“The conversations in these meetings have really shaped my perspective on how I want to contribute to my career here with the Bulls and my personal life.” – DBBC Merchandise Assistant Manager Ashley Adams
Capitol Broadcasting is constantly working on new ideas to help our employees learn and grow. To that end, in 2016 CBC created a program to help women in our company connect and develop both professionally and personally. CS Vice President George Habel came up with the seed for the program, and with another team of CBC leaders including WRAL-FM General Manager Katie Phillips and Corp Vice President Angie Emerline, has supported the Capitol Women’s Network.
Originally named Capitol Women in the Game, the endeavor launched in 2016 with a group of women from the Durham Bulls in CBC Sports Radio. The pilot program lasted six month, and, due to its success, expanded into a yearlong program for female employees from all CBC divisions. With its evolution the group changed its name to the Capitol Women’s Network and even got its own logo, designed by FOX 50 Art Director I Gayle Hardy with input from WRAL-TV Creative Director Shelly Leslie.
“I had both altruistic and selfish reasons for starting this program at the Bulls,” explained Habel. “We weren’t retaining and growing female employees in a traditionally male-dominated culture. You could just say ‘that’s baseball,’ but it’s totally out of sync with a contemporary workplace, especially in the Triangle. Our fan base is 47% female, so why does the front office have to be a fraternity? I’m so encouraged with how quickly this has developed into a companywide program – with networking across divisions and a new mentoring component. I’m convinced it will help the participants to think beyond the day-to-day, to develop a career path and thrive at CBC.”
Fifty women began meeting monthly in October 2016. The Raleigh group and Durham group meet separately most months, but get together as an entire group once a quarter. The meetings included a group social after work hours in December, and they have plans to add a community outreach component to the program.
Life & Business Coach Marion Youngblood facilitates the group. She works with an Advisory Team of eight women from a variety of CBC divisions to coordinate the program. All eight are part of the Capitol Women’s Network as well. Youngblood also works with the CBC management team outside the program of Habel, Phillips and Emerline to develop and support the Capitol Women’s Network.
The participants are reaping the benefits of this CBC-offered training and interaction.
DBBC Merchandise Assistant Ashley Adams took part in the pilot program when she joined the Bulls last March, and she is continuing with the year-long program.
“I was and still am really excited about being a part of this program because it’s allowed me to learn more about the women that are a part of this organization and company!” said Adams. “The wide variety of experiences, successes and advice from Marion and the other women have been extremely valuable to me, especially during my first year. The conversations in these meetings have really shaped my perspective on how I want to contribute to my career here with the Bulls and my personal life.”
Capitol Women’s Network’s mission encapsulates the heart of the program.
The purpose of The Capitol Women’s Network is to support the professional development of the women of CWN; to help them frame a career path, to build a professional network, and to promote achievement of both personal and organizational goals while enjoying and sustaining a positive life-work balance.
“When interviewing with Bryan Wilson for my current position, he mentioned that the Bulls and CBC really care about work life balance and being in sports that can be really hard to navigate sometimes,” Adams continued. “This program is one of the many assurances that has validated what Bryan said, and being a part of it has allowed me to better understand how I can do that while still working towards my goals. I am still very young, but very motivated to contribute and this program has allowed me to understand how I can use my strengths to do that. I am excited for what we are about to dive into this year and to continue exploring how I can be more beneficial to my personal life, the Bulls and CBC!”
The program echoes CBC’s mission of providing employees with training opportunities to help advance their skills and keeps its workforce current and competitive. Members work together to determine the content, topics and activities for CWN, as well as setting personal goals for professional development. CWN provides support for working towards those goals.
“I love this program and could go on and on about all of the benefits it’s had with me so far!”
Capitol Women’s Network has added a Mentor Program this spring. Women in the group interested in having a CBC mentor filled out applications, requesting a mentor to help guide them in their professional development. The pairs began working together in mid-April.