When it comes to member expectations, not all members are the same. Some join organizations for networking opportunities, while others join to continue their professional development and education. Just as there are differences from member to member, there are also differences between genders. Throughout the findings we collected in the 2018 Member Education and Career Development Report, there were several data points that highlighted a gender gap among members.
Even though these differences exist, organizations should see them as opportunities. This data points out various ways that organizations can take advantage of member data and start to identify any potential gaps that may exist among member groups. This will allow for organizations to start providing services to everyone. Here are a few next steps to help you begin to bridge the gender gap:
- Assess your organization’s services and offerings.
Both men and women really want their organizations to help them develop professionally. If you are offering a job board and/or many continuing education options, do your members know about these benefits? When is the last time you’ve communicated about your job board? Consider reaching out to your membership about these opportunities that can help them develop professionally. If you feel you’re not providing your members with enough professional development, start looking at ways in which you can expand your offerings to members to help them reach their professional goals. Consider adding a job board to your website or hosting additional courses that help members develop a new skill set.
- Create a user group for your female members.
With many women joining organizations to better themselves professionally and to learn new skills, creating a user group can be very beneficial for organizations. This user group can give women a common space to connect, network, learn, and share. This can also be a great spot for your organization to communicate directly to a specific group within your member base.
- Host a leadership series for women.
A leadership series can be a great way to connect with your members. Ask female leaders within your organization to participate in this series. Provide them with various topics they can present on, such as professional development, CE, or advancing their careers. You can also invite female leaders within the industry to participate. This can be a driving force to get more women involved and pursuing leadership positions within the organization and professionally.
- Develop a mentor program.
Some women may feel like they need a little guidance, especially throughout their continuing education and professional development. By developing a mentor program, younger members can connect with members who have more experience within the organization and profession. Especially for women members, this is a great opportunity for them to connect with other female leaders within their industry.
Each organization has a unique member base. Start a dialogue with your members to really start to understand what they want out of their membership. Send out a survey to each member to receive feedback on their preferences, interests, and goals. Once you have their responses, identify what new benefits you can offer your members to increase member retention and learner loyalty.
To read more about the findings and data in the 2018 Member Education and Career Development report, download the report now.