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We recently started the “Women’s Innovation Network” (WIN) at Zurich. It’s a grassroots effort to bring people together to help develop women professionally through networking and development. I was flattered when I was asked to be on the Steering Committee for this group. Informally, in the past, we’ve commonly discussed that it would be great to pull something like this together, and suspected many women felt the same way. We did some focus groups in 2009, and our thoughts were confirmed. We held our first pilot event late in 2009. We invited a speaker to talk about leadership and our event was completely over capacity. We actually had hundreds of employees attend and had to get an extra room for the attendees. Clearly, there was a strong interest and far more than expected. We’ve hit on a need. Mostly what we’ve heard is that people want to feel like part of a community. They want others to go to for help, networking, support and mentoring outside of their immediate team.

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