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3 Truly Inspiring Moments from #LinkageWIL

November 29, 2018 Jennifer McCollum

When you get 900+ women leaders together for a week of self-discovery and reflection, inspiring things happen. Over four days in Phoenix, AZ, we heard from illuminating keynote speakers, made new connections that will last a lifetime, and gained countless new insights to help each of us uncover what’s next.

We’ve compiled three of the most inspiring moments from this year’s Women in Leadership Institute below–and we want to hear from you! Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

We were inspired by the stories and accomplishments of women veterans.

It is truly meaningful when women leaders come together in collaboration to share their unique experiences and perspectives. That’s exactly what happens each year at #LinkageWIL as women from the private sector, non-profits, military, and more, come together for four days of exploration and self-discovery. This year, the Institute kicked-off on Veterans Day and I had the privilege of acknowledging a cohort of veterans participating in the Institute through our partnership with the Homefront Foundation.

You used your voice—and we loved hearing what you had to say.

The Institute means something different to each individual who attends. For some, it represents the opportunity to unplug from the regular day-to-day grind to focus solely on personal and professional development. For others, it’s a time to hear new ideas, adjust perspectives, and gain a new lease on life. Above all, it’s a time for reflection and empowerment. From snapshots and stories on Instagram, to great points on Twitter, and takeaway blogs on LinkedIn, your voices came to life on-site–and online. (In fact, we were so impressed with the social media insights that we gave awards to three of our favorites: Leila Benitez from Medtronic, Alicia Jessip from TEKsystems, and Kiersten Downs, Ph.D., from the Homefront Foundation.)

We discovered what “QTIP” really means.

Carla Harris led a panel discussion with this year’s recipients of Linkage’s Women in Leadership Executive Impact Award. This year’s honorees shared their own personal stories of growth and discovery—and a few memorable lessons that they’ve learned along the way. One moment we won’t soon forget? Millie MarshallPresident of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, pulled out a small and unexpected prop… a box of Q-tips. On the big screens, we could see the words “Q-tip” printed on the side… a reminder, Millie explained with a smile, to “Quit Taking It Personal.” Now, that’s a “tip” we can take to the bank!

Now that you’ve had time to reflect, tell us: What most inspired you during your time at #LinkageWIL? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.


Since 1999, Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute (WIL), a four-day immersive learning experience, has equipped more than 10,000 women with actionable strategies to overcome the seven hurdles women often face in the workplace. Follow #LinkageWIL for insights from center stage.

Dark haired woman watches from audience of conference event

Women in Leadership Institute

NOV. 13–16, 2023 | Orlando, Florida, or Virtual
A 4-day immersive learning experience designed to equip women leaders with actionable strategies to overcome the hurdles women often face in the workplace.

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