March is Women’s History Month, a global celebration of women and their contributions to history, culture, and society. Championed by historian Gerda Lerner and the National Women’s History Alliance, Women’s History Month – which started as Women’s History Day – officially began in 1978 in Sonoma County, California.
At ITW, we are proud to recognize and honor the women across our global enterprise whose daily contributions continue to make a significant impact on our organization’s success. As part of our enterprise-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, our ITW Women’s Network (IWN) is a global employee resource group that supports the attraction, development, and retention of female talent and reinforces ITW’s inclusive workplace across our divisions. Through its 30 chapters, IWN actively engages female colleagues in networking and professional development. Our male leaders are also an integral part of IWN’s success due to their allyship, which includes sponsoring and participating in the group to champion ITW’s female talent.
Below are highlights from several of our global IWN chapters and their activities in 2021. We look forward to continuing to engage, encourage and support the thousands of women represented by IWN and the many leaders and allies who work hard to create an inclusive and equitable workforce across ITW.
Chicago Mid Chapter (U.S.A.)
With more than 90 members, this chapter actively networks with other ERGs across ITW divisions to create strong and supportive relationships. In 2021, this chapter paired with PRIDE Chicago to run leadership training seminars.
New England Chapter (U.S.A.)
The New England chapter represents six U.S. states including Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut and is comprised of over 120 women. In 2021, this chapter held a series of virtual events that covered topics such as emotional intelligence, financial security, nutrition, and professional development.
IWN Midwest (U.S.A.)
IWN Midwest represents 312 members from Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. The chapter hosted many exciting events in 2021, including Table Talks and a Courageous Conversations session that encouraged members to learn more about and have challenging conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
IWN Upper Midwest (U.S.A.)
IWN Upper Midwest spans Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Nebraska and represents about 180 members. In 2021, this chapter worked closely with other IWN chapters to co-host events to help increase engagement and networking opportunities. The events focused on sharing personal stories and how to deal with reducing stress.
IWN Northeast (U.S.A.)
Founded in 2016, this chapter represents 96 members from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. This chapter hosted new events in each quarter of 2021, including a cooking class and book club.
United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta and Netherlands Chapter
In 2021, this chapter, which spans four countries and includes 229 members, introduced many new programs, including Mental Health First Aid training. This program enables women to promote mental wellness in the workplace and create safe spaces for discussion.
Founded in 2019, this chapter represents 130 employees across many different business units including Polymers & Fluids, Automotive and Specialty Products to name a few. In 2021, IWN Spain partnered with the Young Professionals network to host a joint event, which was the first time these two ERGs collaborated on an event in Spain.
IWN Nordics is one of the newest IWN chapters, established in November 2021. In celebration, 28 women from the Scandinavian countries traveled to Denmark to kick-off the chapter in hopes to inspire female colleagues, network across different segments, and learn from a range of diverse senior leaders and role models at ITW.
Founded in 2017, this chapter includes women from across all of ITW’s locations in Germany. In 2021, the chapter hosted a virtual workshop to talk about different communication types and how understanding different behaviors can make an impact on interpersonal and professional communication.
IWN Brazil was founded in 2020 and has since been broken down into nine subchapters. The chapter holds quarterly meetings where subchapters can engage to discuss leadership best practices. In 2021, IWN Brazil held a national meeting to discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as professional development opportunities for members.
IWN Asia represents over 200 members from China, Japan, Korea, India, Southeast Asia, and Taiwan. In 2021, this chapter worked hard to engage male leadership to participate in networking and professional development events for members – an effort to work across genders and develop allyship.