Dress for Success Indianapolis Board Member and President-Elect, Adrienne Busby, shares her love of DFSI

Adrienne Busby

 

You could say Adrienne Busby was tailored for this.

Raised by egalitarian parents – her mother was a professor of nursing and her father, a physician – Adrienne missed the pernicious social conditioning that convinces women there’s something they can’t do. As Dress for Success’ president-elect tells it, “My mom and dad pushed my sister and me to stand on our own two feet and… know that, no matter what happens, we would be OK.” It was that message – part of the core of Dress for Success – that made Adrienne a natural fit for the women’s empowerment nonprofit.

We recently sat down with Adrienne – who works by day as a product liability litigation partner for Faegre Baker Daniels – to discuss the evolution of her work with Dress for Success Indianapolis (DFSI) and the work we need to do culturally to champion working women.

Dress for Success: What do you think is the biggest misconception about Dress for Success?

Adrienne: There’s this idea that, “Oh, it’s just about giving women clothes for interviews,” but it’s so much more than that.

A lot of our clients have had a hard time getting into the workforce. Some have had run-ins with the law, some have had health issues, some are domestic violence survivors. You can’t count the number of ways that life interrupts your plans, but what I like about Dress for Success is it’s a support network.

Our clients can join the Professional Women’s Group (PWG). Within that group, there is peer and programming support, including the financial literacy program. We have members of the PWG who are lifelong members. They have a job, they’re successful and they’re coming back to share with their PWG sisters what they’ve learned and to be mentors for one another. It’s a constant loop of support.

Dress for Success: How important has that camaraderie been to you and the women who call PWG their sisterhood?

Adrienne: It’s everything. We all need to be seen and to be open with our own challenges. You know, I’ve got two young kids and I’m just a mess some days. But to share what’s challenging to you and to be real, that’s important.

Sometimes you need to know that other people have had bumps in the road, too – it’s not always a straight path up, but that’s OK because you’re still on the path.

Dress for Success: Speaking of paths, what was your path to DFSI?

Adrienne: Every year, we have a fundraising event called Stepping Out in Style. It can vary anywhere between 750 and 1,000 people in attendance, and it’s just an amazing gala. We have a Diamond Dig, a wine pull, and a fashion show featuring Dress for Success Indianapolis clients and prominent women. [FaegreBD Partner] Jessica Cox was on the planning committee, and she said, “I think it would be great if you joined as the logistics chair.” She knows I’m Type-A and I never met a color-coded spreadsheet I didn’t like, so she thought it would be a good fit. I joined the steering committee and, in 2012, was the logistics chair. I did that for maybe a year or two and then I moved into an event chair role. In 2014, I was invited to join the board of directors and I continued to chair the event up until last year. I stepped down because I became the president-elect [of the board] and there was no way to do both and do the day job I have, so I just transitioned. But I think it’s a great thing for events to have a fresh pair of eyes and evolve, and I’m excited to contribute in a different way.

Dress for Success: How do you see your work for DFSI evolving as you step into this new role?

Adrienne: We have an active, working board filled with people who are passionate about the mission. Some are dialed into fundraising and finance, and others are very close to our client programming. I have been focused on the event and fundraising side for several years, and I’m looking forward now to widening my lens.

Dress for Success: What about in your professional life? How has that evolved, as you work to negotiate more work-life balance?

Adrienne: I have been in practice for about 18 years now, and neither my practice nor my concept of work-life balance is the same now as it was when I started. I am glad for that. That’s why I became a litigator – to be able to work with brilliant people on fun, challenging projects that are not the same every day. I am fortunate that I work in a place where I can build an interesting career and have a life outside of the office. For me, work-life balance is not a static state. It’s a constant evolution.

Dress for Success: What can we do as a culture to better support early- to mid-career women?

Adrienne: We need to give each other the gift of time. Spending time with women and asking questions about what they want to see in their careers, what their obstacles are, and how we can help is really important. I mean, you can’t eliminate someone’s obstacles, but you can sure talk them through it. Dress for Success will always benefit from donors and people who are willing to support the mission financially, but that’s not possible for everyone. But every day, you can give someone your time. You can take just a second to give someone a pat on the back, a moment of mentorship or just the feeling that your door is open.

Four Things You Need for a Productive Home Office

home office, design, RJE, Dress for Success, IndyDFS

By: Katie Ellis, Marketing Director at RJE Business Interiors

Between social media, the kids running around and your growing to-do list, it can be incredibly difficult to focus on any work you need to accomplish at home. Whether you work from home full-time or just need to shoot off some emails before bed, all it takes is a few tweaks to your current environment to spark productivity in your home office. Take a look at our suggestions below to set yourself up for success when working from home!

Seating is priority.

Getting a task chair is probably the last thing on your list, right? Considering that most of us work from a computer, a supportive chair is actually one of the most crucial items in ensuring your productivity throughout the day. Go for an ergonomic option with height-adjustable arms, dynamic suspension and seat-depth adjustability for optimal comfort and productivity.

Get your screens on your level.

With Americans now spending nearly 10 hours a day in front of a screen, it’s important to ensure that you aren’t overworking your eyes to accommodate your iPad, laptop and dual monitor. Without proper placement, you’ll find yourself taking breaks to tackle the headache that just ruined your afternoon. Stay on task by keeping your primary monitor at eye level using a flexible monitor arm to avoid straining your eyes and neck.

Keep power and cords easily accessible, but out of the way.

Easy access to power seems like a no-brainer, but do you have enough outlets for your computer, monitor and phone charger within immediate reach? If you don’t, you’ll find yourself searching for a spare plug when you could be reaching a deadline. There are plenty of desk-top power options that clip on to your desk to make access easy. Just make sure you avoid a tripping hazard by keep your cords tidy in a wire basket underneath your desk surface. Need a DIY option? You can use a cable tie to secure them to a desk leg!

Don’t forget the storage!

Nothing derails a schedule like spending 30 minutes searching for a file in a mess of paper. If you don’t want to invest in a file cabinet, magazine holders and paper trays on a bookshelf can be just as effective. Even better yet? Digitize your files using an online cloud storage platform like Dropbox or Google Drive.

Want to learn more about building a successful workplace? Visit https://www.rjebusinessinteriors.com/news/.

Five Ways to Prioritize Your Wellness in the Workplace

By: Katie Ellis, Marketing Director at RJE Business Interiors

After securing a job, it can be easy to settle into a new role and focus solely on getting the job done. With that though, it’s important to remember to continue to take care of yourself — especially if you work in a desk-based job where you’ll be sedentary for most of the day. Studies show that integrating wellness activities into your daily routine will make you a more productive employee — so get up, get going and stay well! Here are five ways to incorporate better wellness into your work routine.

1. Plan ahead for your weekly lunches.
It can be very easy to be lured into going out for lunch with your coworkers several times a week, but it’s not a budget-friendly or wellness-friendly option! Meal prep on Sunday to ensure you have five healthy lunch options to get you through the week.

2. Take meetings on the go.
Any kind of movement is beneficial if you’re sitting behind a computer or at a desk all day. Consider asking a colleague to go for a walk around the neighborhood for your next meeting, rather than sit around a conference table. The extra steps will energize you for the rest of the day!

3. Get out of your seat.
If you have access to a sit-to-stand or height adjustable desk, make the most of it! Standing improves your posture, core strength and is known to increase both energy and productivity.

4. Organize wellness activities.
Every cause needs a champion, so if there isn’t a wellness program at your office, don’t be afraid to approach leadership to implement one! Onsite yoga classes, health assessments and nutrition programs can go far in creating a more wellness-focused workplace.

5. Start a steps challenge.
Do you work with a competitive bunch? Nothing can spur someone to action like a good challenge. Consider implementing an incentive-based steps challenge at your organization to get more people moving across the office. Even if you don’t have an official program, you can challenge a couple of coworkers and get the same results.

Interested in learning more about workplace trends? Head to https://www.rjebusinessinteriors.com/news/.