Leadership Foundation

The Leadership Foundation, founded in 1990, supports the IWF’s educational activities for the public. The Leadership Foundation channels the talents of IWF members and the resources of the International Women’s Forum’s global network into programs that educate, inspire, and empower the next generation of women leaders.

The Fellows Program, in its signature, customised, format, is the leading women’s executive development program in the world today. Providing emerging women leaders with training of exceptional quality and access to IWF’s unmatched network, fellows experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to challenge their assumptions and expand their horizons. Spread across a year, the program convenes fellows from around the world for a total of 20 days. In partnership with the Harvard Business School and INSEAD, The Business School for the World, the Leadership Foundation offers creative, multi-disciplinary training aimed at developing leadership and strategic management capabilities. In Cambridge, Massachusetts at the Harvard Business School, fellows engage in a unique combination of classroom work, case-study discussion, and peer advice. During that time, fellows hone their ability to think strategically in areas including negotiations, organisation learning, marketing, global affairs, and the management of innovation and services. While at one of INSEAD’s international campuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi (UAE), the fellows are pushed to adopt a deeper, global perspective. A core component of the training is the 360° Global Executive Leadership Inventory developed by INSEAD’s Global Leadership Center to measure twelve dimensions of leadership. The fellows assess what they learned from the inventory with professional, international coaches. In addition to their leadership training, each fellow is matched with an IWF member who serves as her mentor and coach during the program year, a chance for the fellows to garner personal insights and advice from women at the top of their fields.

The Legacy Project of the Fellows Program provides every fellow the opportunity to leverage what they have learned to help expand the leadership capacity of women in their organisation and community, and to create a ripple effect that empowers more women to aspire to leadership roles. Existing Legacy Projects include a program to provide reading materials to rural secondary schools in Nigeria; a career conference series aimed at female university students in Mexico; and a breakfast roundtable for women in the U.S. military in Washington, DC.