It’s 7:30 a.m., and a group of six Cincinnati women are chatting over breakfast.

“My mother was always there when I needed her, and I want to be there for my kids,” confides one, a recently married marketing professional. “But I don’t know if that will mean giving up my career.” The successful business owner at the table perks up. She is often busy during the week, she says, but she reserves all day every Sunday to be with her daughter. The nursing professional next to her shares how she has incorporated her family into her consulting business, and the conversation turns to the state of local health care.

What if more professional women from across the city could start the day like this: forming a diverse network of colleagues and developing trusted mentors?

They can — through the program One Hundred Wise Women. Twenty-five such breakfast tables, each composed of one “Wise Woman” and several other invitees, convene quarterly at the Banker’s Club Downtown.

Former ATHENA Award finalist Beth Rader, a director at Deloitte & Touche LLP, has been a leader in Deloitte’s Women’s Initiative for more than a dozen years. She recognized the need for a forum that would give rising women leaders an opportunity to interact with the women who have gone before them. She founded the One Hundred Wise Women program in 2004, and it has since grown to include Ashland, Procter & Gamble, Taft Stettinius & Hollister, and U.S. Bank as co-sponsors.

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