• Chicago





    Committed to Closing the Leadership Gap


    October 10, 2024

    8:30 am - 5 pm



  • About The CWLA

    The Chicago Women’s Leadership Accelerator (CWLA) is an interactive day of learning that will equip women identifying and non-binary leaders with essential knowledge, skills, and tools to become more emotionally intelligent, inclusive, and innovative people leaders.

    This one day leadership accelerator has been designed to catapult your career into the next phase of leadership. The CWLA offers three engaging and interactive workshops, one fireside chat, nourishing meals, a networking happy hour, and a headshot by Tembo Tones. Bringing together a diverse community of women to whom participants can look to for ongoing insight and support. Attendees will leave informed, inspired, and prepared to level up their leadership skills.


    ​The CWLA is ideal for anyone who is a people leader or who aspires to be one.

  • Why The CWLA

    Despite the wide-spread efforts to disrupt gender inequality within leadership roles across industries, women continue to face barriers when it comes to securing leadership positions. Even though women represent more than half the U.S. population and make up over 40% of the U.S. workforce, they continue to be severely under-represented in leadership roles across industries. This is especially true for women of color. Recent research has shown that the women’s leadership gap is only growing wider despite widespread efforts to increase gender parity within leadership roles.

    The CWLA was born out of the need to increase representation of women in leadership and designed to empower and equip participants with professional development, community, and inspiration that will strengthen leadership acumen and elevate women in the workplace.

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    What an incredible event! The workshops were all thought-provoking and impactful sessions. The organizers created a special type of space that I have never been a part of -one that allowed and welcomed each of us to be honest, open and vulnerable. The CWLA encouraged us to focus on ways that we can be our best and most authentic selves while considering our personal strengths and areas needing improvement. It was an eye-opening event which taught me so many valuable things. As an added mention, the sessions were also quite fun, the day flew by with delicious catered food. We were truly treated as honored guests. Highly recommend!

    Carolyn H.



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    I had a great experience at the Chicago Women’s Leadership Accelerator. The day was filled with immersive workshops, engaging discussions, and the collective sharing of experiences and strategies to promote inclusive professional environments. The CWLA is appropriate for both established and up-and-coming women leaders and is a great opportunity for attendees at varying stages of the career spectrum to exercise their emotional IQ muscles and add skills to their leadership toolkit.

    Nicole C.
    Health Care Service Corporation

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    The Chicago Women’s Leadership Accelerator was an incredible event. Everything from the size to the content was spot on - even down to the female-founded wine at Happy Hour. I travelled from Salt Lake City just for this event and it was absolutely worth it. A few of the exercises required us to write down goals on a sticky note and I’ve referenced them every day as a reminder. Alicia, Cindu, and Desiree struck the perfect balance of both inspirational and impactful lectures AND tactical exercises with key takeaways. 
    Mei H.
    Investor, Mercadito Partners 


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    The CWLA instructors facilitated engaging discussions on relevant topics with a diverse group of leaders at various stages in their careers.
    They equipped me with activities and tools that I will take back to my team to help engage and communicate in new and different ways.
    I found the session to be a balanced mix of interpersonal and business skills, both of which are essential in today's corporate environment.
    As a senior leader, I found that the experience was well worth it and a great way to ease back into in-person leadership training!
    Janet J.
    Vice President, Amsted Industries


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    Chicago Women’s Leadership Accelerator is a great experience for professional women. Attending this conference allowed me to connect with many successful but similar women I would not have met prior. In this space you are allowed to be vulnerable, speak truth, seek advice, build brands, create and dream of new ideas which women typically do not always have the ability to do. The mindset, interaction, involvement and lessons that I walked away with made my CWLA experience great. The leaders of CWLA were very intentional in curating an atmosphere that was inclusive, friendly and fun. I will forever be grateful to have been a part of the CWLA 2022 session.
    Vanesha B.
    Program Coordinator, College of Lake County


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    I’ve attended many women’s leadership conferences in my twenty plus year career, and CWLA was by far the most valuable one I’ve experienced. I left with invaluable knowledge and tools that I was able to put into action immediately. I highly recommend the CWLA to any woman who is looking to level up her leadership skills.
    Denise L.
    CMO, Informed Group


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    My experience at the CWLA was an extremely valuable one. The sessions were engaging, informative, and inspiring. The facilitators brought their wealth of knowledge and expertise in their respective fields to empower us to be more courageous and effective leaders. I highly recommend the CWLA for any senior, emerging, or inspiring leaders.
    Christy C.
    Vice President, Goldman Sachs


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    I was expecting to sit in a chair most of the day listening to other people talk to me. Instead, I found myself leaving my phone/work email untouched, and truly engaged in each of the three interactive workshop formats. Networking can be daunting at large events, and I appreciated the intentionality of an intimate attendance size to foster more meaningful conversations.
    Rebecca R.
    P33, Digital Marketing Manager


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    'All encompassing' is the word that comes to mind to describe my CWLA experience. From shedding a tear during a small group discussion, getting inspired by other womens' successes and failures, feeling the wheels turning during the MBA-like exercises, to having others' stories resonate and validate my own... It was a perfect conference. A nice reminder to put ourselves first - to start the day with a glamor photo session! There was a light and energetic pace to the day, great coordination, humor and good food throughout the day.  

     Yulia K.

    Dawar Technologies

  • “In this world there is no force equal to the strength of a woman determined to rise.”

    - W.E.B. Du Bois

  • Founders & Facilitators

    Bringing decades of experience in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Innovation, and Emotional Intelligence.

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    Shakti Diversity & Equity Training - President

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    P33 - Chief Innovation Officer

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    Center for Advanced Emotional Intelligence (AEI) - President

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