This week, we celebrate National Business Women’s Week and recognize our local women who all played significant roles in boosting the business scene in their community. You will start meeting the featured women leaders who defied all odds to grow and sustain their organization!
Serving the Greater Irvine Chamber for 12 years, Jessica Welch has had the privilege of working side-by-side with executive leadership, bringing her deep understanding of the organization, community, and membership to help direct and achieve the mission of their organization: Advancing the economic vitality of greater Irvine. Welch’s experience across Chamber operations has provided her with the ability to identify and drive big-picture initiatives and empower staff members to execute critical tasks with the same sense of ownership and pride that she has.
“It is rewarding to be a member of the Chamber’s executive team, which embraces a philosophy of empowerment. Because of this work culture, the entire staff is invested in executing components of our strategy that positions our organization as a champion for the success of our members and partners, as a convener of community leaders and stakeholders to achieve common goals, and as a catalyst for innovation in greater Irvine.
Saying “yes” at the door has been a key strategy for empowering a well-developed team. I believe it is by stepping out of comfort zones, ignoring the box altogether, and supporting those around you, is when exciting opportunities can be seized.
Sharing our organization’s mission and strategies with other chambers is also highly rewarding. Participating in the exchange of ideas with chamber professionals across the region, the nation, and even internationally, I’ve been able to create alliances, partnerships, and life-long relationships, and moreover, help position the Greater Irvine Chamber is a leader in the association industry.
In pushing for more growth in the business community, I believe women could play a significant role for this. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about half the nation’s workforce is made up of women and the percentage is projected to continue to grow. Women not only have significant influence on how businesses function and are run but women also have strong decision-making and buying power in the workplace and at home. These are crucial factors in determining how businesses succeed. To thrive, businesses will need to proportionately include women at all organizational levels, and on the consumer end, businesses will need to cater to the needs of women.
Women bring diverse perspectives that drive innovation and provide unique intellectual capital to propel business growth. As business growth continues to become increasingly dependent on gender diversity, women will likewise continue to have a stronger voice in many facets of leadership, commerce, and enterprise. At the Greater Irvine Chamber, women are well represented in proactive and leadership roles on the staff and board of directors, helping to identify and drive business growth opportunities in the region.
I love this quote from Publilius Syrus, ‘Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm,’ and this is a quote that I always live by.”
– JESSICA WELCH, VP OF OPERATIONS, GREATER IRVINE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE