In November, the Orthodox Union launched the OU Women’s Affinity Group, a forum for women within the OU to create an ongoing conversation with the goal of fostering an inclusive, enjoyable workplace. Each month, several dozen female employees gather together for a speaker, networking event or brainstorming session.
“We discuss areas that people are concerned about, like opening up leadership positions to women, mentor training and work-life balance,” explains Penny Pazornick, North American director of Israel Free Spirit, the Birthright Division of the OU, who, together with Orah Alon, human resources manager at the OU, are the co-chairs of the OU Women’s Affinity Group. OU Executive Vice President Allen I. Fagin, who developed the idea for the group, explains: “The OU Women’s Affinity Group is designed to encourage the women members of our professional staff to share information and ideas across departmental lines; to network with one another and with others outside the organization; to discuss issues of common concern and to offer advice and guidance on enhancing the quality of the OU work environment,” he says. “We look forward to the Women’s Affinity Group playing a dynamic role in our ongoing efforts to recruit, retain and promote women within the ranks of the OU professional staff.”