About The Leadership Foundry

Increasing the number of women serving on corporate boards

Who we are

The Leadership Foundry was created by Women in Technology (WIT) to prepare executive women for positions as corporate board directors. The gender diversity gap on boards in the Washington, D.C. area is greater than that of the nation. Our aim is to make a difference by assisting women with the necessary information and tools, by providing opportunities to make connections and by helping to develop relationships that may lead to a board position.

Since 2010, we’ve collaborated annually with Kogod School of Business at American University to report on gender diversity and its effect in corporate boardrooms, including publicly traded companies within Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The Leadership Foundry also provides networking and mentoring opportunities in addition to intensive board training sessions, to help foster relationships between executive women and the corporate community.

As with any positive change, we know increasing the number of women on corporate boards will take time. But with the societal and structural changes in our region, including an increase in small companies going public, we see significant potential to foster the inclusion of women and improvement of board gender diversity in principle and in practice.

Our vision

  • Increase the number of women in the greater Washington metro area who are serving on corporate boards to 20%.

Our mission

  • Increase the number of women in the greater Washington metro area who have the skills, training and connections to serve on corporate boards.
  • Provide the advocacy, access, training, and mentoring to allow women to successfully identify, pursue and achieve a position on a corporate board.

Success stories

View all success stories

Join the Planning Committee

The Leadership Foundry’s Planning Committee was created to drive our three guiding principles on our journey towards increasing board gender diversity: Train and Prepare, Support and Advocate, and Report and Inform.

  • Train and Prepare
    Develop and manage our program that includes intensive training and networking events to prepare women to serve on corporate boards.
  • Support and Advocate
    Advocate on behalf of the cause and work with local companies to match appropriate graduates from the program to meet board requirements.
  • Report and Inform
    Work with the Kogod School of Business at American University annually to report on the state of board gender diversity in publicly traded companies in our region.

Join the Planning Committee

If you’re dedicated to helping advance women to the boardroom and are interesting in networking with like-minded women, you’d be an excellent candidate for our Planning Committee. There are many ways you can support this program, from finite tasks to larger initiatives including:

  • Partnerships and sponsorships
  • Event management
  • PR/media, publications and marketing
  • Alumnae group development

Committee meetings are held monthly. Active committee members are invited to attend open networking events of The Leadership Foundry. Please note that serving on the committee will preclude you from applying for the program during that year.

To volunteer for the committee or for more information about The Leadership Foundry, contact us.

Planning Committee members

Committee Leaders

Active Members

  • Leslie Bauer
  • Kerrine Brown
  • Nicole Gardner
  • Poorani Jeyasekar
  • Yolimar Martinez-Nadal
  • Laura Nash

Steering Committee

The Leadership Foundry’s Steering Committee includes six to ten senior executives who provide guidance on program policies and operations, evaluate applications and select program participants, as well as review participant training and networking resources to support our ultimate goal of increasing the number of women on corporate boards in the Washington, D.C. area. They may also aid in partner recruitment, recommend speakers and lead one-on-one sessions with program participants.

Steering Committee members have served on a board and are expected to attend at least two of the three Steering Committee meetings each year and at least two of the participant networking or training events.

Steering Committee members

About Women in Technology (WIT)

Women in Technology (WIT) is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of advancing women in technology—from the classroom to the boardroom—by providing advocacy, leadership development, networking, mentoring and technology education. With nearly 1000 members in the Washington, D.C. area, WIT strives to meet its vision of being the premier organization empowering women to be architects of change in the technology industry. For more information, please visit Women in Technology (WIT) or connect with us via: Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter (@WITWomen)

Contact us

Let’s discuss ways to maximize your commitment to improving gender diversity on corporate boards in our region.