WEB’s Mission & History
At the national level, WEB sponsors webinars and offers publications and other resources to its members. Chapters offer networking events for opportunities to meet face-to-face with other benefits professionals and educational events for opportunities to learn more about employee benefit trends, design, compliance and services.
WEB members represent more than 25 professions and 30 areas of expertise within the pension and benefits industry-including administrators, consultants, attorneys, accountants, investment managers, communications experts and benefits managers.
The organization was started in Washington, D.C., as an informal group of consultants, government officials and other benefits professionals who gathered monthly to share their professional and personal struggles. Representing some of the Washington area’s largest corporations, consulting firms, law firms and government agencies, they looked forward to these meetings not only as a way to catch up on each other’s lives, but also as a chance to receive helpful advice about the professional challenges of the moment. Many were frustrated by the fact that traditional pension and welfare organizations did not meet this basic networking need. Those organizations were good at conducting educational meetings, but none created an environment where members became close friends and helped each other.
The monthly gatherings started growing, as did the chorus calling for a new association of women who could network with each other and help members break through the glass ceiling. In late 1982, Women in Employee Benefits (WEB) was created — the only organization dedicated exclusively to creating an inviting and friendly place where pension and benefit professionals could come together, share their experiences, help each other and continue lifelong learning through educational seminars.
WEB was formally incorporated in 1983 as Women in Employee Benefits, Inc. WEB’s first official contribution to the benefits field was to plan and host the 10th anniversary celebration of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in 1984 in Washington.
In 1988, WEB changed its name to WEB, Inc. The name change reflected the fact that WEB had never excluded men. In 1997, WEB changed its name to the WEB Network of Benefits Professionals and in 2000 to Worldwide Employee Benefits Network. These name changes better communicate the purpose and focus of the organization. WEB continues to be a premier educational organization for benefits professionals. Additionally, as the focus of members expands to include a worldwide workforce and multinational issues, WEB’s focus turns to include more global issues.
Today, WEB Network is committed to helping define the role of the benefits professional in the 21st century. As changing legislation, technology and market forces reshape the profession, products and delivery systems, WEB will continue to foster and support personal growth and professional development to help its members meet the challenges ahead.