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It is my honor to serve as chair of the Women’s Leadership Institute. I have been inspired by the commitment of those who have joined us to plan and execute a leadership development system that will enhance opportunities for women interested in accessing roles of influence and progressive engagement.

Looking forward we seek to identify innovative ways to raise the profile of women to increase their impact, mobilize resources and advance their rights. Women’s Leadership Institute occupies a unique space, and has a macro-leveled view of trends, models and strategies working to foster forward movement for women. We have been diligent in researching and using data to inform our goals and objectives. The intellectual and experiential contributions offered by our researchers for our leadership programming produced a body of work that can and will be shared to advance the success of current and rising leaders.

The work of Women’s Leadership Institute comes at an important time that each of us has embraced and articulated in our 2018 conference theme, “Building, Bridging and Blazing Pathways.” As we plan our second conference we ask for your continued commitment, engagement, and support in preparing leaders for this 21st century. Our collective experience gives us a unique perspective on what it takes to attract, develop and retain outstanding, diverse talent.

We enter planning for our second conference with a sense of urgency, full of spirit and determination. Feedback from our stakeholders has been immensely positive about the current and future direction of our initiatives. We will be deliberate in extending work begun last year by enhancing programming that specifically targets more women and gives them tools and viewpoints required to successful ascend to and sustain leadership positions.

While our first conference was terrific, we look forward to an outstanding second forum with exceptional panelists to help accelerate the pace of women’s leadership development. We have an exceptional opportunity to use our influence to make a positive, transformative and sustaining contribution toward women’s leadership development…because we can and we must.

Looking forward to seeing you as we uplift and celebrate women during Women’s History Month.

Barbara L. Edwards