WGC Aims to Provide a More Equitable Platform for Women to Engage in our Work


By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Executive Director, Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County

Like most organizations, COVID-19 has necessitated that the Women’s Giving Circle (WGC) of Howard County conduct the business of the WGC virtually this past year.

While not planned, we have found that not only have we been successful in doing so, but it has allowed more women to engage and participate on a regular basis in our Executive Committee, Advisory Board, Committee meetings, and our virtual events.

The WGC Advisory Board has made a policy change regarding the work of the WGC: moving forward, even when we can gather in person again, we will conduct the majority of the WGC business virtually.  As a part of our overall Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts, WGC will virtually conduct the Advisory Board, Executive Committee and Committee meetings.  WGC will focus on being together in-person for our ongoing Giving, Learning, Networking, and Celebrating events throughout the year.

Moving forward, as a women’s organization, the WGC believes that conducting WGC business virtually will be of assistance to women as  they strive to reach a healthy  work/life balance. We hope that this policy change will remove obstacles presented for women who wish to volunteer and have either traditional workplace commitments or who may have family, health, or other life commitments.

“Our goal is to continue to increase inclusivity while having more diverse voices at the ‘virtual’” table”, said Hina Naseem and Judy Smith, WGC DEI Committee Co-Chairs. “We hope that by conducting our WGC operations virtually, we will be providing a more equitable platform for women to engage in the work of the WGC.”

We hope that by making this shift in policy, we will encourage other organizations to consider the same – resulting in a more diverse group of women engaging in volunteer efforts in our community now, and in the future.

“It’s a win-win-win scenario,” said Barb Van Winkle, WGC Advisory Board Chair. “Our organization, our volunteers, and our community all benefit from proactive policies focused on the balancing act that women face on a daily basis.”

I am proud of this policy change, and to work for an organization that is thoughtful about women’s work/life balance, participation, access, and a diversity of voices at the table.

Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz is the Executive Director of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County. She can be reached at: [email protected] and www.wgchowardcounty.org


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WGC Aims to Provide a More Equitable Platform for Women to Engage in our Work


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