The Women’s Exchange of Washtenaw (WXW) was founded in 2007 to offer support for women in business in Washtenaw County.
Imagined as a collaborative environment where women leaders can share struggles and triumphs, the organization has been led by co-presidents Megan Mazurek, a realtor with Reinhart Realtors, and Margaret Loy, vice president at Print-Tech, Inc., since 2019.
“From the beginning, this has always been a ‘no sales’ space, with the focus on making connections,” Mazurek said.
At WXW events, attendees choose the direction and content of the conversation. All questions, issues and ideas are encouraged in an open and confidential environment.
The group’s leaders are staying true to what founders Carrie Hensel and Debra Power wanted to create: a unique experience to bring women together to talk, share and help each other. The WXW wants its events to be different from other networking opportunities, with an emphasis on interactivity, openness and having fun.
“My first event was in June of 2008, and I was drawn to all the women leaders I would meet. There’s something different about WXW that lets women be vulnerable and really connect. I’ve also met so many women that I can go to and ask for advice, especially when I was making a huge career transition by leaving my job in marketing to pursue a commission-based career in real estate,” Mazurek said.
“And I joined the board as a marketing co-chair in 2014. After attending a few monthly events I quickly became a huge supporter of WXW. The women who participate are so inspirational and such strong leaders in the community. WXW has brought me many business connections, opportunities and, most importantly, friendships,” Loy said.
The WXW forum is the group’s largest event, which brought in around 125 attendees before the pandemic. WXW resumed in-person events last year and is starting to see an increase in attendance, though still not at pre-pandemic levels.
“We are excited to see how many women will be back in person,” Mazurek said.
Events are open to everyone, with a target audience of business professionals. Anyone can be part of the WXW community. There is no membership requirement to attend events, and the fees are usually $25 for advanced registration and $35 the week of the event/at the door. The group also plans to host a community “give-back” day this year in partnership with a local non-profit.
“WXW is a strong group of women leaders who get together to support one another,” Loy said.
Interested in learning more or getting involved? Check out wxwbusiness.com.