The Prague Chapter of the MSD Women’s Network (MWN) continues to be very active in supporting the development of its members and all employees in Prague – both men and women. With several exciting events held in the last two months, including Lean Six Sigma in Practice, a Leadership and Unconscious Bias workshop and even self-defense training, we have had many opportunities to learn and grow!
Six Sigma Yellow Belt Training
Getting my morning coffee in the crowded kitchen is delaying the start of my day! Getting this communication approved is taking weeks! Our project had to be pushed back because of the long review process!
Finding solutions to these common workplace problems and much more was part of the recent Six Sigma training. MWN sponsored the two-day training not only for its own members allowing them to earn yellow belt certification through demonstrating their understanding of the foundation principles of Six Sigma and applying them to mini-projects within their teams. Starting with real problems they are experiencing at work, the teams then learned the methodology needed for analyzing the problems and systematically eliminating waste in order to improve processes.
Leadership and Unconscious Bias Workshop
Do blondes have more fun? Maybe not, but studies say that they do make more money!
Our attitudes toward our colleagues influence our relationships, and the stereotypes we hold about different groups may directly affect our decision making. Our perception of people from different cultures or even different age groups colors how we communicate to them and how we understand their message to us. Unfortunately, most of this happens without us even realizing it! These hidden biases influence our actions and might even lead to discrimination.
The Leadership and Unconscious Bias Workshop, another great MWN event, dealt directly with these themes. In this half-day workshop, the focus was on learning that unconscious bias, especially in the workplace, can have real impacts and negative consequences.
The participants tested themselves on their own biases, honestly giving their impressions when looking at images of different people: old, tattooed, smiling, frowning, wearing a headscarf or sporting a mohawk. Did they think the people in the images were friendly? Intelligent? Hardworking? Surprisingly, almost everyone felt confident in their answers regarding these people, even though they were just looking at pictures!
The workshop taught that self-reflection, and becoming aware of one’s own biases and when they might affect our behavior is key to mitigating them. Working to be objective and working to make fair, unbiased decisions is the path to good leadership. The second part of this workshop concentrated on how the members of MWN might continue in developing their careers to become effective leaders at our company.
In addition to attending workshops to enhance their career development, many members of the Prague chapter of MWN also headed to the gym for some self-defense training. Alex, one of the martial arts experts who led the training, belongs to the Men for MWN and is active in supporting the organization’s activities. Participants in self-defense course watched live demonstrations and learned simple and efficient techniques to neutralize or escape an attacker.