Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Empower In, Empower Out

"...We believe that work is more than a place you go every day. It should be a place of exploration, creativity, professional growth and interpersonal relationships. It's about being inspired and motivated to achieve extraordinary things..." ~ From the Coca Cola Company's People Profiles 

Empowerment is an idea that is talked about a lot in conversations these days. It means to authorize, enable, support, supply with the tools needed for a goal, support one's journey or path, allow one to reach their goals.  When we hear that word, we know what it means. We get the idea and the end goal of it.

But what does it look like in action?

October 17 and 18, 2012, this Woman Enough had the opportunity to see what it looks like in action on both an individual and corporate level, in Atlanta Georgia, at Coca-Cola headquarters. I was invited and  hosted (thank you for providing for the wonderful travel and hotel accommodations) by the Coca-Cola Company to attend Conversations With Coca-Cola, a conference to include women/mom bloggers and social media presences, into the conversations of the Coca-Cola Company's efforts to give back to local and global communities.

I, and all the attendees, had the wonderful opportunity to hear from amazing women from the company and from outside of the company, that spoke about using our voices, using our talents, and empowering one another in personal, professional, and community life. We discussed may initiatives such as sustainability and environment, and Live Positively. All of them were admirable and philanthropic.  But, what stuck out most to me was the willingness and belief in empowering women to have a voice, have a chance, and to lead.

Empowering women both inside and outside of the corporate walls is an active goal and real world action that Coca-Cola is taking to lift up and recognize the power of women in the world.  Within the company, female leadership is developed and supported through a focus on attracting, retaining and developing strong female leadership. The Women's Leadership Council further empowers women through a pay it forward, "lift as you climb" approach to building community and support within the corporate frame of Coca Cola. A dedication to providing flexibility options for women juggling the work/life/home demands, further supports and empowers women to have the opportunity to live each area of life to the fullest.

Empowerment reaches outward too. 

In an effort to empower women entrepreneurs around the globe, Coca Cola put in place the 5by20 program. It's goal is to enable economic empowerment of 5 million women globally by 2012.
  • "Through 5by20, we address the most common barriers women face when trying to succeed in the marketplace. This initiative offers women access to business skills training courses, financial services and connections with peers or mentors -- along with the confidence that comes with building a successful business."
Moving outward into the global communities to raise up and support: It is a lofty goal, but so honorable. 

Prior to the conference, I admit, I had a limited view of what Coca-Cola provided.  When I thought of the company, I thought of the red can and the snappy jingles that I heard as a kid.  I remember myself and my kids filling, and OVER filling our cups at the self serve soda fountains at a local fast food restaurant. I also remember cleaning off sticky faces and car interior after the inevitable spillage. I saw Coke as just a liquid, a drink, something in a cup. The Conversations With Coca-Cola Conference changed that.

Women Enough - embrace the empowerment opportunities that come your way.  Whether it be someone lifting and supporting you to reach your greatness, or your chance to extend a hand and help someone reach theirs, embrace it.  Reach your hand inside your circles to help another. But be just as ready to turn and face outward and extend your had that way too.  Whether we empower personally or corporately, it works for the greater good of others.

Thank you to The Coca-Cola Company for being an example of what it means to Empower in and Empower out.

1 comment:

  1. This is great, Angie. I definitely felt myself lifted at this event and I'm glad you did too!