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We are grateful to partner with the United Way of Greater Chattanooga and Women United to share our collective efforts to create a better future with a special emphasis on women during Women’s History Month. We pause to consider the great work being done by women all over the world and especially in our own community. 


Within Shaw, we have multiple associate resource groups (ARGs) all with the common goal of connecting our diverse associates through inclusion and leveraging their unique perspectives to drive growth and innovation. 


The first-ever ARG to be founded at Shaw was the Women’s Innovation Network (WiN). WiN supports the development of Shaw’s leaders by helping women drive successful careers in part by overcoming the biases they face in the workplace. Members have access to resources and training focused on career development and core competencies, mentorship, volunteerism, networking and more. In honor of the International Women’s Day theme, #BreakTheBias, WiN is hosting a live panel discussion for our associates where leaders from across our organization will share how bias has impacted them and how they #BreakTheBias for themselves and future leaders. 


One of the panelists from the discussion, Laura Smith, director of SIOP (Sales, Inventory and Operations Planning), is the perfect example of breaking bias and driving innovation and growth. The Manufacturing Institute announced it will recognize Laura as a STEP Ahead Award Honoree at its annual awards ceremony in April. STEP works to foster a 21st-century manufacturing workforce by empowering and inspiring women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership, as well as by motivating alumni to pay it forward by mentoring the next generation. The STEP Ahead Awards honor exceptional women in manufacturing and motivate them to mentor the next generation through an annual awards gala and alumnae programs. 


This time last year, a group of women from across the floor covering industry founded WIFI, Women in the Floorcovering Industry, a non-profit organization focused on empowering, connecting and supporting the current and future generations of women in the industry. Our own Brenda Knowles, vice president of commercial, was one of the founding directors and serves as the fundraising chair.


In partnering with United Way, we are uniting people and resources to build a stronger, healthier community. Our mission is to create a better future, and we are well on our way. 


For those who wish to join us in learning how to further support women, check out the resources below. Until next time, thank you for Living United!  


To learn more about WIFI, start here.


To learn more about United Way of Greater Chattanooga’s Women United, start here.