Who are we?
Women’s Development Network is a Starbucks internal partner network that focuses on the professional and personal development of its members. The network focuses on three established pillars. They are community, education/development, and networking.
“To inspire, foster and celebrate women’s individual potential both personally and professionally.”
Our key priorities/pillars:
- Community – partner with effective community organizations that enrich people’s lives
- Education/development – effectively develop our members both personally and professionally
- Networking – enrich and create internal and external partnerships to gain insight and perspective from a broader audience
How did it all begin?
Mission Statement (Back then)- The WDN enhances the personal, professional and leadership opportunities for its members.
The Women’s Development Network was established back in 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Field partners wanted a network to help them build relationships, develop their personal skills, and become more involved in the community. A team of 10 partners was soon established to fulfill the request from the partners. They immediately got to work and created a mission statement and put together principles to abide by. We spent time focusing on activities that could make a difference with our partners. In the first two years the WDN grew to 80 members. At that point we branched out and formed our 2nd chapter in Northern Indiana and other areas started to show some interest.
Where are we today?
Mission Statement (current)- “To Inspire, Foster, and Celebrate Women’s Individual Potential both Personally & Professionally.”
In mid-2010 the team assessed where the network was currently at and decided to try some different tactics to make the network more effective. The leadership team was restructured. Many members assumed new leadership roles and that team restructured our mission statement, pillar strategies, and aligned ourselves with the company’s current AOP. Today, we currently have 10 chapters fully operating throughout the US with over 600 members. These chapters are located in Indianapolis, St. Louis, Nashville, Cincinnati, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Chicago, Denver and Seattle. We are adding new chapters and members at an increasingly rapid rate. As we continue to grow big we want to stay small (sound familiar) by ensuring that all chapters live and abide by the same mission statement and allow the pillars-Development, Community, & Networking- to guide us in making solid decisions. Each chapter partners with 3 different organizations throughout the year. Community continues to be a priority for our networks and we want to engage with our members through volunteer work. Each chapter is also responsible for focusing on the development of their partners. We want to create new development experiences that will help mold and grow individuals as they continue on in their journey with Starbucks. These experiences have included special speaker series, book discussions, personal learning activities and mentorships. We are focused on keeping the network strong by using different ways to market it such as store communication, open forums, social media, storytelling and our website.
Where are we headed?
We are looking forward to adding to our family. Be on the lookout for networks starting soon in Michigan, Minnesota, Dakotas, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Denver, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Canada. Our vision is to continue to grow the network globally. Our plan is to ensure we stay grounded in our mission statement and deeply connect to our pillars to ensure continued success. Our goal is to inspire others to join us in this movement to develop women and those who work with women at all levels. Through this network we can all grow on our journeys together both personally and professionally.
Who can be involved in WDN?
All Starbucks partners can hold a voluntary membership within the network. General membership and participation will be on a voluntary basis and not financially reimbursed. There are also steering committee and leadership positions available to salaried partners. Partners should advise their supervisors of their involvement as some Network meetings and activities may occur during normal business hours. Also, supervisors should be made aware of the work the partner is performing on behalf of the Network because these activities can support the partner’s personal development plan.