AXIS Network AGM 2018
Updated: Aug 31, 2019
It is hard to believe it is three months since we held our fourth Annual General Meeting of the AXIS network committee - with one and thing and another, time has just flown by.
Our AGM is a great time for us to take stock, to look back at what we have achieved to date and to make plans for the year ahead. And what a year we think this could be! With the recent media focus on discrimination, this being the centenary of the first women’s right to vote in the UK, and the centenary of World War I, there is a lot of discussion about the inequalities that have faced both men and women over the years, and this definitely seems to be the time for change.
At the end of 2017, Julie-Ann (our events and membership coordinator) pulled together a great season’s greeting card with some of our 2017 highlights (slightly re-jigged version below):
Hopefully, you agree it was another great year for the network. Personally, I was blown away to receive the Getting On award from the Women’s Business Council. For a network in Aberdeen to receive such recognition from an organisation backed by the UK government, and for me to be sharing the stage at the House of Commons with the likes of Mark Wilson, CEO of FTSE 100 company Aviva and three members of the Order of the British Empire, it was amazing! I was very proud of what a small volunteer committee with no confirmed source of funding or resource could achieve in just less than 4 years. It was also really great to take my own little role model, my daughter along with me to show her just what ordinary people can do and achieve. (https://www.womensbusinesscouncil.co.uk/awards/wbc-awards-2017/).
At the AGM, using the SOAR model, the committee brainstormed a number of other things that we were proud of from the last few years. We highlighted areas of strengths and, almost more importantly, identified opportunities that we still want to pursue and aspirations that we want to fulfil. Some of the key points included:
We are a fairly diverse group of committee members with a drive to make things happen but would like to maintain or increase the number of men on the committee to keep a balanced view;
We have a great network with a strong contact list but would like to understand and remove barriers currently stopping others from joining the membership;
We have a track record of great events;
Gender pay gap reporting can be a positive to showcase good examples of companies getting it right;
We have been able to offer all our events and services free of charge through the support received from a number of organisations within the industry and community, and wish to continue to do so.
Whilst the SOAR model focuses on moving onwards and upwards, we do recognise there may be other opportunities that we either haven’t identified or there are opportunities where we need some additional support to maximise the results.
As you may have seen, we have had the great fortune to be approached by Dr Brenda Hector from Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University to be the subject of her consultancy project; evaluating the success of the AXIS network, which she is undertaking as part of a Masters of Business Administration degree. Brenda has been spending time with the AXIS committee, has received a great response to the online survey sent out and carried out a number of interviews. We are very much looking forward to the results of Brenda’s research, which will help guide us in the future.
One area of improvement already highlighted is with regard to media relations. As a small volunteer committee we don’t always have the skill set or resources that we need and with the heightened media interest lately we feel slightly exposed on this front. Any support that may be forthcoming from our members or your contacts would be greatly received!
So after 4 hours of discussion, reflection and idea generation, what did we highlight as our actions and goals for 2018?
Firstly, we will maximise our core strengths; holding awesome events, having a diverse membership and committee, running a great mentoring programme, sharing inspiring stories and showcasing some fabulous role models;
We will engage with more organisations and any non-believers, to show how better balance leads to better business and to highlight AXIS as the network of choice for those looking to make change;
We will be the first port of call for gender diversity quotes, thought leadership or ideas for action;
We will establish more points of engagement with our members on a regular basis, e.g. the launch of our monthly book recommendations and potential to hold informal daytime coffee meetings in between events.
Finally, we would like to play a part in an Energy Awards ceremony to celebrate gender diversity.
So, members - what do you think? Are we on the right path, do we still meet your needs, do you want us to do anything different? If you haven’t already participated in Dr Brenda Hector’s research project we would still like to hear from you via our email email@example.com. We are also on the lookout for new committee members – especially if you have media or PR experience and/or can help with our own diversity agenda of increasing the number of men on the committee, although any passion for driving the network forward would be greatly received.
If you are new to AXIS, we would love to hear from you too! Please feel free to get in touch and share your thoughts, comments or questions and if you’re interested in keeping in touch sign up to our mailing list via our email firstname.lastname@example.org
 SOAR = Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results