Women who have attained at least vice president status in their companies are invited to join a new group created under the auspices of the Kansas City, Kan., Chamber of Commerce.
The new Women’s Executive Network will hold its first meeting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the chamber of commerce, 727 Minnesota Ave.
The network also invites women who are executive directors or business owners, an organizer said.
Participants in the network must be members of either the Kansas City, Kan., Chamber of Commerce, the Central Exchange or the Kansas City, Kan., Women’s Chamber of Commerce, according to Kate Kershaw, a Kansas City, Kan., chamber staff member who organized the network’s founding.
“This is my passion, to connect these women and to share board opportunities and other professional development,” Kershaw said.
The Central Exchange, which has offices in downtown Kansas City, Mo., and Overland Park, also focuses on networking and education for women in business. Kershaw said the Central Exchange has joined her effort in order to expand its footprint among executive women in Wyandotte County.
“Central Exchange is thrilled to partner with the KCK Chamber to give women the platform and tools to accelerate their professional and personal impact in our community,” Courtney Thomas, president of the Central Exchange, said in a statements. “Our focus is to strengthen the opportunities for women and to help them shape a successful future.”
Kershaw said the network is expected to hold four program events this year, partly focused on positioning women for regional board or director opportunities.
That effort parallels an existing program sponsored by the Women’s Foundation, which has been working with Kansas City and other area cities to promote women for corporate, nonprofit and civic board positions.
The Women’s Empowerment Initiative of the Women’s Foundation has been recognized by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University for its project to appoint more women to boards and commissions.
Kershaw said she had not contacted the Women’s Foundation about its program.
“I thought there was a niche here in Kansas City, Kan.,” Kershaw said. “We want to be seen as regional, too, but we, as the KCK chamber, want to be seen as the convenor of this women’s group.”
Kershaw said at least one expected event this year will ask network members to bring an “up and comer” woman to the meeting.
For more information about the Women’s Executive Network, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.