Women in Leadership Institute

Smiling woman in audience of Linkage leadership conference

General Questions about WIL

What is the Women in Leadership Institute?

Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute brings together 2,600 women leaders for an exceptional and results-driven leadership development experience. With a 22-year history, WIL is a leading women’s leadership conference, and has empowered thousands of women to scale the common hurdles to advancement in the workplace. Premier organizations like Kaiser Permanente, Lowe’s Companies, Oracle, and FedEx Ground rely on WIL to engage and inspire their women leaders, and many individual women leaders choose to join us as independent learners and participants.

What will the Women in Leadership Institute be like?

Get ready to dive in! The Women in Leadership Institute is not a passive listening environment—whether you have an In-Person All-Access pass or a Virtual Keynotes or Virtual Keynotes PLUS pass, we encourage active participation to create a completely immersive learning experience.

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 participating in the Institute. 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.

How can I experience the Women in Leadership Institute in 2021?

The Women in Leadership Institute is more accessible than ever before, empowering women leaders to choose from two convenient formats—in-person in Orlando, Florida or through our 100% virtual learning platform.

Both experiences equip women leaders with actionable strategies they need to overcome the hurdles to advancement in the workplace through engaging keynotes, an Advancing Women Leaders Assessment, networking and a special panel.

Participants can choose from three unique packages and tailor the experience to their individual needs and goals:

In-Person All-Access: Get access to all of it—four days of immersive learning, including Keynotes, the full schedule of Master Classes, and most importantly, your own Learning Team, led by a leadership consultant and executive coach who is an expert in the advancement of women leaders, giving you direct access to expert advice and insights. Perfect for women leaders looking for a more robust program.

Virtual Keynotes and Virtual Keynotes PLUS: Perfect for the woman leader with an exceptionally busy schedule, our Keynotes only packages allow you to experience an abbreviated conference schedule. Add hands-on learning experiences through Master Classes by choosing the Virtual Keynotes PLUS package and maximize your experience. Perfect for women leaders who have very busy schedules or are unable to travel currently.

View full information on each of these packages and learn more about pricing. If you have questions or need help deciding which format is best for you, connect with us at: learnmore@linkageinc.com.

What time zone will the event be in?

The Women in Leadership Institute is hosted and live broadcast from Orlando, Florida on November 2-5, 2021 which is in the Eastern Standard Time zone. We have made considerations in scheduling our programming to serve the needs of our virtual audience who will be tuning in from Pacific Time, Mountain Standard Time and Central Time zones. Please see the full agenda for timing.

Do I have to follow the WIL agenda exactly as outlined?

Yes, the Women in Leadership Institute is designed to be experienced on a set schedule. Whether you attend in-person in Orlando, Florida or experience the abbreviated virtual program, you will experience a robust program jam-packed with insights, incredible speakers, and more.

We have also designed WIL to accommodate your busy schedule and needs. In-person and virtual attendees will be given extended access to the recorded content for 90 days after the event, allowing you to experience the content again or for the first time on your own schedule.

What is the dress code?

The dress code for WIL in Orlando is 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.

The dress code for the Virtual WIL experience is up to you! However, please note that you will have the opportunity to join video chat with your peers, so we recommend dressing as you would for any other virtual business meeting.

I purchased a Virtual Keynotes or Virtual Keynotes PLUS pass, but I’d like to upgrade to the In-Person All-Access pass. How do I do this?

If you would like to enhance your Institute experience by upgrading your seat, you can contact us at: learnmore@linkageinc.com and we will connect you with a representative.

Are the sessions recorded? Will I be able to re-watch them?

Both in-person and virtual attendees will have access to recorded WIL Keynotes for 90 days from the start of the Institute, or January 31, 2022. While you may re-watch Keynote sessions (or watch them for the first time) on-demand and view the question and answer chats, you will not be able to submit new questions.

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 Institute experience, where women leaders can be assured that the skills and knowledge they will gain are tried and tested—and have real-world applications.

Do attendees take an assessment before they participate in the Women in Leadership Institute?

Yes! We encourage all attendees to complete one of Linkage’s assessment, which are specifically designed for women leaders. 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 Advancing Women Leaders assessment comes in. You will be measured on your proficiency in the six competencies associated with success for women leaders.

Advancing Women Leaders 360° Assessment

Leaders with an In-Person All-Access pass will gain access to Linkage’s Advancing Women Leaders 360° Assessment, allowing you to reflect on your own skills, and give members of your organization—including those you manage, work alongside, and work for— the ability to assess you in key areas. 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.

Understanding the data in a 360° Assessment can be a big undertaking, which is why we support you every step of the way. Leaders with an In-Person All-Access Pass will experience a special pre-conference session to help them unpack their results, as well as a special conference session titled: “Assessment Review: Unlocking Your Best Insights.” And, you will have access to your Learning Team Leader, who is an expert at debriefing assessment results for individual leaders.

Please note: In order to accommodate the appropriate amount of time to complete and analyze leaders through a 360° Assessment, any participant who purchases a ticket or is added to a group less than thirty (30) days before the opening date of the Institute will receive the Self-Assessment rather than the 360° Assessment, where applicable. In addition, to customize each attendee’s experience, we must receive your completed online assessment by the date provided in your confirmation email.

Advancing Women Leaders Self-Assessment

Leaders with a Virtual Keynotes or Virtual Keynotes PLUS pass will gain access to the Advancing Women Leaders Self-Assessment. This self-assessment is designed to empower women leaders to guide their own leadership journey and self-identify their own strengths and areas of opportunity. Looking for guidance to help unpack your results? Leaders with a Virtual Keynotes or Virtual Keynotes PLUS Pass will gain access to an on-demand webinar with tips on how to understand your results.

Will I be refunded if I must cancel my registration?

Please see our enrollment policy here.


Questions about attending as a group

My organization is looking to have a large group of women leaders join the Institute. Is that possible?

Yes. We partner with many organizations each year as they select or nominate women leaders to participate. Teams vary in size, from 10 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 coworkers and more engaged with their teams when they return to the office.

This year, there are three ways for women leaders to attend WIL as part of a group: In-Person All-Access Pass, Virtual Keynotes, or Virtual Keynotes PLUS Packages. Choose the package that best fits the unique needs and schedule of your women leaders to maximize your impact.

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 of women leaders 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.

Additionally, Linkage has developed a series of digital learning offerings specially designed for your on-the-go and geographically dispersed workforce—allowing learning to take place from the comfort of each leader’s desk. These include the aforementioned Advancing Women Leaders Digital Academy, as well as Advancing Women Leaders Virtual Sessions, and Advancing Women Leaders Essentials—among other offerings.

Questions about the In-Person Experience

What COVID-19 precautions are being taken at the Women in Leadership Institute?

We prioritize the health and safety of everyone connected to the Women in Leadership Institute, including our attendees, clients, partners, and staff.

We understand that women leaders need flexibility and options, which is why the Women in Leadership Institute is being offered in two formats in 2021: in-person in Orlando, Florida and in a dynamic virtual format. Registrants are encouraged to pick the format and delivery method that best fits their schedules and unique goals.

The in-person Women in Leadership Institute will take place at the Omni ChampionsGate in Orlando, Florida on November 2-5, 2021. This in-person, on-site event will comply with the latest guidance on best practices for health and safety as provided by relevant government and health agencies, with these best practices currently including the following:

  • Mask requirement (per the latest CDC guidelines)
  • Appropriate social distancing (per the latest CDC guidelines)
  • Clear signage about safety protocols
  • Abundant supply of hand sanitizer
  • No buffets
  • Linkage on-site staff will be fully vaccinated

Per CDC recommendations, face masks will be required in all indoor event areas. Participants should maintain social distancing, and practice good personal hygiene such as frequent hand washing.

In addition to the above protocols, the Omni ChampionsGate Hotel has health and safety protocols in place for guests and staff. View their safe and clean protocols on their website.

What are the Covid-19 vaccination and testing protocols for Institute attendees?

Linkage will require all attendees, presenters, facilitators, staff, and everyone else taking part in the Institute on-site in Orlando (collectively, “Participants”) to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival at the Institute. In lieu of proof of a negative PCR test, Participants may voluntarily provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (with the final dose having been received at least 2 weeks prior to arrival at the Institute).

Per CDC recommendations, face masks will be required in all indoor event areas. Participants should maintain social distancing, and practice good personal hygiene such as frequent hand washing.

If you are planning to take part in the Institute on-site and have any questions or concerns relating to any of these guidelines, please contact us at CustomerService@linkageinc.com.

What is a Learning Team?

Leaders with an All-Access Pass will be assigned to a Learning Team, led by a leadership consultant and executive coach who is an expert in the advancement of women leaders, giving you direct access to expert advice and insights. Learning Teams are small groups that meet every day throughout the Institute to discuss the content from the sessions. With your Learning Team, you will begin to apply key concepts shared from the Keynotes and Master Classes to your own role and personal experience as a leader.

These Learning Teams are assigned based on several criteria. Prior to the event, leaders 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 request to keep their team of women leaders together for the duration of the 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.


Questions about the Virtual Experience

What technology is recommended for the Virtual Women in Leadership Institute?

While many of us have adjusted to this new virtual world, there are tech tips that will help you make the most of the Institute experience:

  • WIL is hosted within a premium virtual platform. Participants will receive a login to this platform – no additional software or apps are needed for most pass types. However, if you have a Virtual All-Access pass, be sure to download the latest version of Zoom.
  • If possible, we recommend that you connect to a hard-wired internet, rather than wi-fi, to ensure maximum connectivity strength on your internet.
  • Please log off any VPN networks, and use a personal device, instead of a business device, if at all possible (to avoid firewall issues).
  • You will have the opportunity to join video chat with your peers, so consider your setup: i.e. webcam quality, lighting yourself from in front of your computer, rather than behind you to avoid shadows on your face.

What Keynote speakers are included in the Virtual Keynotes and Virtual Keynotes PLUS package?

WIL’s six Keynote speakers are included in this package:

  • Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley
  • Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder & Former CEO at Care.com; Venture Partner at New Enterprise Associates
  • Erica Dhawan, CEO, Author, 21st Century Collaboration Expert
  • Molly Fletcher, Former Sports Agent, Entrepreneur; Motivational Speaker
  • Magic Johnson, Businessman; Philanthropist; NBA Hall of Famer
  • Shannon Bayer, Vice President, Revenue, Linkage

Virtual Keynotes and Virtual Keynotes PLUS packages also receive access to a few special sessions. The first is a panel on Intersectionality & Advancement in the Workplace. During the event, attendees will also experience a recognition of our outstanding Executive Impact Award winners and a special presentation from the Legends in Leadership Award winner.

What Master Classes are included in the Virtual Keynotes PLUS package?

Those with a Virtual Keynotes PLUS pass will have access to two on-demand Master Classes for 90 days from the launch of the event. Master Classes are sessions that bring attendees to a deeper level through targeted skill-building. The topics were selected based on Linkage’s research around the key areas of need for women leaders poised for advancement:

  1. Aware: Mastering Your Inner Critic, a topic which will be introduced in the opening Keynote; and
  2. Bold: Building Personal Brand & Presence, which is all about promoting yourself, your ideas, and projecting and actively managing a professional image, and will build upon Magic Johnson’s Keynote.

How do I log into the virtual platform and attend Virtual WIL?

Prior to the event, you will receive a separate email with a link and details on how to access the virtual event.

What email address should I use to log into Virtual WIL?

You must use the email address you used to register for the conference. If you are unsure what email was used, please reference your confirmation email.

Will I have to download an application or software program in order to attend Virtual WIL?

In-Person All-Access participants should download the event app. Prior to the event, you will receive an email with information on how to do so. Virtual All-Access participants will need to have the latest version of Zoom downloaded.

Your Virtual WIL account is automatically pre-created by the platform 1 week before the start of the event. You will receive an email from “Swapcard.com” with a button redirecting to a login page. A new window will then suggest you to create a password for your account.

Can I attend Virtual WIL using my smartphone or tablet?

Yes, you will be able to access the event through any web-enabled device, including smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

What internet capacity is recommended for Virtual WIL?

You should use a strong, wired broadband connection with a speed of at least 1.4 Mbps. If your connection is slower, you may still participate but load times may be longer than normal. Other helpful tips include:

  • Connect to the internet using a network cable rather than using a wireless network.
  • Disconnect other devices in your household from your wireless network.
  • Disconnect from VPN or corporate networks (if possible).
  • Close any unnecessary applications.
  • Refrain from browsing the internet, streaming media and/or downloading large files during this time.

What if I’m having a hard time hearing during the Virtual WIL program?

  • Check to make sure your speakers/headphones work and are turned up to an appropriate volume.
  • If you have internal speakers, make sure they aren’t muted.
  • If you have external speakers, make sure they are powered on and aren’t muted.
  • Make sure you did not lose internet connectivity.
  • If you are using a mobile device, such as an iPhone, make sure you have enough bandwidth. We advise using dedicated Wi-Fi or 4G.
  • If all else fails, try refreshing your browser and logging out and back into the virtual event platform.

What if the webinar sessions and content are not loading and giving “glitches”?

  1. Log out.
  2. Clear your browser’s cache. For less technical users, this guide will walk you through the process: https://www.refreshyourcache.com/en/home/
  3. Log back in.

May I connect directly with other participants within the Virtual WIL platform, including exhibitors?

Yes. You can chat or conduct video calls with other participants and exhibitors.

Are chats private or public within the platform?

Both are available. You may choose to participate in a public chat with numerous attendees, or a one-on-one private chat.

What if I have technical difficulties during the event?

Please click on Help Desk at the top menu bar of the homepage, to initiate a Chat with one of our technical support representatives.

Where can I find the full conference agenda?

The agenda is located here, as well as in the virtual event platform and app. under the “agenda” icon.

How do I update my attendee profile for Virtual WIL?

Once you log in to the Virtual WIL platform, you may change or add profile information. Simply click on the circle icon with your initials in the upper right corner, click on “My Profile – Edit,” update your information.

Will I have the opportunity to ask questions if I’m not in-person?

Yes. For most of the Keynotes sessions, speakers will be available for questions through an interactive Q&A function during the scheduled session. You’ll have the opportunity to type your question into a Q&A box for the speaker to respond. Just like a live event, we will get to as many questions as we can and will do our best to respond to all questions. On-demand sessions do not include Q&A.

I’m hearing-impaired. Will sessions be captioned within the Virtual WIL Platform?

All Keynote sessions will be close captioned (CC).

Rules of Engagement for the Virtual Platform

The Women in Leadership Institute brings together women leaders for an exceptional and results-driven leadership development experience, empowering women to scale the common hurdles to advancement in the workplace. In doing that, we believe in providing a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment for all. Here is what that looks like:

Expected Behaviors

  1. Please be polite, considerate and respectful.
  2. Take into consideration that tone is hard to read virtually—be respectful to your fellow attendees, speakers, event organizers, vendors or anyone else.
  3. The recording or transmissions of any education sessions, presentations, demos, videos, or content in any format is strictly prohibited.
  4. Disruption of presentations during sessions or any event organized by Linkage throughout the in-person/virtual meeting are strictly prohibited. All participants must comply with the instructions of the moderator and any Linkage in-person/virtual event staff.
  5. Presentations, postings, and messages should not contain promotional materials, special offers, job offers, product announcements, or solicitation for services. Linkage reserves the right to remove such messages and potentially ban sources of those solicitations.
  6. Any direct selling of products/services offered in any public area of the in-person/virtual platform is prohibited unless explicitly allowed by Linkage (e.g. sponsors).
  7. Participants should not copy or take screen shots of Q&A or any chat room activity that takes place in the virtual space.

Unacceptable Behavior

  1. We will not tolerate harassment in any form. That includes comments of an inappropriate sexual, derogatory or discriminatory nature.
  2. This is a bully-free zone.

The Consequences

Unilaterally, Linkage retains the right to censor what it believes to be unacceptable behaviors (e.g. language in comments).


Misc. Questions

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 with women and underrepresented groups. If you feel this matches your qualifications, email us at info@linkageinc.com.

My question is not here! Whom should I contact?

We’re sorry that we could not anticipate your needs. Please email us at customerservice@linkageinc.com so we can assist you!

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