With nearly 30 chapters across North America, WISE is dedicated to empowering women in the business of sports with the tools to reach their career goals. In the pursuit of helping members maximize their potential, sharpen their skills and advance at every stage of their professional journeys, four Signature Events have emerged. They include member-exclusive and public events focused on increasing financial knowledge, creating intimate career conversations, mixing up the traditional mentoring process, and recognizing women in the local sports markets.
Owning a small business or rising up the ranks to assume key leadership roles in organizations and companies requires an understanding of fiscal management and overall business operations. The brainchild of WISE NYC Metro, Financial Fitness launched in 2014 to help women hone their business sense and was expanded across chapter cities in 2016. The program addresses topics such as budget development and management, the valuation process, and salary negotiation and fee structure, breaking them down into an easy-to-digest format.
Hosted in March in celebration of Women’s History Month, the “Power Play: Up Close With ...” series brings together executive-level female sports business leaders from the same organization for a panel discussion on career issues. Seeing other women succeeding and celebrating their success is critical for women’s professional development. Panelists are encouraged to talk about their work within the organization, as well as their overall career journeys. Launched by WISE NYC Metro in 2010, Power Play garners the attention of both members and non-members and is consistently the highest-attended program panel. After a 2016 vote among chapter presidents to expand the program across chapters, the signature event was rolled out nationwide.
Speed Mentoring Roundtables
Speed Mentoring Roundtables features a unique combination of two popular event platforms: the executive roundtable and speed networking. Piloted by WISE Los Angeles and launched nationwide in January 2014, Speed Mentoring Roundtables serves as WISE’s annual recognition and celebration of National Mentoring Month. This interactive event brings participants up close and personal with industry veterans and peers to discuss career and professional development topics. “Mentees” and “mentors” alike are given the opportunity to ask questions, discuss, and learn together in an informal format.
Women of Inspiration
WISE is dedicated to recognizing women who have achieved a standard of excellence in sports business, lead by example and support other women. The Women of Inspiration Awards, determined and awarded by WISE chapters, honor women in chapter markets who exemplify the spirit of the WISE mission and are making a positive impact on the business of sports while serving as positive role models and mentors for other women.
Honoring female sports business leaders at the local level dates back to the late 1990s with several WISE chapters holding recognition events, such as luncheons and breakfasts. In 2016, WISE chapter presidents voted to host the Women of Inspiration Awards in their respective local markets to increase the awareness of female leadership in sports business. Those with existing chapter awards adopted the Women of Inspiration name.