What's Next for AWN
A few months back, we asked you for your feedback on a number of items relating to the Ag Women’s Network. This isn’t our first survey and the feedback we have received in the past continues to be reviewed and helps us select event topics and more.
This survey was important for us to gauge people’s current feelings about the Ag Women’s Network. As the network grows, our passionate and enthusiastic volunteers are challenged to continue doing all the great things Ag Women’s Network has been doing. It is apparent that we need to evolve and your feedback will help us do that.
What You Told Us
Networking is the most valuable part of the network and 75% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that this is an important part of the Ag Women’s Network.
Online events & blog posts were noted as a very valuable part of AWN and 82% of respondents would like to participate in quarterly or bi-monthly online events.
In-person events were noted as the most valuable but also the least valuable, since they are geographic-specific and not all respondents are able to attend.
69% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that AWN should advocate for women in agriculture but there was also strong support to keep AWN as a network first.
Respondents did not feel strongly one way or the other about posts on the Facebook group that were political. Respondents were slightly more discouraging towards posts promoting businesses and encouraging towards posts requesting for business recommendations.
What Will Happen Next
We appreciate the value in simplicity and informality as we work in an industry that is getting more complex and cluttered with organizations looking for your support and participation. The Ag Women’s Network MUST evolve in order to sustain itself but what that looks like is still unknown.
We have started formal strategic planning to clarify our vision and uniqueness. As we work through this, we have decided to put our in-person events on hold in order to allow our dedicated volunteers to focus on the future of the Ag Women’s Network. We will continue to promote other organizations’ events geared towards women in the industry, like the Advancing Women Conference, but we will not be organizing any of our own.
Mentorship Pilot Review
The mentorship program pilot is also wrapping up this summer, and we will be reviewing the feedback from participants to make minor changes to the program for 2018/2019. Watch for more on the 2019 intake to start in January.
We will also be seeking an assistant coordinator for the mentorship program. Please watch for more information soon and contact us if interested in helping with this program.
Facebook Group Guidelines Changes
We are implementing new Facebook group guidelines and aiming to improve moderation in order to better curate content on the group. While we want to encourage member participation and posting and realize we have a diverse audience of participants, there is a need to better ensure relevancy. “Themed” posts will be introduced as a way to invite certain content to be shared (ie. job opportunities) without overwhelming the general feed.
It is extremely rewarding to hear how much you appreciate our work and find value in the network. We are encouraged by your positive feedback and want to continue to deliver a great experience in order to benefit women and the industry at large.
The Ag Women’s Network will turn 5 years old this fall and we are excited for whatever change is ahead and to share this with you. Thank you for your ongoing support and patience.
The Ag Women’s Network team