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How Our WINS Allyship Program Creates Connections.

By: Chelsey S., Sr Manager, Communications

We all need someone who will support, advocate, and when necessary - go to bat for us. And this may be especially true in the workplace. Allyship can be beneficial to closing gaps and creating greater inclusion and a sense of belonging for employees. That’s why WINS, which stands for Women’s Interactive Network at Schwab, created an allyship program which pairs women at Schwab with a male ally for an opportunity to make connections, learn from each other, and serve as allies for one another. Research shows that when men are actively engaged in gender inclusion programs, 96 percent of organizations see progress — compared to only 30 percent of organizations where men are not engaged.[1]  

Community for women

Jessica C. has been with Schwab for nearly ten years, and she’s been involved with WINS since the beginning. Early in her career, when she was considering becoming a parent, she was struggling to understand how she could balance being a professional and a mother. So, Jessica went to a couple of WINS lunches and met with women who were already navigating both. “It was so relatable to see women who were able to devote time and effort to their career and still have a family life,” she explains. It gave her the confidence to continue excelling in her career while still meeting her personal goals of starting a family.

Now as a leader in WINS, Jessica is continuing to grow that community and support system for women. And she thought the allyship program was a great idea.

Welcoming allies

Ty G. has been with Schwab for 30 years. Originally, he thought the company was just a pitstop on his way to a career as a portfolio manager, but instead, he fell in love with the culture and the people at Schwab. And over the years, he says he’s had some of the most fun at events sponsored by WINS. So, he jumped at the opportunity to be part of the allyship program.

When he was partnered with Jessica, they immediately connected over their passion for taking care of clients. “It was nice to meet someone who cared as much about clients as I do,” explains Ty. (Both Jessica and Ty are in leadership roles in the Branch Network.)

As they set up a regular meeting cadence, they got to know more about each other. Ty learned about Jessica’s young daughter, her love for the desert and her hundreds of cousins.  And Jessica took advantage of Ty’s experience to talk strategy and ask the questions that she may have been too intimidated to ask outside of their established partnership.

“For me, a lot of what an ally provides is empowerment,” explains Jessica. “I felt empowered to discuss things with Ty in a safe space—it was an exchange of ideas.”

“The allyship program enabled me to make a great connection with a longtime colleague and friend who I may have never connected with otherwise,” explains Ty. “I’m grateful to the program for introducing us.”

Making connections

So far, there have been over 50 pairings in the WINS allyship program and counting. That’s over 100 people making connections and lending support for one another, and intentionally creating a shared belonging and understanding at work, just like Ty and Jessica have.