Womens Leadership Initiative (WLEAD)

As part of the effort to address the leadership challenges posed by new global realities, the Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics (COLE) has established the Women's Leadership Initiative (WLEAD). The vision for WLEAD is to empower women as agents for transformational societal change.  It focuses on providing a pathway for women into positions of power and influence. WLEAD aims to arm women with the knowledge and inspiration to overcome obstacles, challenges, and struggles; and to create a way for connecting with others (men and women) who understand the powerful role diversity can play in transformational change. Examples of how WLEAD is doing this are:


Women are advancing in traditional and entrepreneurial organizations, yet major gaps still exist in terms of women in senior leadership positions and on corporate boards. S tudies show that a majority of leaders, both men and women, now recognize gender diversity as a performance driver. COLE is committed to increasing the number of women board directors and providing a seamless path for women leaders to make an immediate and lasting impact. The Bootcamps, offered through a partnership with Susan Stautberg, Co-Founder of OnBoard Bootcamps and Co-Founder of WomenCorporateDirectors, provide an insider's guide on the selection process for a corporate or private board, advisory board, and major non-profit board. These Bootcamps, held in cities around the world, introduce board-ready participants to experienced corporate directors and search executives who share “lessons learned” along the way. Attendees learn to position themselves for board “short lists” and match their current skills and future goals to a board's needs in order to succeed.

The Center convened it's inaugural OnBoard Bootcamp on September 28, 2011.

What truly differentiates WLEAD is our end-to-end management of the program, from the participant selection process, to individualized post-course opportunities. Distinctions of our program include high level participants, the vast corporate experience of speakers, and the network participants will be connected to post-course. Small class size, capped at 30 participants per Bootcamp, allows for high interactivity.

The vision for the LifeChats is to inspire and galvanize current and future women leaders by sharing stories of triumphs achieved through overcoming failures and major challenges.  Through conversations with women who have done extraordinary things, we illuminate their passions and struggles and the resulting lessons for success.  The differentiator is to do so in a way that the readers can see their own passions, dreams, struggles and challenges in these stories.  Because readers will be able to relate, they can be inspired to think “we can overcome this challenge, we don't have to fear failure, we can do it too.” 

WLEAD plays an advisory role for Fuqua students, including Fuqua's Association for Women in Business (AWIB). This role enables us to expand the global leadership pipeline of women in business. We hope to engage the exemplary women leaders in the network we are building through WLEAD, in sharing and connecting with our students, as well as offering targeted career advice and lessons learned through WLEAD programs and strategic collaborations.