March is Women’s History Month, a perfect time to celebrate the achievements and goals of all women. We are marking the occasion by highlighting the Co-Chairs and Vice Chair of our Business Resource Group, Women’s Opportunity Network (WON). WON helps to foster an environment where women (and allies) can make connections and access resources that will help them succeed, including networking opportunities, work/life balance support, and a mentoring program, among others.
WON’s Board of Directors, including Samera Kurian (she/her), Sr. Purchasing Manager; Nicci Fagan (she/her), Director of Strategic Initiatives; and Tracy Kocourek (she/her), Director, Senior Counsel shared their thoughts on the power of WON and the lasting impact it has on both its members and CDW.
Nicci: WON is an amazing group of individuals, both men and women, working toward the same goal to recruit, retain and develop our female coworkers. WON is made up of seven committees with Co-Chairs, a Vice Chair and 10-12 members. Each committee has a focus audience and mission that supports the broader mission of WON. The WON committees do a fantastic job throughout the year of creating meaningful events and content to help build a stronger community within CDW. WON also cross collaborates with other BRGs at CDW to bring a diverse perspective to our events.
Tracy: When I first started working at CDW almost seven years ago, I was having my first meeting with Chris Leahy (our current CEO, who was CDW’s General Counsel at the time), and I asked her what she thought would be the best way for me to get involved in CDW’s culture, develop relationships outside of the Legal department and add value to the organization in a meaningful way. Without hesitation, she recommended I join WON as a member, which I did that same day. Over the years, I’ve attended numerous WON events, but it wasn’t until the fall of 2020 that I considered taking on the leadership role as Co-Chair. I pursued the role and viewed it as an opportunity to lead and inspire during challenging times. I wanted to connect with and support our coworkers as they navigated the challenges of the pandemic and social unrest while at the same time instilling optimism and driving progress towards a more diverse and inclusive work environment, as well as increasing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) events and programs with coworkers, partners, and customers. It has been rewarding to see WON’s leadership team grow to have 30% of our leaders being diverse. This level of diversity increases WON’s creativity and innovation as we push ourselves to further evolve and provide even greater benefits and connections to our members, workplace, industry, and communities.
Samera: Over the years, WON has grown to over 1,700 members across multiple geographies, departments, tenure, and any other way you can think of a group being well rounded. There’s an amazing diversity of thought, openness in how we engage and a willingness to always evolve. We are especially proud of how our BRG was able to effectively pivot during the challenging times in 2020. We maintained a high level of engagement across our membership and were able to adjust our content to ensure relevancy and benefit for our members. Our committees held sessions around how to manage all the uncertainty, and despite all the challenges, we celebrated many accomplishments for WON members! From our surveys, over 90% of our members feel the content we’re delivering is beneficial to our core goals, and the evolution has been incredible.
Tracy: The board and committee leaders are there as mentors for our members. It is important to us that our coworkers have access to leadership through networking and gain skills for professional development and career advancement. We provide various types of support and guidance to members throughout their career journey.
Nicci: WON is a place for every coworker at CDW, including men. As we planned for 2022, we adjusted our committees and created a new one titled “Women’s Advocacy and Allyship” with a focus on being an advocate for women and increasing allyship across the organization.
Samera: We’re excited about driving change with the help of our allies across the organization. The main takeaway here is to join WON! Become a member, and you will absolutely benefit from the incredible content and events that come your way.