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Volume 1, Issue 1

Emily L. Barr

At The Chicago Network (TCN), we are a collection of leaders with abilities, insights and stories as diverse as the organizations we represent. Here, we are introducing a place where many of those stories will live, evolve, and, if we do it right, inspirenew stories. Welcome to The Chicago Network blog — Walking Through Glass.

TCN Communications Committee Chair Emily Barr (President & CEO, Graham Media Group) says the new blog is intended for a broad cross-section of professionals. “The issues tackled in Walking Through Glass will be both timeless and critical to those of us at any stage in our careers.  Work-life integration, stepping on and off the work stage, when and how to leave one position or career path and pursue the next. These are foundational and nuanced concerns for all of us—regardless of gender—and this blog provides a wonderful forum where we can share and receive valuable and frank advice.”


Kary McIlwain

And the name seems fitting. “Women find themselves faced with obstacles, interferences, and things that just get in the way of achieving goals, big and small,” reflects TCN member Kary McIlwain (VP of Marketing, Lurie Children’s Hospital). “Glass ceilings, institutional sexism and family priorities all complicate our path to success. Sometimes we move ahead, undeterred. Other times, we have to break some glass. And more often than not, we walk through—plow through—eyes on the prize and crushing that glass with every step forward.”

We will start with a monthly publishing schedule and content that reflects our strategic priorities—integration of work and life, navigating the career continuum and paying it forward to the next generation of leaders. We welcome your voice as we work to catalyze a dialog. Because more than anything, this blog is about fueling a conversation. Join us by sharing your feedback and ideas at Next month, we ask one of our members about her leadership style and fostering an environment of women’s inclusion.

Kate Bensen

I like the way Emily Barr sums it up: “Leadership, mentorship and real world experience from individuals we know and admire today—and others we’ll know and admire tomorrow. What could be better?”

We look forward to “walking through glass” with you. Because broken glass isn’t always a bad thing.

President & CEO
The Chicago Network