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Global Professional Women's Network Opens Houston Chapter

A global professional network for women will officially launch its first Houston chapter on Feb. 26.

New York-based Ellevate, formerly known as 85 Broads, combines in-person networking with interactive online tools and workshops to create both an online and offline global network of professional women.

Sallie Krawcheck, the organization's chair and a former executive at Bank of America and Citigroup, plans to kick off the Houston chapter of Ellevate with a launch party at the JW Marriott Downtown at 806 Main St. between noon and 1:15 p.m on Feb. 26.

"Networking has been cited as the number one unwritten rule of success in business. And not networking can be an important reason that the gentlemen begin to advance ahead of the women at work in their 30s," Krawcheck said. "So providing women this network — as well as a range of relevant business education for them, delivered in person and online — is a means of closing this gap. And the proof is in the pudding: The women of our community have a significantly lower attrition rate from the workforce than the averages."

Educational and professional development programs, mentoring circles and networking events are some of what Ellevate will offer Houston businesswomen.

Ellevate has two other Texas chapters in Austin and Dallas. But Houston has long been a global hub for business in almost every sector of the economy. Anne Greenwood, director of business development at Ellevate, explains why it took awhile for Houston to get a chapter.

"Houston is such a critical business center. It's an important market for Ellevate to be in," Greenwood said. "We want to be in markets where we see a strong business community and an opportunity for women to thrive. We also look for the right local leaders who are committed to the mission and development of a chapter."

The Houston chapter will be led by Jennifer Roosth, a former global wealth advisor at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management.

Roosth earned her bachelor's degree in cultural anthropology from Princeton University and also attended the London School of Economics and Political Science as a Hansard Scholar. As the Houston chapter officer of Ellevate, she will facilitate the growth of the local network.

"(It) is less about expanding into the Houston market and more about an entire generation of women inspired and motivated by the success of 'Lean In'-type initiatives," Roosth said. "Also, communication and internet learning provide access to elite networks, communities, and educational opportunities in a more impactful way than ever before."

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