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University of Illinois at Chicago

What one CEO wants women to do to reach the top

What one CEO wants women to do to reach the top

Kate Bensen calls herself "a builder, a connector." Networking, for her, "is as natural as breathing."

So having a standing wine date with a recruiter was in character for the longtime attorney, and six years ago that relationship landed her at the helm of The Chicago Network.

The Chicago Network, founded in 1979, is an invitation-only group of high-ranking Chicago women whose 450 members span the upper echelons of business, academia, science, the arts and nonprofits.

In the landscape of leadership clubs, Bensen, 57, said the group is distinct for fostering "deep and abiding" relationships among women leaders in disparate circles,...

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