First launched in 2015 at Parker’s global headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, Peer W is a business resource group dedicated to attracting women to Parker and developing and retaining women across the organization. Since its founding, the Peer W Global Steering Committee has launched eight regional hubs and 18 local chapters in several areas of the United States, Europe, Asia, and Mexico, as well as mentoring circles in North America to support these efforts.
Peer W recently held its first global summit to convene leaders from its regional hubs, chapters, and mentoring circles, as well as global and executive leaders. The summit provided an opportunity for women across Parker to celebrate the growth of Peer W over the past several years, recommit to its goals and to share insights to promote the professional success of women at Parker.
The feature event within the summit was an illuminating panel discussion with Parker’s female Board Members who shared their career trajectories and advice for forging a career path. Joining Parker team members were: Jill Evanko, President and CEO of Chart Industries, Inc.; Linda Harty, Former Treasurer of Medtronic plc; Candy Obourn, Former Chairman Isoflux Inc.; and Laura Thompson, Former Executive VP & CFO The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
These esteemed panelists shared their career trajectories and advice for forging a career path. Each of the women who serve on Parker's board offered valuable insights into their career choices and how they challenged gender bias to succeed at the highest level in their professions.
The Global Steering Committee and regional hubs were instrumental in organizing a coordinated global celebration of International Women’s Day 2021, providing a template for events and resources to organizers across the Americas, ASEAN and EMEA. Thousands of Parker team members participated in 12 separate events around International Women’s Day on March 8 and throughout the week. This year’s theme, #ChoosetoChallenge, invited team members to commit to challenging inequality.
Around the world, Parker team members wore purple, signed pledges, shared social media, joined virtual and physically distanced events and rallied around women’s success to mark the occasion. The EMEA region expanded on the theme to acknowledge how women have risen to challenges brought on by the pandemic and to inspire women to challenge themselves to advance their careers.
Virtual events across the Americas featured talks with women leaders, discussions around “Choosing to Challenge,” trivia games and presentations on women’s historical contributions to Parker’s legacy. In Asia, the month of March marked the official launch of the ASEAN Hub and five new, regional Peer W chapters.
Women have been central to Parker’s success from its earliest days. In the 1920s, Helen Parker made the choice to save her husband’s business and invest in the company’s survival. Since then, women have been innovating, collaborating and challenging assumptions across the company and around the world in support of our purpose to create a better tomorrow.
Article contributed by the Global Steering Committee for Peer W
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