There was recognition of the need to have a networking group for women to enhance their retention and career development within the Company.
CONNECT was formed as a network to assist women in their career and professional development. A secondary objective was to improve their retention with the Company. The group's mission is to provide coaching, mentorship, education and relationship building opportunities to its members. These development actions will help women better navigate their career in order to achieve success and reach their potential.
Members of CONNECT are women employees of Anixter, globally. Affiliate CONNECT groups can be established where it is more operationally feasible due to time zone, distance and geographic limitation. CONNECT is open to all women who want to participate.
The group is led by a Corporate steering committee composed of women in senior roles. The committee has established governance bylaws and a schedule of programs and activities.
CONNECT has complete support of senior management, with the CEO and one other senior leader acting as sponsors for the group.
The group has established external contacts as well by participating with related industry network groups.
Anixter currently has 172 members in the CONNECT groups, with 6 women on the Corporate steering committee. In 2017, the steering committee held two meeting events and senior women have participated in several one-on-one coaching and relationship building sessions.
We have made progress in diversity in recent years, but we need to do more to increase the rate of progress. When we identify diverse talent and place them in stretch roles, we have to do more as an organization to support their success.