In their first year, VICKIE set up a number of talks where members could share their stories and inspire others, as well as organized more large-scale events.
Last year Vallen, a Sonepar Company, launched VICKIE, their women's resource group designed to help develop and support associates' performance and careers while upholding Vallen's mission and values.
VICKIE, which is an acronym for 'Voices Inspiring Change, Knowledge, Innovation and Empowerment', centers its activities around six core pillars, each of which is headed by Co-Captains in various Vallen locations throughout the USA:
- Nourish: Maintaining good health for our minds, bodies, and spirits
- Care: Engaging with our communities through volunteer efforts
- Celebrate: Sharing our successes to encourage and motivate others
- Learn: Continuing education to broaden our knowledge and expertise
- Innovate: Leveraging technology and talent to elevate Vallen as an industry leader
- Giving Back: Adding value by building networks and resources
In its first year, VICKIE set up a number of talks where members could share their stories and inspire others, as well as organized more large-scale events. In June, the group organized the Step Challenge, helping members to stay active by consistently walking 10,000 steps each day. In July, they shared a virtual invitation to join a diversity conversation alongside 'Girls with Impact', an association that supports young girls of all ethnicities to launch their own businesses, non-profit organizations, and community projects. Last October for Breast Cancer Awareness month, they hosted the 'Survivor Stories' event, where Vallen breast cancer survivors shared their experiences and learnings with their fellow associates. This February, they held the 'Love Your Body' series which focused on self-acceptance and empowerment, as part of their 'Nourish' pillar, and celebrated Black History Month with a video of associates sharing personal stories from their family history.
VICKIE also gave a presentation at the Industrial Supply Association last year on 'How to Start a Women's Resource Group', which was viewed by over 400 participants.
We spoke with Joyce Lansdale, one of VICKIE's founding members, and VICKIE Chairwoman Amanda Cella, about the group's primary objectives and how they've evolved over the year since its launch. Joyce explained, "At the core of all our activities, we are helping women improve their 'stock value.' We strive to not only attract women to begin working for Vallen but also to help women reach more mid-level, senior positions. We want to see more women on our leadership teams."
VICKIE is a group that is open to all associates. As Joyce stated, "From the beginning, VICKIE has been open to associates from all backgrounds; we want everyone to have their voice heard and take part in our internal and community service activities. Anyone can be a VICKIE!" She concluded by saying, "At the end of the day we are creating a safe, progressive, educational space where everyone can be involved."