Mission: As the preeminent organization for chicago's leading professional women, we are compelled to: -connect with each other for professional and personal growth -advance our civic, business and philanthropic communities -inspire and support the next generation of women leaders.
Programs: To provide programs of interest to members and to create empowering relationships for senior women leaders that enable the network's members to increase their impact on their organizations and the community at large through peer networking, mutual support and issue awareness. Some of these programs include: launch pad for women senior leaders - the network's leadership conference is called launch pad for women senior leaders. Launch pad provides a forum in which participants can share their knowledge and inspire a new generation of women leaders. The most recent launch pad, with the theme "the leader within," was attended by more than 320 members and their "rising star" female guests. At the 2016 launch pad conference, the ceos of discover financial services and cdw were paired with one of their senior women leaders for a robust conversation around how they developed their leader within, valuable lessons learned as they furthered their careers and how they ensure the leadership pipeline remains strong and inclusive. In highly interactive concurrent breakout sessions, panelists shared their perspectives on navigating the career jungle gym to the top. The women on boards initiative - the program seeks to level the playing field for women seeking board positions. We do this through educational events for our members, working to match members to available board positions, and by making the resources we have publicly available. Past programs have addressed board resumes, the director interview process, best practices and problem solving governance boot camp. Next gen programs - the network periodically offers programs for female high school students. Prior offerings include a program on space with its four astrophysicist members for the girl scouts, junior achievement and after school matters, as well as high school students invited by network members.
woman in forefront luncheon (wifl) - this is the network's hallmark event. This annual luncheon, open to members and nonmembers alike, features a keynote speaker discussing their experiences and achievements. The 2017 wifl keynote speaker was valerie jarrett, senior advisor to president barack obama, whose address focused on woman's leadership development and her career path. In 2017, there were approximately 1,600 attendees.
the future leaders program - the program was launched in 2014 to offer female college students at selected local universities an opportunity to gain exposure to different professional career paths. The program is designed to cultivate future women leaders by providing multiple perspectives on careers in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors through shadowing opportunities with network members. During these visits, participants receive instruction on the organization and industry, and discuss the skills, abilities and education necessary to achieve future career goals.