Meet a leader, be a leader: Inspiring and empowering the next generation

A common bond that many Vanguard crewmembers share is the desire to connect and interact within our local communities. Vanguard encourages its crew to prioritize community outreach through charity work and inspiring the next generation of talent. Susan M., a graphic design manager in International Marketing Services, saw an opportunity to do just this through her daughter’s Girl Scouts troop. “After comparing the Girl Scout organization’s core values with Vanguard’s, I noticed many similarities. I realized that there was an opportunity to help young women take their first step in their journey as a leader by leveraging my talented colleagues.” said Susan.

Sharing our journey

Susan worked closely with the Girl Scouts organization to create the “Meet a Leader, Be a Leader” event. The girls were treated to a panel of talented women from various Vanguard departments, who shared their leadership journeys. The panel included leaders from Investment Management, Marketing & Communications, and International Marketing.  In addition, the audience received a step-by-step how-to guide, and, of course, a custom Girl Scouts patch.

During the panel discussion, each leader explained their unique career path and what steps they took to become the leader they are today. This helped to get the girls to think deeper about what qualities they possess. The panel members were sure to highlight some of the less obvious leadership qualities like observation and listening skills. The discussion was interactive, complete with time dedicated to Q&A.

 Envisioning their future

Following the panel discussion, the girls were broken into small groups and asked to create a “dream board”. This helped the girls conceptualize and express their dreams and aspirations through images and words—emphasizing the important lesson to the girls that their goals are attainable. Along with creating the boards, the girls were also tasked with looking at their dream jobs at a 360 degree angle: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Throughout the activity, the leaders circulated around the room and asked questions to help the girls envision a logical path towards their goals. One of the women on the panel, Stephanie G., said, “The dream board activity was an amazing way to get the girls thinking about how they could be a leader in the future. There was one girl who aspires to be an author. Another girl talked about being a scientist. And another about photography and traveling the world. I think everyone was smiling by the end of the night.”

A passion for development

When I asked the panel to reflect on the event, their responses spoke volumes about how passionate they are about developing talent and sharing their knowledge and experience. The members of the panel seemed to benefit from the event just as much as the attendees.

Rachel C. also shared her positive thoughts about the event. “Meet a Leader, Be a Leader was an event that I enjoyed both personally and professionally. I was able to stand beside some of my favorite peers and represent female leadership at Vanguard.  An event like this one shows that Vanguard cares about the development of young women.”

-Allison G.

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