Director of Community Learning and Connection

Why is International Women's Day important to You?
Carol Allen
Director, Learning & Organization Effectiveness
SPS Commerce

"International Women’s Day is important to me because the world is not yet gender-equal despite the fact that women comprise over half of the population. It’s an opportunity to pause and reflect on the progress that has been made, as well as to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of women who came before us. I believe it’s our obligation to model leadership by encouraging all women to use IDW as a collective call to action."
Stefanie Bell-Egge
Sr. Manager Learning Technology & Operations
General Mills

"International Women's Day is important to me because it is a reminder of the intersectionality nearly every human works within every day. The day also serves as an important reminder and celebration of the tremendous progress that has been made for women’s rights and gender equality – and to offer important awareness that large chasms do still exist locally, nationally, and globally for women and girls. This awareness is particularly acute for women and girls who: have brown skin and/or who do not have autonomy over their own bodies and reproductive health and/or who do not have financial security and/or who are viewed as immigrants and/or.….. Much work remains for women and girls to acquire and inhabit the full rights offered to individuals who live within the 'dominant' culture."
Kathleen Corrigan-Howe
Learning Manager
Ashling Partners

"When I think of International Women's Day, I think of all the women who came before me and truly made the path smoother for the rest of us. Women's rights and equalities are still not where they should be, but certainly we wouldn't be where we are today as women without the sacrifices, hard work, and genuine desire for equality that the women before us embodied. I am grateful."
Vicki Heinz
AVP, Talent Management
Prime Therapeutics

"International Women’s Day is an opportunity to recognize the achievements of women everywhere. It is also an opportunity to challenge bias and gender inequality in all forms. For me, it is about making a conscious decision every day to support other women through recognition, opportunity, funding, and allyship. At work, I lead our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts as well as talent management. I am a leader and mentor. In my community, I volunteer with Girl Scouts and Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (founded by women), support women-owned small businesses, and donate to organizations that support issues affecting women. I believe that by working together supporting women in both big and small ways, we can effect positive change."
Sarah Moran
Senior Manager of Learning and Development
The Toro Company

"The world is vast, and the circumstances that women face are wildly varied – some born into poverty, some born into wealth, and others born somewhere in between. Regardless of those circumstances, women have built and nurtured families, strengthened communities, created businesses, brought healing, dreamed of better, and fought for their place in the world. On this International Women’s Day, I am humbled by all that women the world over have accomplished…I am inspired by their brilliance, tenacity, and strength…and I am proud to be counted among them."
Kathleen Sikora
Senior Manager, Talent Effectiveness and Development
Code 42

"Women's History Month serves as a time to remind us of the accomplishments of women throughout the years to our culture and society. It's a chance to reflect on the trailblazing women who lead the way for change. I can't think of a more poignant time than now to reflect on and celebrate this as we officially enter one year of this ongoing pandemic. As a working mother myself, there was a complete upheaval of life as I knew it. Work went remote, childcare disappeared or became scarce and I, along with many others, became a 'Full Time-Stay at Home-Fully Employed Mother'.

It's been an opportunity for me to blaze my own new trails while getting things done. To be clear, it's not just working mothers. While everyone is facing unprecedented challenges at this time, women are bearing the brunt of the economic and social fallout. It's more important than ever to not only recognize the accomplishments of women, but also find new ways to encourage, support, and provide resources for them that allow them opportunities and empower them to bring their whole selves to the workplace. Trails will still be blazed, but the more tools we can provide the easier it will be and the more we can all accomplish together. I for one, can't wait to see the new trails and exciting accomplishments that will come out of these tumultuous times."
Sarah Waite
Sr. HR Director
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

"It’s actually not International Women’s Day that’s important to me. It’s ensuring that all women and girls have an equitable opportunity to show and develop their skills so they can achieve their career aspirations that I am passionate about. As a proud feminist I have raised my son and daughter to advocate for equality in all spaces. I love this year’s International Women’s Day theme--it’s good for our world and our workplace: 'A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.
So let's all choose to challenge'.”
We had a ton of fun seeing the response to the April Fools' newsletter we sent out a couple weeks ago. We're grateful for all of you for making our day with all the positive feedback we saw via replies, individual messages, and on LinkedIn. Thanks for humoring us!

By the way, in our mock-poll, Harry and Meghan were the top vote getters for Summit presenters. Unfortunately they had to decline because Harry has found a new gig in Silicon Valley. We acknowledge this sounds like an extension of the April Fool's theme, so here's a Washington Post link for reference.

And in case you missed it, here's a link to Fredrickson's first April Fools' newsletter.
Rebecca Knutson, System Director Organizational Learning and Development, shares the following piece on organizational L&D's role in supporting mental and emotional wellbeing. Thank you Rebecca!

As I write this it has officially been 1 year since we entered the pandemic. So much has changed, transformed, and required people, organizations, and communities to rethink the way we work and conduct day-to-day activities. While protocols, processes, and practices have been put into place to protect us from COVID, up to and including vaccines, the lasting effects of this past year are yet to be seen. What is clear is that there is a great need to support each other and our organizations in their journeys around mental and emotional wellbeing. 

McKinsey is reporting that almost 41% of Americans struggle with mental health issues stemming from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Harvard Business Review reports that in a Fall 2020 wellbeing survey 85% of respondents noted a decline in their overall wellbeing with 50% noting a decline in their own mental health.

Here are three ways you can approach supporting wellbeing within your own organization. [Continue Reading]
Back in March, Tabatha Cronin and Angie Ballinger led the Roundtable titled "Driving Learning Adoption and Accountability at Cargill."

Like many of us, Cargill has been aggressively building their digitalization capability, and Tabatha and Angie outlined their group's recent approach around two topics integral to that effort - learning governance and data and measurement strategy.

Through the sharing of practical examples and real data we learned about Cargill's journey in these areas, and where they're headed next. We also let the group split off into two large breakout rooms to learn more about whichever topic interested them most and to ask more detailed questions of the presenters.
Thank you again Tabatha and Angie for talking about your experiences and giving the Roundtable community a lot to reflect on as we all continue to expand our own digitalization capabilities within our organizations.
 
Interested in the Roundtable for Learning Leaders?
Are you a learning leader who would like to interact and share best practices with your peers? Would you like to learn more about any of these topics? If yes, we encourage you to apply for membership in Fredrickson’s Roundtable for Learning Leaders.
 
This community of leadership-level L&D professionals will connect you with like-minded individuals where you can discuss trends, challenges, and solutions facing you and your L&D team, as well as network with the learning community.
Bethany Esse, Alex Herrmann, and Melissa Schmit from Allianz Life led the Sales Enablement Circle at the end of March to discuss "The Life of the Pivot: How Allianz Life quickly transformed from an in-person sales culture to fully digital." Clearly, the pandemic has greatly impacted how sales professionals are able to do their jobs. Many sales cultures were strongly rooted in in-person, face-to-face interactions with clients and potential clients. What do you do when it becomes clear those types of interactions just won't be possible for a while?

Enter the team at Allianz Life. They addressed the three biggest challenge areas in transitioning to a digital sales culture - technology, training, and transforming mindsets. Through a series of demos of new platforms and tools during the session, they showed how they are proving that new strategies and approaches are not only viable, but effective. They also talked about what's next, and went over some of their next initiatives as they build on their recent successes.
Thanks again to Bethany, Alex, and Melissa for sharing their insights, and giving this community some real food for thought and tools to consider adopting. We love hearing about what's worked for different organizations, and it helps us all continue to prove our value to our business partners.

Interested in the Sales Enablement Circle?
The Sales Enablement Circle will allow you to network, learn up-to-date best practices, and discuss sales training with your peers. As the sales landscape changes, this group will keep you ahead of the game.
Twin Cities Articulate User Group - May 5th
As some of you may know, Gerry Wasiluk, the leader of the Twin Cities Articulate Group, retired in 2020. It’s taken us a while, but we are now ready and excited to announce the relaunch of this learning community. The first session will take place on Wednesday, May 5th from 12:00-1:00.

As part of the new direction, we will be looking for people to share their instructional design and development stories and the role Articulate plays in those stories. We’re looking forward to Maily Nguyen and Ellen Smilanich at Medtronic joining us to share Maily’s experience as a new training developer.
If you're interested in this session, or if you or others you know are interested in participating in this Articulate-focused community, please reach out to Jay Kasdan (jkasdan@fredricksonlearning.com).

Young Learning Leaders Forum - May 19th
On May 19th, Leah Holmgren, a Director of Technical Training at Dell, will join the Young Learning Leaders Forum to talk about strategic planning and its importance in the context of L&D. We invite any early-career learning professionals to join us for this session, titled "Strategic Planning: Alignment and Communication." Please contact Jay Kasdan for details (jkasdan@fredricksonlearning.com).