What we’ve been up to

Aerial shot of a group of woman.

Tuck at Dartmouth

Li

2022 Tuck Executive Leadership Capstone at IBM

Tuck at Dartmouth was a learning experience I had not expected. There we were, ‘tucked in’ at the IBM Learning Center for the 2022 Tuck Executive Leadership Capstone. We had been selected by WBENC and the program was underwritten by IBM. The program immersed us in Finance, Marketing, and Supply Chain Logistics. I pinched myself. Hard.

WBENC

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) selected 54 women business owners from across the country. We were invited to participate in the 2022 Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business Executive Leadership Capstone sponsored by IBM.

This program pulled together a perfectly-sized cohort of women with very different businesses, structures, processes, trajectories, histories, and strengths. All in all, we represented an extremely diverse cultural, regional, and socio-economic pool.

One of the most important facets of WBENC’s programs is how they facilitate building a workable and sustainable cohort. This particular program brought together women from different backgrounds industries, and regions. The professors and facilitators actively encouraged us to bring our real-world quandaries into discussions.

Tuck at Dartmouth

Although I had no business education before starting my company, that has not stopped me.  However, it has incentivized me to learn. To learn more, better, and faster. The Dartmouth professors created an intense course of study that allowed us to understand and implement strategies immediately.

Even though it may seem trite, there is a palpable difference between working with women business owners and the typical business world. Typically, competition is the norm, but between WBE’s, the generosity, camaraderie, knowledge, and business environment are completely different.

IBM

Everything about the program was excellent–the hospitality at the IBM Learning Center, the campus–it was almost perfect. On the other hand, if only they had had coffee makers in the rooms! (I am prepared for that–I always take instant coffee with me.)

Meals and breaks were structured to give us plenty of time to learn about each other, our businesses, and even specific recommendations and strategies. The food was outstanding, the setting gorgeous!

Takeaways – big and small

One particular takeaway, casually shared over dinner by a business powerhouse: “A successful business needs four strong legs—sales or business development, operations or production, finance, and also a spiritual or community giving-back element.” This may seem obvious, but hearing it in that moment from that business owner put it in an entirely different framework.

Maybe it’s just women who believe that there is enough pie. It could be that I am totally naïve. Perhaps there are ways people can work together, develop trust and take risks, make mistakes, and still continue to grow, thrive, and survive.

In this age of brown-washing, black-washing, woman-washing, and DEI without substance, follow up, or support, I challenge you to find organizations that allow you to come as you are, to find your place at the table (I believe there is room at the table for everyone), and share something of value. I passionately believe that there truly is enough pie, and am willing to help cut and serve it.

Who’s bringing the coffee?

Special thanks to Christiane Buessard, Pamela Prince-Easton, Liana Frey, Andrew Gaeckle, Margaux Lohry, Lauren Lu, Leslie Robertson, Laura Taylor, Jennifer Turner, and Joanna Wright.

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Group of young co-workers gathered together.

Accessibility Design

Accessibility

Accessibility—what is it and why should you care?

When you speak to someone, the hope is that they receive your communication and understand it.

In life, like on the web, there are ways of helping your communications reach their intended recipients.

Why bother with accessibility?

Why bother with designing for accessibility? Do you have the time to worry about everything? Of course not, but it is in your best interest to learn how to create accessibility.

Actually, about 26%—that is one in four—Americans live with a disability. Can you afford NOT to try to share your message, your event, your words, images, and thoughts with them?

Do well by doing good

What if I told you that you can do well by doing good? That by taking small, thoughtful steps to help make things accessible to people with hearing or visual disabilities, you will be increasing your market share? You will also be raising your search engine visibility.

One way to think of alternative descriptions is like an extra tag or sign on an item at the store. So if you were looking for snack foods, but wanted gluten-free, this would help you find it better and faster.

Everyone on social media talks about the algorithm or feeding the algorithm. To put it bluntly, why wouldn’t you want to add extra descriptions to your content—your story, your picture, your music?

What I recently learned from Google

Google recently offered an online course through SCORE. It was simple and sweet. Here are the basic takeaways:

  1. Optimizing your content will help people find you.
  2. Google will reward optimization by increasing your SEO ranking.
  3. You will make the world better by being inclusive.
  4. On top of all that, it will help you lessen your legal risk.

Why do I even care about all of this? Because of the nature of what we do at Handy Entertainment we see that accessibility is not just good business–it is fundamental. By being nimble, we create much more impact by reaching people where they are, by including them. Inclusion is not just about wheelchair accessibility. It is not about having Braille available. Inclusion is about welcoming people wherever they are and providing them with the tools to participate.

Here are some accessibility elements for digital content design.

Accessibility design techniques for digital content design.

Please share your thoughts on accessibility in your industry.

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