New this year: The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to introduce you to the finalists for the 2021 ATHENA Organizational Award®, which will recognize two organizations that support, develop, and honor women leaders, inspiring women to achieve their full potential and creating balance in leadership throughout Buffalo Niagara.
The award will be presented to one for-profit organization and one non-profit organization. Nominations were reviewed for the organization’s culture, community engagement, and leadership in supporting women.
If you’d like to attend the 30th annual ATHENA Awards®, the region’s most prestigious event dedicated to the professional accomplishments of those who work to advance women, you can get tickets here.
Meet This Week’s ATHENA Organizational Award® Finalist
One of the top global engineering companies and the world’s largest industrial gas company, Linde – formerly known as Praxair – is a company that employs approximately 80,000 people globally and serves customers in more than 100 countries worldwide. Locally, the Linde Technology Center, based in Tonawanda, N.Y., employs approximately 1,000 employees and is home to a wide range of operations, including engineering, logistics and research and development.
According to a Linde spokesperson, a corporate-level attention to the issue of developing women in the workforce is particularly critical in a male-dominated field like engineering. Linde is at the forefront of efforts to create gender balance across all areas of the corporation, including engineering, with its global goal of achieving 30% gender balance by 2030.
In Western New York, the Linde Technology Center has created an active Inclusion and Collaboration council to discuss and address issues of gender imbalance and development for female employees. The company has also integrated diversity and inclusion as corporate values on par with safety principles.
The Linde Technology Center also features two Employee Resource Groups dedicated to the empowerment of women. The first group, called “Connections,” consists of several small 4-5-person teams who individually establish professional development goals on an annual basis. Each team of women works collectively to build their business acumen while enhancing networking and creating a community of support. The second group, called the Success Network, brings together a cohort of female employees with a goal of giving aspiring female leaders the opportunity to build skills, confidence and connections. This group hosts quarterly networking events that feature presentations focused on career and personal development as a woman.
In addition to these groups, Linde also has an engagement and development program targeted specifically for women in operations: BONDS (Building Our Networks and Driving Success). BONDS targets highly valued women in operations and front-line roles to address underutilization and high attrition in this demographic. This program offers mentoring through regional clusters, virtual training and development, and peer networking to its cohorts.
Lastly, Linde made a strong commitment to gender equity in the workplace in 2018 when it became one of the founding Employer Partner members of ALL IN WNY. ALL IN, an initiative of the WNY Women’s Foundation, is designed to make Western New York a premier place for women to live, work, and lead by engaging our community in purposeful efforts to empower women and illuminate pathways to leadership. As one of the participating employers, Linde has committed to promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workplaces and took a pledge agreeing to create an environment of equity within their organization to advance women as leaders in our workplace and community.
The Linde Technology Center actively supports many community service organizations and events in the community with both funding from Linde’s Global Giving Program and employee volunteerism. Linde also participates in the following initiatives to even more significantly focus on the development of women and girls in the community:
- The Linde Technology Center annually receives and supports an exciting influx of requests from local organizations looking for support with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math (STEAM) related activities.
- Founded in 1982 by Linde/Praxair, the University at Buffalo, and the Omega Phi Psi fraternity, Buffalo Engineering Awareness for Minorities (BEAM) is a group that encourages, supports, and prepares minority, female, and other under-represented students to pursue careers in.
- Initially part of the New York State Mentoring Program, the Linde-Holmes School Mentor Program was established in 1992. Approximately 30 employees serve as mentors each year and about 200 children have benefited from the program.
At Linde, high–potential female talent is identified annually and provided with a sponsorship from within the company to assist with their development in future leadership roles. Currently, the Linde Technology Center includes:
- 3 of 12 Board of Director positions held by women
- 4 of 11 Site Leadership Team Members
- 39 of 193 Leadership positions in Tonawanda held by women
- Linde’s Surface Technologies business President is a woman
These numbers and ratios will only increase in the coming years as Linde’s “30 by 30 Global Goal” initiative kicked off in 2020. This corporate goal aims to achieve 30% gender balance throughout Linde by 2030.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to welcome Linde as a finalist for this year’s ATHENA Organizational Award in the for-profit category.
Attend the ATHENA Awards® Luncheon
The ATHENA Awards® Luncheon is the region’s most prestigious event recognizing the professional accomplishments of exceptional individuals who are dedicated to the advancement of women. Be there when the winners are announced.