Our Purpose:
  • Foster meaningful connections among Chicago women business leaders
  • Encourage dialogue on the advancement of women in the workplace
  • Exchange ideas and information on women’s leadership
  • Cultivate the next generation of women leaders
What does success mean to you?
Recently, The Chicago Network asked people on the street as well as some Network members, "What does success mean to you?" Watch here to find out:

Their answers may surprise you!

Featuring Network members: MarySue Barrett, Therese Fauerbach, Mellody Hobson, and Catherine Odelbo.

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2014 WIFL Sponsors

Women in the Forefront Luncheon
The Chicago Network's hallmark event is the Women in the Forefront Luncheon. This highly anticipated annual gathering inspires women through stories of achievement and personal reflection.

Each year, one of the country’s most influential figures shares professional and personal experiences and discusses the importance of diversity in the workplace. It’s also an occasion for members and their guests to create connections and network with members, business colleagues, board members and friends.

Save the Date for the 2015 Women in the Forefront Luncheon: April 13, 2015

Members in the News

  • Toni Preckwinkle on the Innovators Connection
    Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was quoted in a Chicago Tribune article that covers how the Innovators Connection, a Chicago Innovation Awards program, connects startup companies with larger businesses that need products or services.

"By bringing together large corporations with startups in meaningful ways, new value will be created for Cook County businesses and for the entire Chicago region."Read more...

  • Ellen Carnahan Featured in Blue Sky Innovation
    Ellen Carnahan, Principal of venture capital firm Machrie Enterprises LLC, spoke with Blue Sky Innovation this week about how she's borrowing from the startup playbook to expand the Communities In Schools program, headed by Jane Mentzinger, in educational systems including the Chicago Public Schools.

Jodi J. Caro is on the Board of Directors and Lynn Cutler, Diana M. Rauner and Sheli Z. Rosenberg are on the Board of Advisors. Read more...

  • Phyllis Lockett on Technology Standards and Education

    Phyllis Lockett, CEO of LEAP Innovations, delivered a keynote speech at Technori Pitch last week as Technori teamed up with the Digital Professional Institute for this month's education-themed Pitch.

"We've been trying to get at this education technology issue with bricks and mortar," Phyllis Lockett said. "But if we really want to change the paradigm in education, we've got to figure out how we bring innovation and technology into education." Read more...

  • Sandra Polk Guthman Featured in Crain's
    Sandra Polk Guthman, Chair and former CEO of Polk Bros. Foundation, was featured in a Crain's article that highlighted the Foundation's $20 million gift to redevelop Navy Pier. The article also recognized her as a longtime leader on Chicago's philanthropic scene and a patron of the arts. Read more...

  • Dolores Kunda on the Difficulties of Leaning In
    Dolores Kunda wrote a piece in TCW (Sherren Leigh), The Difficulties of Leaning In, which takes a look at the challenges young women of color face in the workplace. Read more...

  • Trina Gordon on Diversity and Inclusion
    Trina Gordon (2007), President and CEO of Boyden World Corporation, shared her thoughts on diversity and inclusion as it relates to female representation in the workforce and the compensation gap.

    "Despite all of the advances that have been made, gains for American women in corporate management have plateaued. We all need to be part of the solution and position ourselves to take advantage of every opportunity to close the gap."

  • Female Representation on Corporate Boards
    Roxanne J. Decyk (1983), retired Executive Vice President of Government Relations at Royal Dutch Shell, and Kate Bensen, The Chicago Network President and CEO, were quoted in a TCW article about the female representation on corporate boards. Read more...

  • Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke Speaks at Conference

    Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke addressed the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests conference in Chicago on August 2nd. Anne devoted much of her time to discussing truth and discipleship - what she called "the essential armor of Catholic life" and urged the audience to remain vigilant in protecting children, regardless of what emerges from Rome and church leadership. Read more... 

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