• ALKrew

  • Blog

  • ALKU

Table Talk with the Founders of AWE!

March 03, 2022


Happy Women’s History Month from the ALKrew! During Women’s History Month, we celebrate accomplishments and milestones that women have made both past and present. This is a time to reflect and admire the trailblazing women who have and continue to lead the way for change in the world!

Here at ALKU, one of our Employee Resource Groups (ERG) is AWE! AWE stands for ALKU Women Empowered. AWE is a women’s group determined to provide resources to the women of ALKU and give them the support they need to continue to develop within the organization.

The three founders of AWE are Kathie Boles, Vice President of Finance and Strategy, Kate Lelievre, Human Resources Business Partner, and Leah Bourdon, Vice President.

During this table talk, Kathie, Kate, and Leah answered some questions in a conversation style. Without further ado, let’s kick off Women’s History Month by sitting down with the founders of AWE!

What was the thought behind starting ALKU Women Empowered?

“There were no women in Leadership in the very beginning. Meaning, there was no one to look up to. At the time that we started AWE it was only for women in Leadership. We did this because we wanted to encourage more people to stand up and join the Leadership group. We wanted to elevate and promote female leaders within ALKU. Additionally, during the time there were different issues that women were facing in the world. We really wanted to create a safe space for women at ALKU.”

How does AWE help and support women at ALKU? 

“AWE takes pride in encouraging, supporting, and providing different perspectives. During meetings we talk about various subjects and women can share their individual stories. These meetings are a neutral space to learn new things, get out of your comfort zone and even gain mentorship.”

What does the future of AWE look like? 

“There is a new group of people coming into run the group. We are very excited about this because AWE needs some change! These women will do a great job leading the group and bring in new refreshing ideas. We hope the future of AWE is about inspiring, encouraging, and supporting. We hope AWE members continue to learn and keep pushing to succeed and thrive in the workplace. There are a total of 145 members in AWE today. As the group continues to grow there might even be different focuses within the group.”

What inspires/motivates/empowers you? 

“It is inspiring to see how many people are now members of AWE. At one point, we never thought we would have 100 members. What motivates us is trying to create a better environment for women who have started after us. What is most empowering is seeing woman that you work with succeed and grow. Being together, supporting each other, and speaking up. What motivates us is that we love seeing people energized and excited after meetings.”

How do you support other women at ALKU, outside of AWE? 

“We try and tell our own story to everyone because we were once in their shoes. Not many people know what it was like when we started, there were no women in leadership at all. We know how important it is to reach out when we see accomplishments happen and show our support. Let’s congratulate when women do great things!”

Why is it important to have more women in leadership positions at ALKU? 

“We need more women everywhere. People bring different perspectives from every walk of life. When new hires start, they are able to look up to women in Leadership and know they can join as well. This is highly motivating!”

 What does international women’s day mean to you? 

“It is so important to celebrate how women have freedom where we live today. It is not like that everywhere in the world. We need to get the rest of the world where we are today.”

Share a women’s empowerment moment that inspired you? 

“First ever Women Vice President Kamala Harris!”

What is one thing that you wish people knew more about AWE? 

“AWE is about empowering and lifting women up. We want women to be successful at ALKU. The goal is to elevate people to want to be in leaderships and become executives. We also discuss all aspects of life even outside the workplace.”

ALKU is excited to see how AWE continues to grow and transform as we integrate new female leaders into the amazing group. The ALKrew looks forward to celebrating Women’s History Month all month long!