What is EWI?
EWI is an international organization of leading diverse businesses with a focus on Connections, Careers, and Community. Membership is by invitation only. The firm holds the membership, while an individual (female or male,) who is appointed by the firm’s executive, serves as representative. A firm can have more than one representative.
The Mission of EWI
EWI is an organization that brings together key individuals from diverse businesses for the purpose of:
• Promoting member firms;
• Enhancing personal and professional development; and
• Encouraging community involvement.
Principals of EWI
To bring together key individuals from member firms of EWI to:
- Achieve world-class status as an organization through applied standards of excellence;
- Provide a wide scope of community, educational, and philanthropic services and contributions;
- Afford the opportunities and structure for leadership and professional development;
- Forge and cultivate mutual business and professional goals through personal association and interchange;
- Encourage flexibility and adaptability in a membership as diverse in its demographics as in its interest, needs, and staying power.
The History of EWI
Founded in 1938 by Lucille Johnson Perkins in San Francisco, the organization originally was called Executives’ Secretaries Inc. Its intent was to bring together key women who worked with top executives of first-rate firms in noncompetitive areas of business.
Business leaders in major cities across the country were quick to recognize the value of the group and give it backing.
This was an entirely new concept—a business organization that helped develop the skills and contacts, along with expanding the business horizons of its top female workers—all under the umbrella of the firm’s membership in the group.
The organization achieved its “international” status when the first Canadian chapter was chartered in Calgary, Alberta in August 1964.
With women’s roles growing in the management work force, and more and more Representatives holding executive positions, in 1977 the organization became Executive Women International during the 30th Annual Meeting of the corporation (May 1977). This change reflected the international expansion of the organization and was meant to recognize the changing roles of women in business and the diverse careers held by its representatives.
More than 1,400 member companies and 1,600 representatives continue to thrive in EWI today. We continue to grow in nearly 45 Chapters located in major cities in the United States and Canada. To date, thousands of women have served as volunteers on boards and committees. The volunteer corporate board that directs EWI ensures quality leadership and guidance. Chapters are also managed by volunteer boards who are elected by representatives of the chapter.
EWI’s corporate office provides administrative support services and membership resources to the entire association.