Chicago Network exposes young women to various careers

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A group of Chicago's most powerful women are working to inspire the next generation. They are on a mission to make sure that more young women are headed toward the corner office.

The message is simple: You can do anything you set your mind to.

"We really want to make sure that young women who didn't necessarily grow up with doctors and lawyers as neighbors really got the chance to see how a business operates, both for-profit and non-profit," Kate Bensen, CEO of The Chicago Network, said.

The Chicago Network is a group of senior women business leaders that has partnered with St. Xavier University and the University of Illinois-Chicago to expose young women to a variety of careers. This week the students visited Adler Planetarium and ABC 7.

"My parents aren't really in the professional world at all so I was really hoping I could find some people to just give me some advice and just help me out in the future," Taylor Casino, University of Illinois-Chicago, said.

As part of their visit to ABC7, students got to sit in on a live taping of Windy City LIVE and talk to ABC7 news director Jennifer Graves and political analyst Laura Washington, both of whom are The Chicago Network members.

"I can connect it to the real world, as well. Everything you do has to be on point, has to be perfect many times so you can keep going and if there's any little mistakes along the way, you can learn from them and keep going," Elizabeth Molina, University of Illinois-Chicago, said.

"I guess the one thing I've taken away is don't be afraid, ask questions, reach out and connect," Thu Nguyen, University of Illinois-Chicago, said.

Other students visited the United Way and Leo Burnett. This is the second year of The Chicago Network's future leaders program.
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