Last week, Avionos hosted an event for Women Influence Chicago, an organization that works to cultivate women executive leaders in enterprise, start-up, and non-for-profit technology organizations. The goal of Women Influence Chicago is to increase female leadership at the executive level across all verticals within our local community.
The event kicked off with a happy hour and a chance to meet the sharp and engaging female leaders from various Chicago companies. Speakers from the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, CloudCraze, and Chicago based start-ups ZipFit were in attendance offering insight into how their organization are actively working to elevate female leaders.
During the event I was reminded of an important fact. According to the newly released 2016 Fortune 500 list, the number of female CEOs in America’s 500 biggest companies has dropped this year to 4%. This staggering statistic proves just how critical female networking organizations are, both in raising awareness, as well as fostering the next generation of female leaders.
A wide array of challenges will inevitably be presented to anyone who embarks on a path toward executive leadership in business, or any leadership role for that matter. Having mentors who can provide first hand experience and advice is often the invaluable differentiator in those who achieve their goals and those who do not. I have been fortunate enough to find such mentorship within Avionos, but there is a comfort and reassuring factor in having a group of peers who have experienced and overcome the same challenges I face as a woman in business.
I am proud that my organization values groups such as Women Influence Chicago and honored to be included in our city’s growing network. To connect and learn more, please reach out at www.linkedin.com/in/ashley-o-connell-97850236