Dear member,

To our entire WWLF membership family, we on the WWLF leadership team want to remind you that we are here for you. So many of our colleagues are affected by the virus, job loss, and upheaval. It can be a challenge to stay positive and strong.

Please let us know if you need support from us. We believe together we'll all get through this.

We also know everyone’s situation is different. Some of us are stretched thin, trying to juggle it all. Others of us have a quite a bit more free time than we ever anticipated.

If you happen to fall into the latter group, there’s a great benefit available to all WWLF members.

WWLF is affiliated with the Wireless Infrastructure Association, the principal trade association representing the companies in the wireless telecommunications infrastructure industry. WIA offers an amazing platform for professional development: the Telecommunications Education Center (TEC).

To find out more about TEC—and the WWLF membership discount for courses—don’t miss the article in this month’s WWLF Connection, below.

Keep looking to our future, I can feel it getting brighter.


Debra Mercier

Vice-President, WWLF

P.S. Missed an issue? Our newsletters are now archived on the WWLF website. Was this issue forwarded to you? You can sign up for your own in the same place!

Keeping Diversity and Inclusion a priority

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are major initiatives at most companies. But the pandemic threatens to roll back many gains made in this area.

“We could have an entire generation of women who are hurt,” said Betsey Stevenson, professor of economics and public policy at the University of Michigan, in “Pandemic Could Scar a Generation of Working Mothers” from the New York Times.

A recent survey shows women are nearly two times as likely as men to report they’ll leave their jobs in the next year because of dissatisfaction, reports Working Women in “Crappy Treatment During COVID Makes Women Twice as Likely as Men to Leave Their Job”.

Women with children take on most of the burden of schooling and childcare in the wake of closures. It's no surprise single parents take on 100% of the burden. But even women with supportive, engaged partners still handle the majority of childcare and schooling.

Reopening will not offer relief if schools and day care options stay closed. Without flexible work options, these women may be forced out of the labor market.

It's not only working mothers

While working mothers (especially single mothers) are particularly at risk, all women’s gains are potentially in jeopardy, reports Harvard Business Review in “Why the Crisis Is Putting Companies at Risk of Losing Female Talent”.

The good news is companies can take steps to keep women from being left behind.

What companies and leaders can do

Embracing alternate schedules, working from home, and providing extended paid leave are all good starts. As is asking employees about their concerns and really listening to the responses. Flexibility, understanding, and open communication are critical right now.

The HBR article also suggests these actions:

1. Pay Extra Mind to the Motherhood Penalty

Caregiving typically boosts a man’s reputations. However it diminishes a woman’s by causing doubts about her capabilities and commitment. In an office environment, women can control how much of their personal life they want to share. But that has changed now that our homes are our offices.

It’s critical to be aware of the different biases towards fathers and mothers, and be mindful about your judgements. If you’re a leader and also a parent yourself, share the challenges of juggling work and family right now.

2. Pare Down the Pressure

People are often more productive at home, research shows...but that research wasn’t done during school and childcare closures.

Pressuring people to push out as much work as possible risks alienating all your employees. It also means you’re not valuing or recognizing women with children at home.

“Contrary to conventional wisdom, women’s preference to ratchet back their careers is not the primary driver of highly educated women’s decisions to quit their careers. Rather, they are pushed out by workplaces that devalue their contributions and dismiss their needs,” reports HBR.

By prioritizing business needs and focusing on what really matters, leaders can set more reasonable expectations for employees. Asking for best effort on those priorities will get you much more engagement.

3. Run Virtual Meetings Equitably

Women may find themselves left out of important calls, which is devaluing. Leaders must consider if they’re including everyone who should have input, and direct your managers to do the same.

And—just like around a real conference table—virtual meeting facilitators must ask for input from attendees who haven't said much.

4. Keep Digital Spaces Inclusive

Virtual meetings allow for “invisible side conversations” via chats. Even if these chats are not purposefully exclusive or discriminatory, they can weaken women’s relationships and keep them from insights into important company issues. Leaders can request all conversation and input be shared with the group, not privately in chats.

Leaders can also encourage employees to consider inclusion in virtual social events. If you’re a leader, make sure you’re mindful of how much time you spend informally chatting with certain people.

By reminding managers and your teams that fostering your inclusive culture still stands—and by taking steps to make sure it’s being done—you show your female employees you value them...and it makes it more likely you will retain their talent. 

For even more reading on the topic, check out "3 Ways to Advance Gender Equity as We Return to the Office".

Professional Development with TEC:
Are you impacted by 5G?

According to a survey on The State of Employee Upskilling and Reskilling43% of companies increased upskilling/reskilling efforts during the pandemic. And 42% of employees have pursued training on their own.

    WIA’s Telecommunication Education Center (TEC), provides courses designed to improve career development opportunities and on-the-job proficiency for members of the telecommunications workforce.

    And WWLF Members get 15% off all eLearning and live webinars! Just use the code WWLF15.

    TEC just launched its newest eLearning course 5G Ecosystems. If your company is affected by 5G, you won’t want to miss this!

    The course provides an overview of 5G technology, what to expect, and the impact on businesses and consumers. It also addresses common myths, reviews current data analytics and helps you prepare for the technology today so you can benefit from what it has to offer.

    5G Ecosystems is for anyone interested in learning about the development of 5G standards, requirements, expected timelines, current cases, and field trials.

    To sign up for 5G Ecosystems or to find out about TEC’s other eLearning opportunities, visit

    Not a WWLF member yet? Join now!

    Member Outreach: We need your help!

    Do you have a special skill or knowledge? Or maybe you’ve been puzzling over something? We want to hear from you!


    If you’d like to share your expertise, send us an article pitch. If picked, you’ll work with our editor to polish and publish a piece in an upcoming newsletter, with your by-line of course. (Great for sharing on LinkedIn!)

    If you’re interested, email with “Pitch” in the subject line.


    We’re also looking for subject matter experts to interview for upcoming articles. These are also great to share on LinkedIn! Right now we need SME’s in the areas of:

    • Conflict Resolution
    • Turning difficult times into powerful "dragon-slaying" stories for interviews
    • Subcontractor diversity targets and how to comply/apply

    If you’d like to help us out with these, email with “I’m a SME” in the subject line.


    If you have something you’d like to see addressed in the newsletter, whether about an industry topic you’d like to understand better or a career issue you’ve been having, email with your suggestion or question with “Topic” in the subject line.

    Upcoming Events

    Your event here?

    We get it...many of us are feeling a little over *insert your favorite video platform here* happy hours and events. 

    Yet one of our main goals is to keep women connected. That's even more important now since women are more likely to be left behind after this year's events. Strong women's networks make a huge difference in those effects.

    Video fatigue aside, our online events have been really well attended!

    If you'd like to see a little more virtual love in your area, contact your city reps or to request an event!

    Thank you to our exclusive newsletter sponsor

    Connect with WWLF

    WWLF is a proud affiliate of WIA

    Women's Wireless Leadership Forum C/O WIA
    2111 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 210 Arlington, VA 22201

    © 2020 Women’s Wireless Leadership Forum All Rights Reserved

    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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