Illinois Tool Works Inc.

Global Women Leaders

Challenge:

Talent development is an integral part of ITW’s enterprise strategy.  The company’s efforts are focused on ensuring its talent pool is as deep and diverse as possible across its decentralized global operating structure (ITW has 50,000 employees in 57 countries).  In 2012, with ITW’s global leadership roles comprised of only 11% women leaders, ITW focused on significantly enhancing the attraction, development and retention of women globally. 

Actions:

A group of passionate leaders believed the company could significantly improve gender diversity across senior leadership positions.  This passion led to the formation of ITW’s Women’s Leadership Development Council (WLDC) and served as a critical starting point for driving meaningful, long-term change. 

The WLDC held the first Women’s Leadership Conference in 2012 and brought together leaders from across the company to focus on increasing ITW’s competitive advantage through gender diversity.  At this meeting, ITW’s Chairman & CEO, Scott Santi, established an enterprise-wide goal to double the percentage of women in leadership by the end of 2017. 

From 2012-2015, the WLDC worked closely with senior leadership and existing women-oriented employee resource groups operating as a results of grass roots efforts within ITW’s decentralized operating structure to establish action plans and drive alignment around a shared vision to broaden impact and reach.  

In 2016, ITW Women’s Network (IWN) was formed as a natural evolution of employee resource group efforts to maximize the impact and global reach across the organization.  IWN implemented a regional model by forming chapters across geographies to host networking events, offer leadership development and skill-building seminars, and create local communities for female talent in support of efforts to enhance the attraction, development, and retention of women globally.

Outcomes

Women representation in ITW’s top 1,000 global leadership roles progressed from 11% in 2012 to 23% in 2016.  In recognition of this progress, the enterprise goal has increased to 30% by the end of 2020.

IWN’s regional chapter structure within the U.S., Europe, and Asia reaches over 2,000 women annually.

Contact

Pete Kyrychenko: [email protected] 

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