What is Twinning?
Twinning is when one BPW club connects with another BPW club with a Twinning Charter. In the charter they agree to pursue some common interests, common goals and build a closer relationship between the two. Twinning is as varied as the clubs involved. Some twins connect to build a social exchange, others a cultural exchange and others have a common interest in an industry or profession. So for instance my home state, South Australia is a wine producing area so we might twin with a club in another wine growing area in another part of the world. Twinned clubs might visit each other, or have a member visit them, or they exchange newsletters. Most importantly they often get great ideas from each other. Twinning is an equal relationship with both clubs sharing and gaining. Beyond that Twinning is what you make of it. My club’s twinning came out of a friendship formed at congress and we exchange ideas, have hosted a professional and trade visit, are invited to return that visit and we mutually support a women’s project.
BPW INTERNATIONAL TWINNING GUIDELINES
* If you would like to form links with another BPW Club in another country, whether in the same region or a different one or with a BPW Club within your own country, the following guidelines should be of assistance.
THE AIMS OF BPW INTERNATIONAL TWINNING
*Foster friendship and mutual co-operation through the exchange of experiences and joint activities.
*Promote the BPW Aim of equality and the achievement of common goals.
*Increase the effectiveness of international networking between business and professional women.
*Support the interchange of developmental opportunities.
Twinning does not have to be with a Club in a different country or region and a Club does not have to be limited to Twinning with just one other Club. However when considering Twinning it is important that the Club instigating the Twinning has given thought and time to discussing the idea with all their members so that there is future planning and on going support for the Twinning and that it is just not done on a whim.
* Write or email the Chairperson of the twinning Task force for a copy of the Twinning form. It contains areas to be filled in regarding The country/countries or towns/cities in which you would like to find a ‘twin’ Club. Information about your Club. – member’s interests/careers/activities. Why you want to ‘Twin’? Details regarding your Club’s twinning co-ordinator.
If both Clubs are clear about what is expected to start with, the twinning has a better chance of getting established and lasting. Do not worry about being too precise – the relationship will change over time as you get to know each other.
The twinning Chairperson together with the Regional member of the Twinning Taskforce will try to match you with a Club in ONE of the countries you have nominated, which has also shown interest in Twinning. (There is no restriction on the number of partnerships but it is better to concentrate on twinning with one Club at a time.)
Both Clubs will be sent a copy of the other Club’s Twinning form and asked to contact each other. Please keep the Twinning Chairperson informed of all your early contacts so that if they are not successful or are not suitable you can be offered an alternative.
Once you have established contact and agreed to ‘Twin’ a letter of acknowledgement will be sent by the twinning taskforce. A Twinning Certificate will be issued at the following BPW International conference signed by the International President and the Twinning Chairperson.
CLUBS TWIN FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS.
The reasons Clubs ‘Twin’ are many and their ‘Twinning’ experiences are varied.
Friendship and Cultural reasons: Members exchange emails and letters, meet for outings or work together on projects with a common goal.
Professional Reasons: Members assist each other on BPW matters related to their areas of employment.
Support: Clubs support their ‘Twin’ with materials, information or financially.
ONCE TWINNING IS IN PROGRESS
Please let the Twinning Taskforce know what you are doing so that ideas can be exchanged, others may benefit from your experience and further assistance given if needed. Photos and storied or reports can then be placed on the BPW International website. The activities will be reported each year to the Board of BPW International and broadcast on the website.
Nellina Basile (BPW Italy)