At 3M, WLC women are “true leaders”

Since 2003, the Women’s Leadership Council has worked to be “the most powerful female-driven philanthropic force in Central Texas” – and with more than 500 members investing in our community annually, it’s safe to say they’re delivering on that promise. At each of the 400+ companies that we work with locally, the WLC looks a bit different, adjusting to the culture and needs of that particular workplace. 

Since it’s International Women’s Day, we wanted to find out what drives these incredibly giving women by talking to Judy Donigan, National Account Manager at 3M, about what’s working for them.

The WLC group allows us to leverage the power of women and support efforts that are close to our heart.  

Michelle Diggs, 3M Marketing Manager & WLC Member

JA Central Texas Board, Any Baby Can Advisory Board, Texas Civil Rights Division Commissioner

What makes the WLC at 3M unique? 

The WLC women at 3M are true leaders within our company.  They are successful in their different businesses and foster a sense of responsibility in giving back to our community.  Many of the women are board members of nonprofit organizations within the greater Austin area.  All of our members are committed to improving the lives of those with barriers to economic opportunity through our philanthropic efforts.   

How many women are involved? Who has the WLC changed over time? 

Twenty-four 3M women participate in activities with the Women’s Leadership Council. From my perspective, more 3M women are also taking additional leadership positions with nonprofit organizations that they are passionate about.  

3M has long encouraged employees to give back to their communities. WLC provides an avenue for our women leaders to coalesce around children’s issues and enables them to impact a subject they care dearly about.

Russell Bridges, Government and Community Affairs Manager

How do the WLC efforts fit into your wider community efforts as a company?  

3M  has a company-wide, highly supported United Way Employee Giving Campaign every September, where we strongly promote WLC.  Our current members are often called upon to speak to their respective teams about the WLC and the different ways we give back to our community.   

The WLC also aligns with 3M’s corporate program called 3Mgives, which strives to support local communities with a focus on Education, Community (Human Services and the Arts), and the Environment, with volunteerism as the cornerstone of the initiative.  Through WLC, we volunteer with United Way on our own, and moving forward, we hope to integrate more with the full Austin-area WLC, which  provides wonderful opportunities to network with other women business leaders, offers educational programs and coordinates more volunteer activities. 

Why do you personally participate in the WLC, why is giving back important?

I got involved with the WLC because I knew it would be a great way to connect with other 3M women in leadership who have a passion for philanthropy.  It has given me an opportunity to develop friendships with individuals in many disciplines within our company, that I would not otherwise have had a chance to meet. 

Supporting United Way’s WLC not only feels good to be individually contributing to our community, it also represents 3M’s dedication to a proactive approach to social responsibility.  Our emphasis on social responsibility is one of many reasons that I am proud to be part of 3M. 

Thanks, Judy, for your insights on this powerful philanthropic group – happy International Women’s Day! 

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