Liebherr recently interviewed Monica Collins, founder of the Women’s Resource Group at Liebherr in the U.S., to learn why the group was formed and what impacts they are making on the women working for Liebherr in the United States. Collins has been with Liebherr for four years and serves as a human resources generalist assisting the manufacturing, production, and warehouse departments for all their HR support needs.
Collins started the group back in December 2021 and the membership was kept small with only 25 members, to foster a more personal group environment. Since its founding, the group has now opened their membership for any women working for Liebherr in the USA and has more than doubled their size with 55 members currently.
I wanted to create a group for women within our company that would allow them to feel heard. A place to share ideas, cultivate relationships and learn from one another. Most importantly, take what we learn from our meetings and guest speakers back to our departments at work and into our day-to-day lives. I believe that we are on our way to achieving that goal.
My main motivation behind the Women’s Resource Group was built directly into our Mission Statement: “We are committed to supporting an engaging culture in which women can connect and support each other through learning, life experiences and creativity. We are committed to fostering a diverse and safe environment in which all voices are heard.”
We meet once a quarter, with different activities or speakers planned for each meeting. Our meetings are held in-person for our members in the Newport News branch, and we also have members attend meetings virtually. If a location has several members, they will often gather to listen to the speaker together, allowing them to participate in their own discussions in-person while attending the meeting virtually.
For every meeting we have a keynote speaker come to talk to our members about relevant topics for women in the workplace. In the past our speakers have touched on topics such as how to be an effective communicator, navigating a male-dominated industry and how company culture effects office relationships.
Leaving the meeting members feel that they have learned something, whether it is a new way to approach their goals, how to define what should be their top priority, and how to find a mentor to help guide them in their career.
It’s important to me for our members to have key takeaways after our meetings that they can use both professionally and personally. Our current members have found the group to be extremely rewarding, allowing them to advocate for themselves and others. They also benefit from the opportunity to meet women from other Liebherr locations across the country.
I believe it is important for women in the workplace to feel that they are cared for by their employer and through this group, members feel supported by Liebherr to make a difference. Many members are happy that Liebherr provides resources for their female employees and feel more involved in their workplace by participating in the discussions we have during our meetings.
Members often share with me how they have felt personally impacted by the Women’s Resource Group. Because of the open discussions and the women, they have met in the group, they feel more at home at Liebherr and empowered in the workplace.
Every person who attends our meetings leaves with something different, some find it to be a great way to network with women at other Liebherr locations, some look forward to it because it adds more life and fun into the workday. We have even had a member pursue an MBA program because of the support and advice she has received in the group.