Connect. Advocate. Lead.
The Women’s Network Leadership Institute (WNLI), a program of the Greater Akron Chamber, promotes gender equity, drives female leadership, and supports the growth and connectivity of professional women in the workplace.
Developing and Strengthening Networks
Increase access to other female leaders, gain insights from CEOs of top companies in the region and strengthen relationships with other women.
Women’s Network Leadership Dialogue Series
The Women’s Network Leadership Dialogue Series features a deep dive dialogue with high-profile female leaders. Through a set of regular events, attendees will learn more about the leader and her path to leadership; engage in dialogue about pertinent economic development or other topics; and have the opportunity to meet and interact with the leader and the other female professionals in attendance.
Women of Achievement Awards
The Women of Achievement event honors and recognizes female leadership across the region. Three awards will be announced to women who go above and beyond – personally and/or professionally – to support and advance women in leadership, celebrate their successes, and propel equity and inclusion efforts. During this event, attendees will hear from a keynote speaker and her perspectives on leadership, success, and steps toward gender equity in the workplace.
Advancing Growth and Development
Leverage the strengths of female leaders to drive impact and influence in the workplace and in the community.
Leading with Strength
This signature class offered by the Women’s Network Leadership Institute takes a deep dive into individuals’ strengths utilizing Clifton’s Strengths Finder. Women will leave with a better understanding of their strengths, how to leverage their strengths to enhance their performance, and a strengths-based action plan to achieve their goals.
Building the Pipeline of Female Leadership
Increase the support and impact of female professionals in the workplace and streamline opportunities to enhance visibility of women in companies and in the community.
Female Employee Resource Groups
In conjunction with the Greater Akron Chamber’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, WNLI is leading the creation of best practices and resources to support women leading Employee Resource Groups in their companies and organizations.
WNLI Board Leadership Initiative
Through a series of informational sessions and a directory of female leaders, women will learn more about the importance of board service, ways to have the greatest impact on a board, and opportunities to increase their visibility for selection for a board. Simultaneously, work will be done to raise awareness among CEOs and other leadership within companies about the importance of supporting and best practices to support women in their organizations who serve on boards.
Supporting the Growth of Female-Owned Businesses
Advance the growth and success of female-owned businesses in our region through access to resources, connections, and opportunities.
Female business owners have the opportunity to participate in a business owner roundtable (PeerSpectives) alongside other women business owners. These facilitated dialogues take place monthly over the course of the year and all information shared is confidential. Together, the cohort discusses challenges, opportunities, shares best practices and builds a network for ongoing support and engagement as business owners.
The Greater Akron Chamber is working to create a regional directory for women-owned businesses that will connect business owners with companies looking to diversify their procurement. Women interested in being listed in the directory should contact Brynn Popa, SVP, Strategic Initiatives and Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advancing Research and Advocacy
Create awareness around the importance of women in leadership in companies and in the community and illustrate the current landscape of female leadership in companies and in the community.
The Gender Equity and Women’s Leadership Study
WNLI’s first research piece, The Gender Equity and Women’s Leadership Study (2018), told the story of a region that lags in female leadership in the executive suite and the Board rooms of for-profit and not-for-profit. When the data is analyzed to include women of color, the numbers are even worse. Our research aims to illustrate the gaps, identify areas of excellence, and help companies and leaders understand the importance of being intentional about creating a pipeline of female leadership at all levels of their organization. The next iteration of this work is in progress.