After many conversations with professional women, it was clear to us that a supportive community — people who have your back, open doors, and give you honest feedback — is a big part of what it takes to push forward in a male-dominated world. Women like you want to connect with other smart, ambitious women out there conquering the world, but you’re all so busy! While we all want to meet the right people outside of our normal circles, we also want to get the most out of the time and energy we put into (dare I say it) “networking.”
We heard you: no more dead-end coffee dates.
In 2016, we started to develop a new way for Ellevate members to build meaningful relationships with like-minded women. Women who will encourage and support each other in reaching their goals, who will help each other determine the next steps in their careers, and who will hold each other accountable.
We called it Ellevate Squads.
Starting with 32 women in Charlotte, we began to beta test our approach. In 2017, we launched an official beta with 55 amazing women in Boston, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, and Houston; by mid-2017, we had 170 women participating in our beta. In September 2017, we launched our first full cohort of Squads, spanning more than 1,000 women in cities around the world.
Continually listening to the feedback and experiences of women in the program has driven the improvements we’ve been able to make to the program, including launching specific Local and Global Squads, building out a training program for Squad Mods, introducing a specific Code of Conduct, and diversifying our curriculum.
We’re excited to continue to improve and grow Ellevate Squads in 2019 and beyond. If you have any question about the program, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.