No need for hours of expensive therapy—it’s a well- documented fact that men and women communicate differently. Put them in the workplace and the disparity can become even more profound. Want to get a female to really open up? Let her kick off her heels, plop in a cozy chair, and grab a cup o’ Joe. “Women need to feel at ease to share what’s on their mind,” explains JBM & Associates president and owner Jacqui Bomar. “Women relate differently, and they want to discuss things I’ve never heard my husband discuss with his buddies.” Next month, she’ll help 100 women connect with Coffee Talk, an innovative leadership mentoring experience for the fairer sex.
“The whole point of it is to get women in a comfortable environment to dive into topics they wouldn’t ordinarily feel they have a platform for,” she explains. No boardrooms, white boards, or static infographics. On February 16, Coffee Talk will transform the Greenville Center for Creative Arts into an intimate coffee-house setting lled with uffy pillows, mood lighting, even Starbucks’ drinks and pastries. Small groups of women will use conversation cards to jump-start dialogue on topics they choose. The half-day event is simply the rst sip of relationships that will over ow with mentoring for months to come. It’s a brew that’s as bold and robust as a dark roast leaving participants asking for refills.
“Being surrounded by such inspiring women, being able to have conversations that speak to all of us, regardless of background, or what your career was, that was really powerful,” reveals Andrea Meade, a mentor at Greenville’s last Coffee Talk in 2012. “We met ladies where they were, broke down barriers,
and talked through issues. There’s a commonality you have, even with strangers. Afterward, for me, there was a lot of power and affirmation.”
After a ve-year hiatus, Jacqui is enthusiastic about putting on another pot to percolate. “Women started reaching out to me, begging me to bring it back, saying they had never experienced anything like it,” she shares. “They told me their success stories after the event, and those are just the stories I’ve heard. I know there are more out there.” Again, she’s lined up in uential mentors, including TOWN’s Blair Knobel, and is bringing in top-notch speakers like best-selling author Amy Herman, who will teach ladies to look at the world in an innovative, enlightening way.
The steam coming off this cup will spread far beyond Greenville. Plans are steeping to serve Coffee Talk in Charleston, Columbia, Charlotte, Asheville, and Atlanta. “This is a passion for me,” Jacqui admits with bright eyes. “I wanted to come up with something that makes women inspired.” And who doesn’t bene t from a piping cup—brimming with ideas, excitement, and support?
Ladies First // Coffee Talk offers women easy connection points that cross career backgrounds, enabling relationship building that can benefit for years to come. Coffee Talk, Thursday, February 16. Greenville Center for Creative Arts, 25 Draper St, Unit A. For more information and to sign up: mycoffeetalk.com