Zenefits employees are powered by learning, and our ZeneWomen interest group is our most active club that spans our office locations. Dedicated to advancing women in the world of technology (and elsewhere), ZeneWomen come together monthly to host a speaker, volunteer for a cause, connect over lunch, or discuss reading from the book club. We sat down with three of the leaders of the planning committee, Emily Smith (SF), Kathleen Meil (SF) and Roxanne Kirk (AZ) to hear more about ZeneWomen’s values, goals and what’s up next for the group in the coming weeks.
Kathleen: A little over a year ago, I collaborated with two other female Zenefits employees to kick off ZeneWomen. We had all had positive experiences being involved in ‘Women/Underrepresented People in tech’ groups and other employee organizations, and we frequently heard questions from our peers that an organized group could help address the following:
We hoped that by creating ZeneWomen, we could create an environment to address these questions that belonged to the women of Zenefits. It’s inspiring to see Emily and Roxanne building, leading, and making it the community that we hoped it would become!
Emily: In the early days, we didn’t have a ton of organized focus groups at Zenefits. We were still very much a start-up when Kathleen took the initiative to form ZeneWomen, and I jumped at the opportunity to join the planning committee. The notion of supporting women in the workplace and elsewhere has always been important to me, and building those relationships foster career development is crucial for creating culture and community.
Roxanne: Upon hearing of San Francisco’s creation of ZeneWomen, I knew I wanted to create a similar group in our Tempe office. We operate as one community, but it’s important to have representation in each location to unite our members who share and support similar values.
Emily: The core values of Zenewomen are Community, Education, Mentorship, and Leadership. Our community is full of women from all different backgrounds and at all different stages of their careers, so it was important for us to pick values that everyone could relate to and rally around.
Roxanne: The participants of the ZeneWomen group are as collaborative and supportive as they come. We look to each other for feedback, advice, and career tips — having each other to lean on makes all the difference in the workplace. We are the only group at Zenefits whose mission is to support women.
Emily: We aim to host events that align with our pillars of Community Service, Mentorship, Leadership, and Education. From teas and book exchanges to volunteering and hosting notable speakers, we try to diversify our events to keep our members engaged and on a variety of topics to connect over. Some of our previous events/efforts include:
Emily: Our goal as a group is to provide a community for our members. Not only do we want people to show up to and enjoy our events, we also want people to feel comfortable coming to their fellow ZeneWomen to ask questions, seek advice, and discuss anything on their mind.
Emily: We have a few speakers in the works that we are very excited about, as well as our ZeneWomen Barbeque and Project Glimmer’s Boxing Joy event!