WACL exists to provide an important source of networking and support for senior women in the communications industry. We help each other.
We also help up and coming women in our industry by running a programme of inspiration and training initiatives to aid them in the removal of barriers to their success.
We encourage all women, regardless of seniority, to speak up and to be heard, so that our voices and status are equal to those of our male counterparts.
As these are WACL’s reasons to be, we ask that they are supported by all members of WACL, and reflected in our behaviour. To that end, we have a few ‘unwritten rules’ as a Club, most of which simply come naturally to members but are worth making a note of.
The most important unwritten rule of WACL is that you ENJOY being a member of this prestigious club!
Many special life-long friendships have begun when members first met each other at a WACL event. We all need nurture and support at different times and you will find it in spades at WACL.
Things that make it easier to feel part of WACL
However trivial your questions might seem to you, please don’t be shy. Make a beeline for your mentors – they are there to support you. They were new once too and know how intimidating the Club can seem to some newcomers.
Make a point of getting to know the President and the Vice President. They can introduce you to lots of other members, suggest ways that you could become more involved with the Club and generally be great Club mentors.
Attending the President’s and Vice-President’s drinks parties is a great way to start, and to show your support.
Don’t be shy about volunteering for things – it won’t be considered pushy and it will be so gratefully received by the President, WACL Executive Committee, and the individual Committee leaders.
Join a committee – Members, Christmas Gala, Gather, Gatherings and Future Leaders Award, Events. It’s a fabulous way to get to know people, to feel more a part of the Club, and to better understand how it works and what its benefits are.
Another way is to volunteer to take part in the Club’s inspirational events – there are opportunities to speak at Gatherings, or to be a mentor at speed mentoring events for up and coming women.
Don’t hesitate to join in with any of the local ‘Post Code’ party events in your area – or host one if there isn’t one! – and do participate in the ‘Three Blind Dates’ initiative. It’s a great way to get to know people that you don’t already know. If you need any information about how to get involved with the Post Code or Three Blind Dates events, just ping an email to the 30% Project lead as she will be more than happy to help. You’ll find details of who on the Executive Committee is responsible for this by going to the WACL website and looking at the Contacts section.
If you don’t want to bring guests to the speaker dinners, come along anyway and sit on the Members Only table. These tables are usually great fun and it’s another brilliant way to get to know other members. Someone will definitely talk to you.
Things you have to do
Make a commitment to attend the AGM. It’s only once a year. WACL is your club and it’s important to be part of how it is run and what it does.
You really do have to come to three dinners each year. It’s a minimum requirement for continuing membership of the Club and, if you don’t make the quota of three dinners you will be contacted by the Hon Secretary to ask why, and then be gently encouraged to attend three dinners in the coming year. You need to know that if you consistently fail to attend following this encouragement, you will be asked to leave the Club.
If there are extenuating circumstances – international travel, illness or other reasons – why you can’t attend, just drop the President or the Hon Secretary a line in confidence and you can be assured of a sympathetic response.
If a WACL member contacts you (by phone, by email or otherwise) it is club etiquette that you should always respond. It’s an important part of the Club providing a forum for members to support each other and welcoming contact from fellow members is a key part of that.
Pay your subs on time – within 30 days of the invoice date – and pay for your dinner tickets in advance. Fellow WACL members who have to organise and administrate Club finances on your behalf will love you forever. On a serious note, if you aren’t paying these costs personally and they are being paid by your employer, it is your responsibility – not the responsibility of the Honorary Treasurer – to chase your accounts department to ensure that WACL is paid within its terms of 30 days.
Be prepared to help, do favours for, and be generous towards, your fellow WACL members wherever you can. The favour will be returned in spades.
Do support WACL’s inspirational events for young, upcoming women – Gather, Gatherings, Future Leaders Award, speed mentoring events – by encouraging women in your own organisations to attend, and asking your organisation to fund their places, wherever possible.
Please remember that all of the Officers of WACL, and members of the Executive Committee who have been elected to run the Club on your behalf, do so on top of their day jobs. They do not get paid for what they do and give their time freely and generously to ensure that this very active and influential Club is run efficiently and successfully.
If you have a Personal or Executive Assistant, it’s a very good idea to brief them in detail about WACL, how it works, the events you are likely to attend, and who the right people to contact are. Point them in the direction of the Executive Committee contacts page on the WACL website and make sure they have the firstname.lastname@example.org email address so that they can liaise directly with our Club Administrator about bookings and other Club admin. This avoids everything going via the President’s office (which all WACL Presidents will thank you for).
Things not to do
WACL is not a place to promote your business, or anyone else’s. It’s a place where members want to relax with friends and entertain their clients. Networking is an implicit benefit, not an explicit one. Nor is it polite to make a big fuss of a fellow member because they control a large marketing budget and then subsequently completely ignore them if that same member finds herself unemployed or is no longer budget holding in some way (it has been known to happen…).
The large speaker dinner and Christmas Gala events form a major part of the Club’s activities. You will know that these can be challenging and time-consuming events to arrange. We ask you to be supportive of the Hon Dinner Secretary and Club Administrator and observe the following unwritten rules
- – Please don’t complain if you think you’ve got a ‘bad’ table or place at a WACL dinner. Organising the table plan for hundreds of people is complex and time-consuming (and occasionally frustrating and wearing) so please be understanding. Chances are you will have a lovely table at the next event.
- – Never assume that your table at a WACL dinner for you and nine guests is booked and confirmed unless you have completed and sent a booking form to the Club Administrator and received a confirmation back from her. Giving the Club Administrators a hard time if things go wrong won’t be appreciated.
- – Help us retain the Hon Dinner Secretary’s sanity by not calling up at 5pm on the day of the dinner with the news that your table of 10 is now a table of 5, that three of them are now vegetarians, and that you expect this to be accommodated. That won’t happen.
- – And, finally, please don’t complain about the entertainment at the WACL Christmas Ball. It’s a bit of an annual sport for some but the truth is that someone went to an awful lot of (unpaid) trouble to organise it for you. Even if you hated it, the likelihood is that it will only have lasted for about 10 minutes so the supportive thing to do is to be gracious about it.
If you need to contact any of the members of the Executive Committee or want to know what their area of responsibility is to the Club, they are all listed with title, responsibility, and email addresses on the Contacts page of the WACL website wacl.flywheelsites.com