Dear member,

Can you believe it’s already September? With all that is going on right now it can be difficult to see an end in sight. Although we cannot predict what's in store for our industry, WWLF is committed to supporting our members and industry colleagues as we navigate this uncharted territory.

In thinking about the future, it’s important to remember that although we do not know what lies ahead, we each have the power to choose how we react to the future as it unfolds. As Jim Rohn said, “Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.”

People often ask me how I stay positive and upbeat even when there is so much uncertainty and unease surrounding us. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m one of those people who is always smiling and continuously happy. That doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days or days where it seems like nothing can go right—trust me, I do. The difference is in those moments I choose to see the positive. I make a conscious decision to let life happen for me and not to me.

We all encounter times that are hard where we’re not sure how to push through. The difference in those moments is to choose to see the positive. Every day is a new chance to decide on happiness, to decide to be grateful.

It's my hope for the WWLF community as we move through the rest of 2020, that we can all choose to see the best in each other, in ourselves, and in whatever comes our way over the next couple of months. We’re all in this together.


Amanda Cahill

Executive Director of Ways & Means

Supporting working parents through COVID

More than half (57%) of working parents report feeling unsupported by their employers as they grapple with childcare issues.

This number comes from a survey of working parents by Maven Clinic. Maven is a leading women’s and family healthcare company. They partner with employers to improve maternal outcomes, lower costs, and attract and retain more parents in the workforce.

Yet, companies are trying.

“I’ve spoken with a number of companies. Everyone is looking for the best practices and trying to figure out how to make them work,” says Sara Daly-Padron, a Maven career coach, adjunct professor at Columbia University, and the Founder-Principal of SDP Advisors. She helps companies and individuals define development goals, move plans into action, and achieve success.

So why is there a disconnect?

Reestablishing the connection

“There’s no silver bullet answer that will help all families or all companies,” Daly-Padron explains. “Everyone has a distinct experience and may need different kinds of support.”

If you as a company don’t understand what your employees need, there could be a disconnect between what you’re doing and what employees are feeling. This is a problem; it can lead to employees who feel quitting is their only option.

“It’s expensive to lose an employee,” explains Daly-Padron. “You lose intellectual capital and you have to recruit and retrain someone. And think about your morale. If a parent leaves because they don’t feel supported, what message does that send to the rest of the working parents?

“What I’m hearing is people feel overwhelmed trying to figure out how to access support. Or they don't feel like the support necessarily fits their situation,” she says. “Or worst of all, they’re afraid to use it.”

This last one is critical. With an unstable economy, some working parents hesitate to discuss their situations, frustrations, and feelings of overwhelm. Many parents fear the career implications if they take advantage of the policies designed to help them.

Luckily, companies can alleviate these concerns.

Promote policies across company culture

“The most important thing to do is strengthen the bond between your policies and their implementation,” explains Daly-Padron. “This bond should be visible throughout leadership. And it should be promoted.”

For example, your company might have a great workplace flexibility policy, but unless you understand who’s using it and how, you don’t really know if it’s permeating your culture. “If people feel guilty or that they’ll be penalized if they use the policies, then the policies aren’t working,” she adds.

Companies can use their HR teams to establish the policies and lean on leadership to establish the culture. Then they can train their managers. At the day-to-day level, it's managers who instill trust in the organization by having conversations, building plans, and moving forward.

Make policies easy to find and use

What do people need? Those with their time stretched thin and with responsibilities overwhelming them want services that are convenient, easy to access, and get them the help they need.

Digital platforms that get people this help, whether it’s lactation support for a new mom, coaching a parent through transitioning kids into kindergarten or into college, or mental health support, are a great way to support your employees. In fact, mental health appointments have increased 300% since March (and mental health support helps more than just parents).

Resources like EAPs or other digital platforms let employees reach the experts who can help them the most. But they have to be easy to find.

“If access to benefits is buried in a company handbook or intranet, employees stretched to their limit don’t have time to look for that,” Daly-Padron says.

She advises marketing your policies to employees and having managers promote these resources directly to their teams.

Ask for help

“Managers are overwhelmed, too. And now they’re adding in one-on-one check-ins about bandwidth and concerns,” says Daly-Padron.

“Yet it’s important for everyone to look at their priorities,” she adds. “We all need to understand how we can make things work for this relatively short time period in the span of a career or the life of an organization.”

Overwhelmed managers don’t have to go it alone. They can talk to their own leadership about how to handle this new situation.

“Not everybody will be able to hire deputies or assistants to help manage their teams. But managers and leaders can look at their structures to see how to adapt,” Daly-Padron says. “One option might be offering stretch assignments to some team members.”

Try reviewing your team’s commitments, your own managerial responsibilities, and each of your team member's development goals. Consider realigning responsibilities across the team. This can balance the work for those feeling overwhelmed while helping others grow and develop.

Watch out for benevolent discrimination (AKA: Don’t make assumptions)

Benevolent discrimination affects parents, particularly women. It happens when leaders and managers make assumptions that may not be accurate:

“She’s a new mom. She's never going to want that account that makes her travel once a quarter. Let’s give that to someone without a young child.”

“She’s nine months pregnant. Let’s take her off this big account because it will require some meetings when she's out.”

“She’s got elementary-aged kids and schools are all virtual. We won’t give her this high-visibility assignment.”

Managers should remember not every parent—and especially not every working mom—is overstretched. Some might have a nanny, a grandparent helping out, a spouse who handles childcare, or older kids who are more independent.

“If managers think, ‘I better just lay off on all of my parents and give the key projects to people who don't have those responsibilities’, they’re engaging in a form of bias,” Daly-Padron explains. “And the fact is, not all parents are struggling right now.

“It’s far better to have conversations instead,” she advises. “Find out what’s really on someone’s mind before making decisions on assignments.”

Keep expectations clear

When an employee does take advantage of a policy, managers should have an upfront conversation about what success looks like. “It’s so important for employees and managers to be clear about the criteria to measure success within the accommodation,” explains Daly-Padron.

For people able to do their job, just in alternative hours, what defines success for them might remain the same. But for people taking larger blocks of time off or reducing some of their schedule, you must have a more nuanced conversation around what success looks like, given the reduced workload or hours.

“It will be different for every organization,” says Daly-Padron. “For some, it’s sales quotas; for some it's project based. In some cases, you may need to dial back any hard and fast numbers somebody normally has to make.”

For the employee…what if my company hasn’t done any of this yet?

“When I talk with women who are overwhelmed and under extreme pressure, feeling like they need to quit, I remind them that in a span of a 30+ year career, this is going to be a blip,” explains Daly-Padron. “But how you react in this blip and how you work with your manager matters.”

If you take extra time or reduce your goals for the time period, there’s a chance it might affect you for a little while. But unless you open up that dialogue and make it very clear what you can and can't accomplish and what success looks like right now, then it will definitely affect you.

Daly-Padron concludes, “It’s critical that you and your manager understand and agree on the outcome of your decisions.”

For more insights from Daly-Padron specifically for managers of new parents, read her newest article at Columbia University, "Supporting New Parents Returning to Work in the COVID-19 Environment" and follow her and Maven Clinic on LinkedIn.

Lower stress job searches: Part 2-Search Secrets

Searching for a job is a job in itself.

And, like any job, knowing what to do and how to do it makes your life much easier.

For this two-part series, we spoke with WWLF’s Director of Industry Relations, Carrie Charles. Charles is also a career coach and the CEO of BroadStaff, a talent staffing firm specializing in roles in the telecom and tech spaces.

Last month, we shared what you can do right now to set yourself up for an easier job search in the future. Now, we’re talking about job searches and interviews.

Step 1: Find the job opening

Start with some research to find out who’s publicly looking.

Online options include:

  • LinkedIn (The premium “job seeker” accounts provide features designed for job searches. You can pay monthly and cancel at any time.)
  • Job posting websites
  • Industry publications
  • Regional wireless association websites

Then, tap into your network and let them know you’re looking. Companies discuss their need for new hires before posting. You never know who might know of a job opening in the works.

If you have a dream company but you don’t have any connections there and it doesn’t seem like they’re looking yet, you can still make a connection. (LinkedIn is great for this.) If you have a mutual connection, you can ask for an introduction. And if you don’t? It’s always OK to reach out to make a new connection. Charles suggests a script, something like this:

Initial connection request: “Hi, I’m Carrie. I wanted to connect with you on LinkedIn. I'm in the job market right now and I'm building my connections.”

After they accept the connection:“Thanks for the connection! I’m very interested in a new role. If you know of anything that comes available in your company, please let me know. Attached is my resume.”

While you’re considering roles, remember the most important rule: Don't you be the person who decides not to hire you.

To make sure you don't do that, you need to understand how job descriptions work.

Step 2: Understand the real job description

There’s an often-repeated statistic: most men who meet 60% of job requirements will apply for a job. Most women will only apply if they meet 100% of the requirements.

When this stat first became public, many experts posited women lacked confidence in their ability to do the jobs. It turns out, this isn’t the reason. In HBR’s article, “Why women don’t apply for jobs unless they’re 100% qualified”, research points to other culprits.

The top three reasons women didn’t apply for jobs unless they met all the requirements were:

  1. They didn’t think they’d get hired without all of the qualifications and didn’t want to waste their time.
  2. They didn’t think they’d get hired without all of the qualifications so they didn’t want to put themselves out there just to fail.
  3. They were following the rules about who should apply.

“What women need to understand is a job description is a perfect wish list,” shares Charles. “It’s rare that someone comes in who has it all. So, there's always flexibility within the job description from the hiring manager.”

This flexibility means the hire might be a person with 60% of the requirements. “So if you had 80% of the requirements but didn’t apply because you self-selected out, then the job went to someone less qualified than you,” Charles explains.

“Companies expect candidates won’t have everything on the list…you aren’t breaking any rules if you apply without checking off all the requirements," she adds.

In fact, you can even show why what you’re missing doesn’t really matter.

Step 3: Apply

“Cover letters are important,” says Charles. “We write something called a 'sizzle' for our clients. Our sizzle is a cover letter talking about our candidate to the hiring manager. It’s the most important part of the submittal because it’s where we sell the candidate. Basically, it’s a sales letter.”

(Fun Fact: “Sizzle” comes from a famous-to-salespeople-and-marketers quote, “Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle.” Elmer Wheeler, a salesman, coined this phrase in the early 1900’s.)

So if you are missing a few skills, sell yourself in the cover letter. “This is who I am. This is what I bring to the table,” says Charles. “And if the process doesn’t allow for a separate cover letter, you can include it as the first page of your resume.”

Congratulations…you applied! You can sit back and relax now, yes?

No. (Sorry…but we did tell you a job search was like having a job!)

Step 4: Network and follow up

“People call me all the time and say, ‘Carrie, I just submitted a resume. I really want to get into this company. Can you help me? Do you know anybody there?’ This is a very common ask,” Charles explains. “LinkedIn is—again—a great way to see who you know who might know someone.”

The other step is figuring out who might be your hiring manager, or who might know the hiring manager on LinkedIn. Reach out to them and say, “I just submitted an application and wanted to introduce myself. I'm very interested in this role and here’s why I'm the right person.”

Charles adds, “When you submit a resume and you don't hear anything back, that's not a no. It means you need to find out who got that resume and who's in charge. It’s not a no until you hear someone tell you no.” 

Step 5: Interviewing the company

Sometimes it feels like it, but on a job interview you’re not the only one under scrutiny. The interviewers will judge your abilities, of course, but you all should be exploring if this is a good fit. It’s a little bit like a first date that ends with getting married for a while.

You are the CEO of your own professional career. What can you ask to make sure your next job fits your goals and needs?

“Never, ever, ever, do an interview without asking questions,” emphasizes Charles. “It’s a big red flag that you just need a job. I recommend asking your interviewer at least three questions—which means you should have six or seven prepared in case some are answered during the interview.”

These questions should be about what’s most important to you. “Do some soul searching to figure out what's important to you in a job. Is it culture? Is it flexibility? Is it opportunity?” says Charles. “Then think about how to ask it…you don’t want to give the wrong impression.”

Here are some potential questions that can get you answers in a roundabout way:

  • Can you tell me a story that you think exemplifies the culture here?
  • Who was your most successful hire, and what made them so successful?
  • Why do you love working here?
  • How do you communicate after hours?

If the answers are all about working 24/7 and you’re looking for work-life balance, this might not be a good fit. If you thrive in a high-pressure, on-all-the-time environment, this could be the place for you.

Charles shares a final secret: the last question.

“Make your last question ‘What was it about my resume that prompted you to interview me?’” she says.

“This is a good final question because you’re wrapping up by reminding them why they liked you. They’re selling themselves on why you were a good candidate. It’s an incredibly positive way to end an interview.”

Any other questions about job searches? Send them to

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Won't you join us?  Membership Drive

WWLF is staying on track with our mission to provide educational and national networking experiences for the Wireless Industry. 

We could not provide our programs without the support of WIA, our Corporate Sponsors, and you, our Members.  We've been making the most of 2020 with many virtual events to keep our message alive. 

In case you've missed them, here are some of the highlights from Spring/Summer 2020:

  • Impact Events:
    • "How to Pep-Up your PowerPoint Presentations" 
    • "Cookies from the Heart" to support Ronald McDonald house
    • National Zoom Yoga Day
    • “Best-kept leadership secrets” Zoom roundtable during Connect X
    • Virtual Happy hours all over the country to a Wine Tasting Journey in Chicago
    • Virtual Coffee Break, featuring Jennifer Fritzsche of Wells Fargo Securities
  • Great advice from Barb Teicher, Global Leader and Author, on her webinars addressing “Overcoming Isolation” and “Work-life Balance”
  • The announcement our 2020 Fellowship Recipient, Aneta Karkula
  • Mentorship kick-off event with 13 mentors and mentees paired for 2020
  • Corporate Membership Drives

You can look forward to these events in Fall/Winter 2020:

  • More Virtual Impact Events via Zoom
  • “Tech Talks” and professional webinars
  • Voting on the WWLF 2021 Leadership Team (you must be an active member to vote)
  • Monthly Newsletters
  • Complimentary Headshots at various local and regional events (check the website for more information)

Many of you renew your memberships at our regional or national events.  We want to encourage you to renew your annual membership enabling you to take advantage of our opportunities for 2020-2021.

If your membership has lapsed this year, or your renewal is upcoming, we want to offer you this 20% discount by using the code COMP2020.

As always, your feedback and suggestions are welcome as we add events and webinars to the calendar.  Please visit our website to contact our board members, check our events calendar, and access our current and past issues of our monthly newsletter. 

Please reach out to Beth Yglesias at 404-663-4674 or Julie Anderson at 813-708-1121 with any questions concerning your membership.

Thanks for supporting WWLF!

Renew or sign-up now!

In case you missed it: Webinar Recap

Life Interrupted

On August 26, 2020, Barb Teicher, CSP, gave a heartwarming presentation titled, “Life Interrupted,” where she shared lessons in resilience learned while recovering from a major accident during a trip abroad and the recent, devastating death of her sister.

Despite her background and training, she was not immune from the hurt, loss, and pain life-altering events can bring.

Whether you are dealing with the pandemic, parenting, problems with work, or just everyday mayhem, Barb recommends these six steps:

1. Share your emotions. Sometimes just expressing what you are going through, regardless of whether there is anyone listening, helps! A brain imaging study confirmed that simply putting your feelings into words - such as talking with a therapist or friend, or journaling - can make sadness, anger, and pain less intense.

2. Check your assumptions. It is easy to spin out of control when you are working off assumptions about how other people are thinking. Take a moment to pause and reflect on what inferences may be triggering you, giving people the benefit of the doubt. We are often unaware when someone is having a bad day and they may not realize how their words or actions have been received by you. For a true reality check, compare your perceptions with those of trusted advisors.

3. Reprioritize. How often do we think we are the only person that can handle something? Or we give up personal time to the detriment of our physical or emotional health? Remember the announcement on planes that parents must put on their own oxygen mask before they put on their child’s. We must take care of ourselves before we can be fully present to help others.

4. Be thankful. Perspective matters. We are happier when we are grateful. Taking the time to thank others will lesson loneliness and increase your connection with others.

5. Connect with faith/core values. Connecting with one’s faith or spirituality has been proven to lead to a greater sense of well-being, hope, purpose, optimism, and self-esteem. We could all use more of this in our lives!

6. Be the difference. Dive in to support causes you are passionate about. When giving the gift of our time and energy, we often receive more than we give.

Life will continue to have interruptions, both large and small. That’s just life!

We hope these tips help you through those moments when you feel you are holding the weight of the world. We’ve all been there and we are rooting for you! Better days lie ahead.

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WWLF is committed to creating an inclusive environment where diverse voices are welcome in all aspects of our organization. WWLF values the knowledge and perspectives that our members bring to our organization from their diverse backgrounds. While all members are welcome to participate in both regional and national events, WWLF remains committed to the design and delivery of content to support the development of women in the wireless communications industry.

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