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Volunteering Enhances Women's Career Development

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Certain skills are called "power skills" in the business community. Those skills are Leadership, Communications Skills, and Resource Development.

A study done for WOMENS WAY found that these critical skills plus others such as problem solving, coaching/mentoring, and public speaking are developed and improved through volunteerism.

The study found that:

  • 83% of participants reported that they acquired, improved or developed their leadership skills due to volunteer participation, and 78% reported improvement in their communications skills.
  • 62% of survey respondents said that they enhanced problem-solving skills; 57% improved organization/multitasking; and 53% enhanced their marketing skills.
  • Some 50% of participants have been involved as volunteers for more than 5 years, and 22% for more than 10 years.
  • Nearly 40% of participants started volunteering before they were 16 years old, and over 55% were volunteering by the time they were 30 years old.

The study emphasized the benefits of volunteerism for women and provides these recommendations to the corporate community:

  • Promote volunteerism--it is a cost-effective tool for career development and training.
  • Recognize the "power skill" set gained from volunteer activities when hiring women and evaluating them.
  • Make it easy for employees to volunteer--the payoff is an energized, educated, and well-rounded group of employees.
  • Participate as a corporation in volunteerism because it builds healthy communities which in turn enhance business opportunities.

Volunteerism is a rich education and career development tool for professional women. Corporations and nonprofits can work together to enhance the skills of women both in their volunteer capacities and their professional lives.

To learn more about the study, contact Francine Carb, President & CEO, Markitects, Inc. at fcarb@markitects.com

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