ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA) — The Network of Executive Women is celebrating 15 years in Northwest Arkansas with a one‑of‑a‑kind summit for networking.
The Walmart Women’s Empowerment Summit was hosted at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers on Thursday. Over 700 women attended.
“We really believe success in the business is about leadership,” says Kim Underhill, Group President for Kimberly-Clark North America.
Fifteen years ago a group of 20 women and a handful of volunteers formed the NEW’s Northwest Arkansas region.
Now it’s the second largest region across the country.
“We have over 1,200 members and 110 different volunteers, it’s incredible growth and it’s a testament to what benefit NEW can be to organizations,” says Karen Stuckey, Senior Vice President of Private Brands, General Merchandise for Walmart U.S.
Women from all different industries came together Thursday morning to celebrate the milestone.
“If any organization wants to win today, they ned to have the best minds at the table. So it doesn’t make sense for an organization to say 50% of the population would not be part of the formula for success,” Stuckey said.
Building strong and confident leaders by providing the tools remains NEW’s mission.
“What we focus on at NEW is that leadership and development piece that compliments corporate partners, and what they do in our groups,” says Julie Basile, Vice President for NEW.
Underhill adds, “I’m always fascinated to learn that we have a lot of common things, that we can learn from each other, even though we work in very different industries.”
As NEW inspires women to feel empowered to do more and have courage in the workforce, the participants say the best is yet to come.
Underhill explains, “I think the idea that diversity and inclusion and women in boards, women in CEO’s, we’re making such great progress but it’s not so much about being a women anymore. It’s about developing leaders that are ready for positions.”