CREATE

Creating Space for Women to Succeed

Every month, a group of women gathers online to join a female leader from fields including tech, healthcare and education discuss her professional life, her successes and failures, and to meet one another, share their thoughts and their own experiences. Women are encouraged to return monthly, build relationships and practice networking skills. Women who most need networking skills and a strong community of professional peers are often those least able to afford it. Table for Ten aims to make attendance accessible for all women.

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In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA

Westside

South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

Other:: Other Counties in Southern California

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Women are 50.8% of the US population, earning 59% of master’s degrees, yet make up just 6% of Fortune 500 CEOs, 10% of top management positions in S&P 500 companies, and 20% of senior officers in tech firms. Women have traditionally been excluded from formal and informal male networking. According to Forbes, ‘Many women don’t want to attend events after work, because they want to get home to be with their families (since women are still the primary caregivers).’ A 2019 study by the Kellogg’s School of Management, even when women attempt to network, showed that it didn't move the needle, because what they need is other women. The study also showed that women who form a strong, close professional network with other women are nearly three times more likely to get a better job than women without that same support. Promoting women is not simply a diversity issue – it’s an economic one. According to McKinsey, $4.3 trillion could be added to the economy if gender parity were reached by 2035.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

Table of Ten started in September of 2020, born out of the isolation caused by the shutdown from a global pandemic. COVID19 has disproportionately impacted women’s employment, hitting hardest many women, decreasing overall working time as women juggle the demands of caregiving (homeschooling, childcare, caring for sick family members) and employment. Never has the need for female networking, in new spaces, felt more urgent. No matter the number of attendees, at Table for Ten, each networking group is capped at 12 maximum, to encourage intimate, meaningful and memorable interactions, and minimize stage fright or fears. We believe that nobody was born good at networking – it takes practice. Currently, attendees have to purchase tickets, which may be a barrier to some women. With the grant, Table for Ten would create annual memberships for women throughout LA2050 at a heavily discounted, nominal rate to allow more women to join. A nominal fee is preferable to offering free tickets. Experience shows that when something is offered for free, it fails to inspire commitment. We want women who are serious about their long-term growth and are willing to learn and transform. A nominal annual membership fee allows women to feel they have some skin in the game. With a grant, we would also reach out to influential and powerful men who are supportive of women's advancement and invite them to lead tables. Table for Ten will need both male and female leaders to ensure success for women.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 1,010

Indirect Impact: 505,000

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

In both the short and long-term, we expect that strong local female networks will result in job opportunities, better access to funding and capital, and an increase in thriving women and minority-owned businesses across Los Angeles County. In the long-term, we aim to generate data on employment, new projects won, advancement and salary raises for attendees, in order to quantify the impact of Table for Ten. But capacity-building and true change takes time. We predict that progress for attendees may not be measurable for 5-10 years from now. However, we intend to measure impact by tracking the increase in attendees who are minority women, disabled women, first generation immigrants, and LGBTQ women. Women in these groups are disproportionately affected by lack of access to leadership, and stand to benefit most. Table for Ten has been also able to provide professional, social and emotional support in our monthly sessions during COVID. We hope to expand this in 2021 and 2022.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Network growth and future opportunities can be tricky to measure quantitatively. We plan to track the engagement of attendees with forms that track measurable data. We also encourage participants to connect on LinkedIn and will carry out assessments to measure the size of their network over time, while also working to prioritize connections to achieve defined goals. Qualitative feedback in the 7 months so far shows that attendees value the platform. “As someone who doesn’t feel comfortable making conversation at large networking events, or has availability in events with business peers – like golf or baseball games - I’ve loved participating in the Table for Ten,” says one manager at a publicly traded company who is one of only a few female leaders in a firm of 22,000 employees. “The small groups are very accessible, and the topics and selection of host are relevant and interesting. Table for Ten introduces me to new people, and builds my network across multiple industries.

Which of the CREATE metrics will you impact?​

Income inequality

Minority- and women-owned businesses

Unemployment rate

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

LA is the best place to LEARN

LA is the best place to CONNECT