Cincy Chic: Tell us about Gild Collective’s new creative workshops!
Kelsey Pytlik, Co-Founder of Gild Collective: Gild Collective helps women connect through creative workshops that focus on this unique challenges. We guide groups through thought-provoking discussion and exercises, and address the topics that are most important to your organization. We end the experience with a creative project that serves as an ongoing reminder to lead and live with greater confidence and passion.
Cincy Chic: What do these creative workshops entail?
Pytlik: Our creative workshops for companies and sororities are the new hallmark of Gild Collective. For a typical workshop, we recommend a half-day (4 hours) for the full workshop experience. With this amount of time, a minimum of two facilitators begin the experience with a quick exercise to help everyone in the group focus on the workshop ahead (rather than their work sitting back on their desk) before diving into guided discussion and activities focused on the topic track that has been selected and tailored for the organization.
The second half of the workshop is focused on the creative project. While the individual projects are accessible for crafters of any level and can be completed in under an hour, we continue to incorporate discussion into the project and allow time for the women to work together and bond over the shared experience.
Cincy Chic: What inspired you to start the workplace workshops?
Pytlik: We started the company a year and a half ago with the goal of unlocking confidence in women through creativity in community. When we first began, we did this primarily through at-home craft parties that made it easy for women to get together, try something new, and build each other up in the process. After crafting with nearly 2,000 women through these parties, we gathered feedback on what made for the most impactful experiences and began offering creative workshops that focused on women’s leadership in the workplace. After our first workshop with Procter & Gamble, Rachel and I walked away elated. We realized that by adding moderated discussion and exercises to the experience of the creative project, we could make a true difference within organizations and execute even more strongly against our original mission. The feedback that we have receive has been outstanding – Gild workshops are unique, powerful, and offer a fun, collaborative activity that stands out from the basic networking that was previously available within organizations.
Cincy Chic: What activities do you bring along for the creative workshops?
Pytlik: We have three topics available and we design different guided discussion and reflection activities around each one. We also incorporate exercises that help to drive home the points we are making. The topics include:
- Building confidence: We underscore the difference between speaking up and being outspoken, and examine what “I’m sorry” really means in the office. Our participants reflect on their accomplishments, explore the notion of personal pride, and seize the space they deserve to take up in the room.
- Fostering mentorship and relationships: No matter what they say, there’s enough room for everyone at the table. We unpack the struggles of climbing the corporate ladder, lay emphasis on building positive relationships, and explore what it means to pay it forward.
- Overcoming unjust moments: Even tougher than asking the question – “is it because I’m a woman?” – is learning the real answer? We dissect issues of discrimination as a group, drill to the root causes, and, most importantly, provide concrete tools to address them and drive women’s equality forward.
Cincy Chic: What is your goal for the workplace workshops?
Pytlik: Depending on the topic track, our objectives may vary, but at a high level each participant should walk away with:
- A new perspective on a given topic (ex. A renewed sense of confidence or passion, an identification of another co-worker to mentor, and tools to do so effectively).
- An actionable skill to fuel a more equal playing field for men and women in the workplace.
- A deeper bond with the women she calls co-workers – by participating in discussion and exercises, women have the opportunity to learn about one another and foster that bond through the creative project.
- A tangible takeaway that serves as a reminder to lead and live with greater confidence and passion.
Cincy Chic: What makes Gild Collective’s workplace workshops unique?
Pytlik: Our workshops are unique because they combine the impact of a motivational speaker with the enjoyment of an activity-based team building gathering. We know that companies are looking for ways to show employee appreciation and create stronger teams, and they typically turn to things like happy hours or outings to accomplish this. But they are still left with the need to address deeper topics and motivate their employees. Our workshops do both, tying together a bonding experience with exercises that create strong, more effective employees. Readers can hear more of us talking about why we’ve incorporated a creative project into Gild Collective’s mission here and here.
Cincy Chic: Is there anything else new on the horizon for Gild Collective?
Pytlik: Our holiday collection hit the site on October 1. It’s perfect for holiday parties of small teams within organizations. We had great success with our holiday offering last year and are excited to bring new projects to the table.
Right now we’re working to refine and build our workshop offerings. At the moment, we have three topics and four projects, but we expect these to change and grow along with the issues that are the most important to organizations.
We also keep a running “big dreams” document, and have plans to create an ongoing network that women will be invited to join after they participate in a Gild workshop – think of it as joining the Gild Collective. We don’t know exactly what it will look like yet, but we want to create a forum where people can keep the conversation going and find support and mentorship well beyond their own organization.
Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more about Gild Collective and your new workshops?
Pytlik: Visit www.gildcollective.com for more or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.