For CDW, The development and retention of women is a major contributor to business results. The CDW Women’s Leadership Network (WLN), open to both men and women, is an internal resource and advocate for the advancement of women.

The WLN provides career development opportunities to strengthen leadership and business skills and enables members to utilize their talent to develop women across the company, build confidence by presenting at events and learn innovative ways to motivate and retain other leaders.

The WLN focuses on three areas: development, engagement and retention. Yearly themes have included “Building Effectiveness/Influencing,” “Sharpening Your Leadership Edge,” and, most recently, “Building Business Acumen.” Events vary from guest speakers, to hands-on seminars, to panel discussions in order to keep events fresh and relevant to members. The CDW WLN also works with local organizations in order to provide mentorship for young women in the community.

The WLN worked with the WNBA Chicago Sky Foundation “Sky Cares” to host a booth at their yearly fitness festival. The event was centered on the Sky’s mission of building girls’ self esteem and providing girls and young women with positive mentors and role models. The Festival was attended by over 800 girls and focused on health and fitness as well as an in-game experience designed to show girls 10-16 ways to get active. The WLN members worked with several other organizations to show the girls how to “get moving” through jumping rope and dance.

Feedback provided both verbally and, more importantly, through written surveys, shows that the CDW WLN is making an impact on members and, in doing so, contributing to the overall success of CDW.

The CDW WLN’s efforts continue to expand and will branch not only to members’ mentees, but also to other organizations in 2011 in order for us to continue to be a driving force in the development of our future women leaders and the overall success of CDW.