|CWN has grown in stature since it was first formed over 30 years ago. Today it is one of the most influential networking platforms for senior professional women working in the City and in the UK|
CWN was founded in 1978 by a group of English and American women working in senior roles in London's Square Mile. Predominantly bankers, accountants and lawyers, they belonged to an elite (and brave) group pioneering the entry of women into previously male-dominated professions. Finding themselves isolated in the workplace, they set out to form a peer network for women in the City, to combat the effects of the Old Boys' Networks that dictated City culture at that time. Early meetings of the network were actually held in secret.
More than thirty years on, our mission has evolved to deliver a highly visible but also credible platform that develops a sustainable and robust pipeline of female leaders. Our mission to encourage and support senior women resonates beyond the bounds of the City. Our members work in more than 40 business sectors, including banking and finance, law, marketing, publishing, education, technology, accounting and media.
With women accounting for less than 5% of executive directors of major UK companies (The Female FTSE Report 2010, Cranfield University), our objectives are as relevant today as they where when the network was launched more than thirty years ago.
Though our primary focus is addressing the needs of senior female leaders, an open and honest dialogue between men and women is vital to begin breaking down barriers, both perceived and actual, that challenge the progression of women in industry.
CWN has strong links with a number of business networks and continues to forge relationships that will add value and benefit to its membership, but also to the greater community in which it operates.