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Nominations Open for 2021 Women in Leadership Executive Impact Award

June 17, 2021 Katharine Panessidi

The commitment to advance women leaders is more critical than ever. Gender-diverse and inclusive organizations achieve better business outcomes, and as organizations strive to meet the challenges posed by this unprecedented health and economic crisis, developing and supporting women leaders becomes an even more important business imperative. We also know that women are experiencing greater burnout and higher stress than at any other time.

In other words, the opportunities are big—and the risk of not acting to support and advance women right now is huge.

Here at Linkage, we have been partnering with leading organizations to support the advancement of women leaders for more than three decades. We’re passionate about this work—and we know that the true changemakers are the exceptional leaders who are not only talking the talk, but actually walking the walk.

Linkage’s Women in Leadership Executive Impact Award recognizes executives who have demonstrated a deep commitment to the advancement of women leaders at their organizations, and who have ignited lasting and impactful change for women through their leadership. Each year, a select group of executives is honored with the prestigious Executive Impact Award—and nominations are now open for the 2021 award. Nominate an extraordinary leader now, ahead of the June 30 deadline.

The legacy of this award

The recipients of this award are committed to supporting, engaging and advancing women leaders at their organizations and in their communities, and show up when and where it counts. They are steadfast in their dedication to this work, even as they manage other major initiatives and juggle the high expectations of their senior roles. Others around them look up to them professionally and personally, as both mentors and visionaries.

One of the biggest honors of my role is to help facilitate this important award and recognize the recipients at the Women in Leadership Institute™ each fall. In 2020, we recognized four remarkable leaders during an incredibly challenging time. I got the chance to interview these women via Zoom and get to know their stories, and I was so impressed by the magnitude of their impact!

The insights they shared with us at the Virtual Women in Leadership Institute were incredibly poignant and many of the women in attendance at the event noted how these leadership stories inspired them.

Here’s a little of what the 2020 recipients revealed to us:

Ekpedeme (Pamay) M. Bassey

Ekpedeme (Pamay) M. Bassey, Chief Learning Officer, The Kraft Heinz Company

Paige Olson

Paige Olson, Deputy Chief Counsel, The Walt Disney Studios

Sherlaender (Lani) Phillips

Sherlaender (Lani) Phillips, Vice President of Channel Sales, US One Commercial Partner, Microsoft

Courtney Gentleman Schill

Courtney Gentleman Schill, SVP & Chief Marketing Officer, Payment Solutions, Synchrony

  • “Leadership is absolutely about lifting others. It’s about championing great people. It’s about helping people make their dreams come true, personally and professionally.” –Ekpedeme (Pamay) M. Bassey, Chief Learning Officer at The Kraft Heinz Company
  • “We are dealing with fears, uncertainties, and challenges, but we’re all in this together. Bring compassion and vulnerability—and a little optimism. Keep your eye on the horizon.” –Paige Olson, Deputy Chief Counsel at The Walt Disney Studios
  • “Choose to lead by example.” –Sherlaender (Lani) Phillips, Vice President of Channel Sales, US One Commercial Partner at Microsoft Corporation
  • “In today’s challenging times, creating energy, excitement and connectivity is really critical in this disconnected yet connected world. We have to give and share of ourselves even more so now than ever.” –Courtney Gentleman Schill, SVP & Chief Marketing Officer, Payment Solutions at Synchrony


I hope that you will take 15 minutes today to submit a nomination for a visionary and inspiring leader in your network—or nominate yourself for this prestigious award. There’s no fee to apply, and winners are interviewed ahead of the event, so in-person attendance is not required. Then, secure your ticket to join us at the Women in Leadership Institute this November 2–5, which returns to Orlando, Florida, and as a virtual experience.

Together, we are changing the workplace and supporting women leaders to new leadership heights.

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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