Women@Industrious was created to strengthen and enrich the experience of the company’s already-thriving community of women. 

Led by co-chairs Krissy Sheehan (General Manager, NYC) and Kylie VanBuren (Director, Real Estate Transactions), this Employee Resource Group’s mission is to provide: 

  • a safe and supportive community for those who believe that intentional development of women is necessary 
  • a place where our colleagues collectively learn and grow professionally and personally 
  • a space where our colleagues build connections that last beyond their time at Industrious.

We connected with co-chairs Krissy and Kylie to learn about the ERG’s highlights from the past year.

How our professional and personal lives enrich each other

Our work lives and personal lives can often feel at tension. Through recent events, however, Women@Industrious highlights how that dynamic can actually enrich both your professional and personal experience. 

The ERG hosted a discussion panel for Women’s History Month featuring women leaders from inside and outside the company. The panelists shared their experiences, struggles, and learnings from their careers and their personal journeys. 

“As women, what we go through personally does impact our careers, how we navigate the workforce, how we communicate with one another, across all genders within the company,” co-chair Krissy said. “[I want there to be a comfort level where] we can chat about our personal lives as well as our professional lives, and they both really go hand-in-hand together.”

In June, one of the ERG’s executive sponsor — Liz Simon (Chief Operating Officer) — hosted a group of female colleagues at her home in Brooklyn for an intimate discussion about a new book recently published by a friend of hers. 

“This event gave us the chance to learn more about who each of us are outside of work and some of the experiences that have shaped us as people. I don’t know about you, but when I feel more connected to my colleagues, I enjoy work more and I know I do better work,” said Liz. 

The book wasn’t about how to navigate your way to a leadership position or how to balance career and family. It was about a topic that doesn’t typically reach a workplace — the process of giving birth in America and the overwhelming power of men over motherhood. 

“So much of that was about life outside of work,” said co-chair Kylie. “It’s rare to feel like my personal life and my own world view was shifted by an intimate conversation at a work event. That’s pretty special.”

Building a sense of belonging and connection

Now more than ever, people are craving connection and a feeling of belonging in their lives. The Women@ ERG has provided a safe space where women from across Industrious can find support, guidance, and friendship.

On top of the group’s event programming, the Women@ Slack channel is a key hub where women seek advice from the wider group. 

“I’ve never felt more connected to women at our company. It has impacted my personal experience to have a network of people that you can relate to and can go to for advice or support. It has felt so special and comforting,” co-chair Krissy explained.

With Industrious locations spread across 60 cities in North America and continuing to expand globally, it can be challenging to find connection and belonging as part of a dispersed workforce. The Women@ ERG has helped many women across our business create genuine bonds and connections with colleagues they wouldn’t normally interact with at work.

“We work at a unique company that has really great female representation, but we also work at a company that is pretty spread out geographically,” Kylie commented. “In a post-Covid world, having more people that feel connected to each other across the company and having genuine interactions has been a really amazing part of being in the Women@ ERG

Krissy and Kylie’s own friendship has grown from their work together leading the ERG. 

“We’re friends outside of work but in co-chairing Women@, we’ve formed a deeper connection where we can lean on each other as peers and, through our partnership, grow together,” said Kylie.

Bigger and better

The momentum they’ve built with the group coupled with the executive support they’ve experienced have Krissy and Kylie eager to go even “bigger and better” next year. Krissy noted how “heartwarming and incredible it is to see how seriously leadership in particular is taking the ERGs. There’s an emphasis and visibility on the ERGs that I haven’t experienced before.”

The team is already planning keynote events for next year as well as “more consistent opportunities to connect in smaller groups and have really thoughtful conversations,” Kylie said. To extend the community’s conversations in Slack, the co-chairs hope to take some of the most pertinent topics raised offline as themes for future events and gatherings to provide additional support.

The plan is to activate the community of ERG members in-person and across the network. “I think that’ll be a huge part of continuing to drive connections across Women@Industrious,” added Kylie.