The following blog was written by Devona Stripling, Director, Women Excel Program & Diverse By Design.
17 years ago, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) did a pulse survey on women in the Greater Cincinnati area. In the study, the women shared how:
- They weren’t being supported
- They were being undervalued
- They didn’t hold any leadership roles
- Their voices were not heard
At the time, women only held 1% of the leadership roles in our community. So, GCF came to the Cincinnati Chamber to see what could be done about this and the result was WE Lead – a leadership development program for women that focuses on the whole person to help them realize their potential and achieve their goals.
The program enables the person to identify the direction in which they would like to go in their personal and professional life. It gives them a simple format to help them:
- Focus on what is most important to them
- Decide on the results they would like to achieve
- Leverage their skills more effectively
- Gain greater clarity and understanding of themselves and their life direction
- Overall enhance their life
Through WE Lead, networking opportunities are created, and diversity is driven and focused on by our facilitators, coaches, and the group. These cohorts not only share best practices but become friends for life. The program runs from September to June, including a kick-off session, overnight retreat, five class sessions, four group coaching sessions, two personal coaching sessions, and a graduation.
Since the beginning of WE Lead, more than 800 women have gone through the program and many have been promoted to executive seats, started their own businesses, and built the confidence and courage to be the change they want to see. WE Lead has a winning history of setting women on a path to great success, being the voice for the future, and inspiring other women in their pathways.
From this successful program, we now have Power Squad, WE Speak, and WE Ascend, our first program for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) women since the beginning of WE Lead.
WE Lead is accepting applications for Class 18 through May 17th, 2023. If you would like to participate in any of our Women Excel programs or learn more about them, please connect with Devona Stripling at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513.579.3130.