Women's Leadership Institute

Four women sit around a table engaging in conversation with one another.

About the Women's Leadership Institute

The Women’s Leadership Institute, founded in 1997, is designed for staff and faculty who aspire to develop and hone outstanding leadership skills. The institute features a research-based curriculum and pedagogy focused on developing inclusive, participatory, strategic, articulate, reflective leaders. After the kick-off retreat, 25 participants meet monthly for ten sessions to learn from dynamic thought leaders from a wide range of backgrounds — and each other. In the final session, participants present the personal leadership projects they have designed and engaged in throughout the year. Feedback about WLI has been wildly enthusiastic. Many participants tell us they use the information often, and that they continue to gain from the connections they made long after the institute is over.

The Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) offers participants a year-long opportunity to: 

  • articulate the kind of leader they are;
  • learn about effective, equitable and participatory leadership; 
  • define their own leadership vision and values; 
  • explore and demonstrate their sense of leadership self-efficacy; 
  • complete an individual leadership development project; and 
  • expand their personal and organizational impact.  

Participants are selected from all levels throughout the University, to create a unique learning community grounded in principles of intersectionality gender equity which encourages self-reflection, peer-coaching and networking. 

The registration fee is $250 for U of M employees, which helps cover the cost of some of the program materials. (Note: the registration fee may be adjusted if the program is delivered in a virtual or hybrid model.) A limited number of scholarships are available through the Women's Center; you can apply for a scholarship at z.umn.edu/wlischolarship.


What Participants Have to Say