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Gabby VanAlstine, human resources director at IU Kokomo, along with several IUK colleagues, recently started a new group on campus: The Women’s Leadership Book Club. HR Today interviewed Gabby about this new venture and why she started it. Gabby hails from Pittsburgh, PA and joined IUK in January 2015.
HR Today: Tell us about the women’s leadership book club. How did it come about?
Gabby: It was something I wanted to start based on a great experience with a similar club at my previous employer, One Click Ventures, in Greenwood, Indiana. I loved the idea. After joining IU, I discovered the very strong sense of community within the Kokomo culture, so it felt like a natural fit!
HR Today: What is the purpose of the group?
Gabby: We developed our purpose together, as a group. This is what we hope to accomplish:
HR Today: What has surprised you and other members about this group?
Gabby: The similarity of the challenges we all face. The group is still fairly new, but we’ve learned, for example, that we all face the email monster; we over commit; and we strive to seek balance. The commonalities in this group are striking!
|The smiling faces of IUK leadership book club members are Maria Ahmad, Sarah Byrd, Ashlee Shoaff, Nicole Miller, Tara Scott, and Alisha Referda.|
HR Today: You mentioned the potential of how a group such as yours can lead to “engagement.” Can you say more about that?
Gabby: I am hopeful we can strengthen the sense of community we’re creating. According to the Gallup polls, engagement and satisfaction are closely correlated to having a friend at work. I believe the relationships formed through this group will help our members feel this, which, in turn, leads to engagement.
HR Today: You’re currently reading Thrive by Arianna Huffington. What other books are on your list?
Gabby: Bossy Pants by Tina Fey, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, and Yes, Please by Amy Poehler.