Mission & History
Professional Women’s Network’s Mission
The Professional Women’s Network (PWN) is a Canadian-based non-profit organization, currently with chapters in Vancouver and Calgary and growing globally, focused on assisting business women to:
- Connect easily with one another and with key male business contacts
- Refer business to one another where appropriate
- Develop and leverage strong business relationships with other women and with men
- Increase profile and profitability; and
- Contribute to the success of other business women
The PWN was founded in 1997 by National Chair, Michelle Pockey (a business lawyer), together with three other Vancouver-based professional women – an accountant, an engineer and another lawyer. Initially, the PWN was established to help women in the traditional professions to connect easily, refer business to one another, and assist each other to navigate successfully the unique challenges faced by female professionals in advancing their careers.
In 1998, increasing its mandate to supporting the success of women in business generally, the PWN expanded its membership to include women from all walks of business and entrepreneurial life. Our membership is now comprised of a strong mix of business owners, executives and professionals from many business sectors and various levels of experience.
Recognizing the growing earnest support for business women demonstrated by many of our male business colleagues, and understanding that developing strong cross-gender business relationships is critical to success, the Vancouver Chapter of the PWN increased the scope of its membership in 2005 to include business men. The Vancouver Chapter currently hosts approximately 45 male members and welcomes and aims to host many more. This expansion of our membership has enriched our organization by opening up new and unique business growth opportunities for both our male and female members, while maintaining the comfortable and inviting atmosphere that has come to define and distinguish our organization.
With Chapters currently in Vancouver and Calgary, the PWN currently hosts approximately 1000 members in total. Additional chapters in Toronto, Montreal and in London, England are under development.