Women in Leadership Institute Conference | Linkage, Inc.

November 9-12, 2020
Dallas, Texas

JOIN 10,000+ WOMEN


Celebrating 21 Years & 10,000+ Women Leaders

November 9-12, 2010 | Dallas, Texas

Accelerating the development of women leaders since 1999. Changing the landscape of leadership. Changing lives.

Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute is a four-day immersive learning experience, designed to equip women leaders with actionable strategies to overcome the hurdles women often face in the workplace. This isn’t your typical women’s conference—we’re proud to offer an innovative learning experience designed to accelerate the advancement and maximize the potential of women leaders.

Here’s what makes WIL so unique: At a typical women’s conference, you’ll hear new ideas from panelists, and maybe network a bit. But at WIL, we take you so much further. We’ll assess your strengths and opportunities as a leader through a 360° assessment—then we use the insights from this assessment to deliver learning experiences tailored to you. You’ll hear from distinguished keynote speakers who also serve as your faculty. The insights they share from center stage aren’t just hypothetical–they become real as you step into active learning sessions and begin to apply what you learned to your own life.

Designed for individual women leaders or groups of women leaders from a single team or organization, the Women in Leadership Institute™ is the experience of a lifetime. Get a glimpse of last year’s event, check out key insights from last year's mainstage, or dive into our brochure to learn more.

What is the Women in Leadership Institute™?

  • 4 days of immersive learning

  • Learning guided by the results of your Advancing Women Leaders 360° Assessment

  • Expert, innovative keynote speakers

  • Skill-building leadership sessions and workshops

  • 8+ hours of facilitated peer-learning team sessions

  • Strategic networking opportunities with 1,000+ global women

The Women in Leadership Institute™ is designed to engage and inspire high-performing women leaders who are interested in accelerating their leadership abilities. Past attendees of the Institute come from a variety of backgrounds, including Fortune 100 companies, nonprofits, and global government agencies, and include women team members, managers, directors, presidents, CEOs, and every level in between.

The Institute is designed to accommodate individual attendees, small teams, and cohorts from large organizations. We customize the individual experience of each attendee to best meet their needs, including grouping attendees by organization, experience level, and interests.

Looking to attend this event as an executive? The Executive Forum for Advancing Women and Inclusion is hosted alongside the Institute. Designed for executive leaders looking to learn best practices for building a pipeline for women in your leadership ranks, the Executive Forum is an invaluable resource to CEOs, presidents, and SVPs looking to create and sustain inclusive leadership practices. Check back for more information on the 2019 program. 


Gain the Data You Need to Make Progress

When it comes to making decisions about how you can be the best possible leader, there’s no substitute for tangible data. That’s why we have you complete Linkage’s Advancing Women Leaders 360° Assessment before you even step on-site. You’ll receive a report filled with insights into your own leadership abilities–your strengths and areas of opportunity–so you can better plan your time with us to maximize your results and push your own potential as a woman leader.


Work With Your Own Personal Coach

Build on your experience at the Women in Leadership Institute by extending your learning after WIL through optional one-on-one coaching sessions with one of Linkage’s expert coaches. You’ll discuss your individual Advancing Women Leaders 360° Assessment results, create a Growth Plan, track your progress over time, and receive powerful tools to start and maintain your focused leadership growth. Think of your coach as your personal guide to fast-tracked success and development.

Executive coaching sessions are available in 6-, 9-, or 12-month terms—contact us online or call +1.781.402.5555 for more details.


Keynotes, Competencies, and Camaraderie

Learn from world-class leaders during exhilarating keynote sessions and competency-based workshops, which are designed to allow you to put the knowledge you gain into practice in a small team learning environmentwhich we call “Learning Teams”.

Together, we will work to address the seven hurdles faced by women in the workplace and learn actionable steps to scale these hurdles. You’ll delve into building your personal brand and presence as a leader, learning to make the ask, managing your inner critic, and much more.


More than Standard Sessions

When it comes to your advancement as a woman leader, in-person collaboration and network building are vital. At the Women in Leadership Institute™, you will connect and network with your peers—fellow women leaders at leading organizations around the world. In your learning teams, you will be grouped with women who have similar roles, years of experience, and leadership responsibilities, so you know you will make connections that will be invaluable to you as you grow as a leader.


Never Stop Learning

You will be changed by your experience at the Women in Leadership Institute™–but this is just the beginning of your leadership journey. Following the Institute, you will be granted access to Linkage’s Leader for Life, a series of educational programming designed to empower you as you work to further refine and meet your goals.

This exclusive online learning experience is only available to alumnae of WIL, giving you another opportunity to build and strengthen the competencies addressed at the Institute. 

institute faculty: #firstname# #lastname#
Susan MacKenty Brady

Susan MacKenty Brady

Managing Director, Institute for Leadership at Simmons University; Author

Susan MacKenty Brady inspires, educates and ignites leaders globally on fostering a mindset of inclusion and self-awareness. As an expert in the advancement of women leaders, Susan advices C-level executives on how to create gender parity in organizations and motivates women to fully realize—and manifest—their leadership potential.

As Managing Director of the Institute for Leadership at Simmons University, Susan supports the development of women leaders, and oversees the Simmons Leadership Conferences, executive education programs, and the Center for Gender in Organizations.

Prior to joining Simmons, Susan was Executive Vice President at Linkage, where she founded Linkage's Women in Leadership Institute™, which boasts a network of over 15,000 alumni worldwide and is now in its 20th year. Susan led the launch of Linkage’s work in Advancing Women Leaders and Inclusive Leadership and led the field research behind the 7 Leadership Hurdles Women Leaders Face in the Workforce™.

Susan is the author of Mastering Your Inner Critic and 7 Other High Hurdles to Advancement: How the Best Women Leaders Practice Self-Awareness to Change What Really Matters (McGraw-Hill, November 2018), and The 30-Second Guide to Coaching Your Inner Critic (Linkage, 2014).

Molly Fletcher

Molly Fletcher

Former Sports Agent, Entrepreneur; Motivational Speaker

Molly Fletcher is a trailblazer in every sense of the word– a rare talent of business wisdom, relationship brilliance and unwavering optimism. As a CEO, she shares her unconventional and unique techniques that made her one of the first female sports agents in the high stakes, big ego world of professional sports and now a successful entrepreneur. Formerly, as president of client representation for sports and entertainment agency CSE, Molly spent two decades as one of the world’s only female sports agents. She was hailed as the “female Jerry Maguire” by CNN as she recruited and represented hundreds of sport’s biggest names. As she successfully negotiated over $500 million in contracts and built lasting relationships, she also observed and adopted the traits of those at the top of their game. Molly is the author of four books: Fearless At Work; A Winner’s Guide to Negotiating; The Business of Being the Best; and The 5 Best Tools to Find Your Dream Career.

Mark Hannum

Mark Hannum

Chief Research Officer, Linkage

Mark Hannum is Chief Research Officer at Linkage. An organization development consultant by training, Mark’s focus has been on understanding and improving executive processes and decision making. Through his work with executive teams, leadership teams, and shared services organizations, his clients have credited him with helping them manage through difficult risks, improve business operations, lead and coach through acquisitions and integrations, and take advantage of growth opportunities.

Mark led Linkage’s most significant research effort to date, analyzing over 30 years of leadership data and more than 100,000 leadership assessments, which culminated in Linkage’s Purposeful Leadership® model and approach.  Mark’s findings formed the foundation for his book, BECOME: The Five Commitments of Purposeful Leadership (McGraw Hill), due out Fall 2019.

Carla Harris

Carla Harris

Vice Chairman, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley; Author

Carla Harris is Vice Chairman of Wealth Management and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley. She is responsible for increasing client connectivity and penetration to enhance revenue generation across the firm. In August 2013, Carla was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the National Women’s Business Council. Carla’s passion lies in helping others. As she says, “We are blessed, so that we can be a blessing to others.” “Carla’s Pearls” have become the centerpiece for her many speeches and television appearances. She is a gospel recording artist and a popular public speaker who gives impactful career guidance to corporate audiences based on her book Expect to Win.

Kristen Howe

Kristen Howe

Chief Product Officer

Kristen Howe is the Chief Product Officer at Linkage, where she oversees Product Management and Product Development. She has over 20 years of experience building and leading businesses in the leadership and development space, with a focus on leadership development, sales, coaching and facilitation.

Kristen is passionate about building products that foster inclusive behavior, positive corporate performance and business outcomes. She strives to create products that help global organizations develop key segments of their business, in both classroom-based settings and digital platforms. She empowers teams by developing smart and efficient processes designed to utilize the individual skills of every team member, all while optimizing overall performance.  

Jennifer McCollum

Jennifer McCollum

CEO, Linkage

Jennifer McCollum is CEO of Linkage, where she oversees the strategic direction and global operations of the Burlington, MA-based company. She has 20 years of experience building and leading businesses in the leadership space, with a focus on leadership development, assessment and analytics. Her area of expertise includes bringing analytic rigor to critical talent decisions by linking leadership behavior to corporate performance outcomes. The products she and her teams have built help global organizations across industries make the right bets on their current and future leaders at critical decision points: at time of hire, and when identifying high potentials, developing leaders and planning for succession.

The Second City Works

The Second City Works

B2B side of The Second City, world’s leading comedy theatre

Second City Works is the B2B side of The Second City, the world’s leading comedy theatre and school of improvisation. The need to thrive amid change requires agility, speed, a willingness to fail and the ability to co-create with clients. These are all tenets of improvisation and Second City Works excels at bringing them to life for businesses.

They use improvisation and comedy to elevate messages so that they are heard. We help companies engage their workforce to win over customers. In short, we make work better.

Shiza Shahid

Shiza Shahid

Entrepreneur; Technologist; Investor; Impact Leader

Shiza Shahid is an entrepreneur, technologist, investor and impact leader. Shiza co-founded the Malala Fund with Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, and led the organization as founding CEO. She focused on creating access to high quality education for all children around the world. She was named one of TIME’s “30 Under 30 People Changing the World,” Forbes “30 Under 30 – Social Entrepreneurs” and a Tribeca Institute Disruptive Innovator.

Tara Swart

Tara Swart

Neuroscientist; MD; Leadership Coach; Author

Dr Tara Swart is at the forefront of the application of neuroscience to business, is an award winning author, and speaks globally on the brain in business at international conferences, blue chip corporations and at top business schools including Oxford, Stanford, and MIT, where she is Senior Lecturer and runs the Neuroscience for Leadership and Applied Neuroscience programs.

Tara is the only speaker, consultant, and leadership coach with a PhD in neuroscience and a successful career as medical doctor behind her.

This unique combination of experience comes together to create an uncompromising impact on performance optimisation in global businesses. Tara is passionate about disseminating simple, pragmatic neuroscience-based messages that change the way people work and sustainably translate to tangible financial improvement in the business.

Dr Swart is an Advisory Board member for EFG Asset Management Future Leaders panel, Peak Health, Switzerland, and Arowana International, where she is Chief Neuroscience Officer.

Tara is author of three diverse books – ‘The Source – Open Your Mind, Change Your Life’, ‘Neuroscience for Leadership’, and ‘An Attitude for Acting’. In addition to regularly being in the press, she is a columnist at Forbes, Fast Company, and Harpers Bazaar.

Dr Swart’s research areas include Organisational Plasticity, Epigenetics and Epi-Cultures, Human-AI Interface Technology, and Resilient Ageing.

Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach

Two-time Olympic gold medalist; FIFA World Cup Champion; Activist; Author

Abby Wambach is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, FIFA World Cup Champion, and the highest all-time international goal scorer for male and female soccer players. She was the United States’ leading scorer in the 2007 and 2011 Women’s World Cup tournaments and the 2004 and 2012 Olympics. An activist for equality and inclusion, Abby is the author of the New York Times bestseller Forward: A Memoir and the forthcoming WOLFPACK. She is co-founder of Wolfpack Endeavor, which is revolutionizing leadership development for women in the workplace and beyond through her champion mindset, individualized coaching, and team-bound focus.

prior faculty profile next faculty profile


Premier Partners

  Dentsply Sirona  FedEx Ground          TEKsystems        

Institute Partners 

  DotFoods      LPL Financial


1-4 participants: $3,695/person
5-7 participants: $3,495/person
8-11 participants: $3,295/person
12-15 participants: $3,095/person
16+ participants: $2,895/person

Executive Forum for Advancing Women and Inclusion Tuition: $3,995/person 


2020 Registration Open


JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort

Hotel Accommodations

Omni Dallas
555 S Lamar
Dallas, TX 75202
Phone: +1.214.744.6664

* Please note that the hotel charges are not included in the Institute registration fee. Institute participants should contact the hotel directly to arrange for accommodations.

Please feel free to contact Linkage’s Customer Service with any questions or concerns.
Email: CustomerService@Linkageinc.com

Enrollment Policy
  1. Payment: Full tuition must be received in US funds. Group reservations will be billed to the primary contact unless otherwise specified.
  2. Cancellations: If Client wishes to cancel the participation in the Institute for the Individual or the Team (whatever the case might be), then Client may do so only by providing written notice sent to Linkage. In such instance, Client shall be liable for a cancellation fee that equals (i) 25% of the total Tuition fee if Linkage receives written notice at least sixty (60) days prior to the opening date of the Institute, or (ii) 100% of the total Tuition fee if Linkage receives written notice less than sixty (60) days prior to the opening date of the Institute. Client shall pay such cancellation fee within thirty (30) days of such cancellation.
  3. Substitutions: Client may substitute one participant for another with written notice sixty (60) days or more before the opening date of the Institute at no charge. Substitutions made less than sixty (60) days, but before thirty (30) days before the opening date of the Institute will be subject to a $200 administrative fee per substitution made. Substitutes made less than thirty (30) days will be subject to a $200 administrative fee and only receive the self-assessment.
  4. Please consult your institute contract for other terms and conditions.



What is a typical day like at the Women in Leadership Institute™?

Get ready to dive in! The Women in Leadership Institute is not a passive listening environment—we encourage active participation to create a completely immersive learning experience. Your days will be filled with speakers, interactive learning team sessions, and networking opportunities. Your voice as a woman leader is important—and it should be heard, which is why we recommend that you plan to be completely removed from work while on-site. This is your opportunity to focus solely on your personal and professional growth as a leader, so make the most of your time with us.

What is the Advancing Women Leaders 360° Assessment? Do I need to take this assessment before I experience WIL?

Yes, we encourage all attendees to complete the Advancing Women Leaders 360° Assessment before they arrive at WIL. Here’s why: As you begin the challenging work of evaluating your leadership abilities and defining goals for yourself, nothing is more valuable than real data.

That’s where the assessment comes in. You will be measured on your proficiency in the six competencies associated with success for women leaders. And, because the assessment is a 360° assessment tool, members of your organization—including those you manage, work alongside, and work for—will have the ability to assess you as well.

This means that you gain some truly invaluable insights into how you rate yourself as a leader and how others perceive you as a leader. Combined, the results will lay the foundation of your time with us at WIL–they will even influence your placement on a learning team and individual learning tracks.

Do I need to complete my Advancing Women Leaders 360° Assessment by a certain date?

Yes. To customize each attendee’s on-site experience, we must receive your completed online assessment by the date provided in your confirmation email.

Is the curriculum offered at the Women in Leadership Institute™ based on research?

The Women in Leadership Institute™ is built on 20+ years of qualitative and quantitative market research In fact, we have worked with more than one million leaders worldwide, and our solutions are 100% research-based, which means they are optimized to deliver measurable and lasting leadership impact. This translates to a truly invaluable conference experience, where women leaders can be assured that the skills and knowledge they will gain are tried and tested—and have real world applications.

I will be assigned a Learning Team. What is that?

Learning Teams are small, facilitator-led groups that meet at designated times throughout the Institute to discuss the content from the sessions. With your Learning Team, you will begin to apply key concepts shared from the mainstage to your own role and personal experience as a leader.

How are Learning Teams created?

Prior to the event, you will complete the Advancing Women Leaders 360° Assessment, providing us with key insights into your strengths, weaknesses, areas of opportunity, and leadership style. Your assessment data, as well as your biographical information (title, function, and years of experience), is used to build Learning Teams which are designed to promote the highest level of collaboration and interaction.

Will I be in a Learning Team with colleagues from my organization?

It depends. Some organizations send an intact team of women leaders to the Institute and request to keep them together for the duration of the on-site experience, while other organizations elect to have attendees experience the Institute as individual leaders. There are benefits to both options. Intact teams can experience the Institute through the lens of their individual organization and team, while organizations that choose to have team members dispersed across many Learning Teams benefit by exposing their leaders to a diverse group of women from different industries, with a variety of experiences and viewpoints.

If you are attending the event on your own, separate from an organization, you will be assigned to a Learning Team which best matches your leadership style, goals, and background.

What is the dress code?

Business casual. We recommend that attendees wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers, as the day’s program will move between rooms and the temperature can vary.

I have dietary restrictions. How can I receive accommodations?

We are happy to adapt meals and snacks whenever possible. Please notify customer service if you or someone in your party has special dietary needs or restrictions. Please also identify yourself to a member of the wait staff on-site at each meal.

I am an executive coach and I’m interested in serving as a facilitator at the Women in Leadership Institute™. How can I learn more?

Facilitators are professional coaches with 10+ years of experience leading small and large groups of coachees, with special experience working women and underrepresented groups. If you feel this matches your qualifications, email us at info@linkageinc.com.

Frequently Asked Questions from talent development, diversity and inclusion, and human resources professionals

My organization is looking to bring a large group of women leaders to the Institute. Is this possible?

Yes. We partner with many organizations each year as they select or nominate women leaders to participate. Teams vary in size, from 5 to 100+, depending on the goals and needs of your organization. We work closely with organizations to customize the event experience for large cohorts of women leaders from the same organization or division, and the feedback is unanimous—women leaders who attend as a member of a large cohort report feeling better connected to their co-workers and more engaged with their teams when they return to the office.

How can I extend the benefits of the Women in Leadership Institute™ beyond the group of attendees my organization sends to the event?

Consistent, differential investment in the development of women leaders is a journey, which is why we offer comprehensive solutions designed to accelerate women leaders after they leave the Institute. Expand upon your WIL experience by choosing from a variety of solutions, including the Advancing Women Leaders Academy, which allows for on-site or online learning for an additional cohort women leader at your organization, or  coaching sessions for individual women leaders. Our coaching options add rigor and focus to the development process—and give your leaders an objective counsel to help them successfully navigate the day-to-day challenges of leading.