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The Incredible Impact of the Virtual Women in Leadership Institute 2020 | Dive into the Numbers

November 18, 2020 Katharine Panessidi

Nothing could be more important right now than equipping women leaders for success.

Women are being disproportionately impacted by an ongoing public health and economic crisis. The industries and fields most affected by COVID-19 are dominated by women, and the loss of in-person childcare and schooling directly impacts women’s personal lives, increasing burnout and opt-out rates. The combination of these factors, reports the New York Times, could limit the advancement of individual women leaders over time. And across the nation, these factors could “stunt growth, robbing the economy of educated, experienced, and dedicated workers.”

That is the reality women leaders and organizations are facing right now, and the reality of our situation—the negative impact on gender parity and the business outcomes correlated with it—is a critical challenge to confront. It can feel overwhelming.

But here is the good news: We have the power to overcome these organizational barriers and individual hurdles. Women leaders can ascend to new leadership heights when they are given the resources and insights they need at key times.

Last week, more than 1,400 women leaders came together in a virtual setting for four days of exploration, self-discovery and “aha” moments.

The impact of the Virtual Women in Leadership Institute is just beginning. The women who attended are back at work, filled with new insights and fresh perspectives, and with access to a vital support network at a time when women leaders need support more than ever. They are already applying what they learned to their personal lives and bringing their new leadership insights to their teams.

When women leaders come together in collaboration and community, great things happen. The significant impact of their engagement with these lessons and learnings will continue to ripple outward in the coming weeks. And because WIL is now available through On-Demand passes, more and more women will continue to experience this content.

Take a look at the engagement numbers behind the Virtual Women in Leadership Institute:

  • Attended by 1,400+ women leaders representing 20 industries—from consumer products and industrial goods & services to healthcare services and technology—resulting in our most diverse group of women attendees ever.
  • Women in attendance included managers, directors, vice presidents, executive officers and individual contributors from over 257 organizations.
  • During WIL, attendees experienced 6 keynote sessions from leaders like Glennon Doyle, Soledad O’Brien and Carla Harris, plus panels, special sessions, Master Classes and networking receptions, representing 31 hours of content.
  • On the Linkage platform, women leaders viewed content a total of 44,697 times—and spent an average of 35 hours in the platform.
  • We recognized 15 exceptional women leaders with Leader Board and Social Media Influencer Awards for their passion and insights, including Grand Prize Winner Anu Singhvi of Oracle Corporation.
  • On social media, women leader attendees shared their big takeaways and new leadership commitments, with #LinkageWIL achieving 1.3 million impressions and a 243K potential reach, with an average of 4,775 followers per contributor. Women leaders also engaged with the Linkage blog and video content on social, creating 80,000+ impressions and 4,000+ engagements across LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. That’s a major ripple effect!
  • 12 partner organizations committed to the advancement of women leaders by serving as Institute and Premier Partners, University Sponsor or Media Partner. Participants entered their virtual exhibit hall booths 4,358 times!

Each of these engagements represents a single moment in time, a spark of inspiration that will light the fuse of innovation, community and passion as we head into the final months of 2020.

Women leaders of WIL, we are so proud of you. And to the sponsor organizations who have supported the leadership journeys of these women: We appreciate you. Thank you for your dedication to this work.

As Soledad O’Brien said at WIL, “Chaos is an opportunity to show your leadership skills. You can, in a very difficult moment, show people what the face of leadership could be.” The women of the Virtual Women in Leadership Institute are already doing just that.

Congratulations to the #LinkageWIL Engagement Award Winners for 2020:

Grand Prize Winner: Anu Singhvi, Oracle Corporation

Angelina Kagiou, PAPASTRATOS

Blair Skousen, American Family Insurance

Brittany Richmond, Mark Anthony Group

Candace Williford, Mark Anthony Group

Chrystal Rosasco, American Family Enterprise

Damini Dhawal, American Family Enterprise

Kelly Kozon, Lowe’s

Lauren Gunderman, Mark Anthony Group

Staci Testa, Heidelberg Distributing Company

Lauren Starke, Heidelberg Distributing Company

Marilu Galvez, The Walt Disney Company

Samantha Gray, FedEx Ground

Staci Testa, Heidelberg Distributing Company

TJ Shimabukuro, The Walt Disney Company

Zoe Ornstein, Oracle Corporation


Linkage’s Virtual Women in Leadership Institute is now offering On-Demand passes, giving you access to the recorded conference from November 16, 2020–January 29, 2021.

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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