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Our program

Equipping women with the tools and training needed for board service

Preparing women to advance

The Leadership Foundry’s nine-month program prepares women to serve on corporate boards through an intensive board training session in cooperation with the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), as well as monthly training and networking events.

132

The Leadership Foundry graduates to date

9

years dedicated to increasing board diversity

19

for-profit board seats filled by alumni

Apply for the program

We’re looking for candidates in the Washington, D.C. metro area, who are ambitious, intelligent and passionate about making a personal impact on corporate board diversity.

Program overview

The Leadership Foundry program helps participants develop the core competencies needed to successfully serve on a corporate board. The nine-month program, based in the Washington, D.C., metro area, includes an intensive board training class conducted by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), as well as monthly training and opportunities to make meaningful connections and build trusted relationships though networking events.

Program participants should expect to dedicate an average of three to four hours per month for board member executive development and promotion/search activities.

There are a limited number of spaces available annually through a competitive application process.

Download program overview

Selection criteria

The Leadership Foundry is looking for women who have demonstrated notable or significant achievements in business, education or public service, and who have the intelligence, education, experience, and ethical standards needed to make a significant and positive contribution to a corporate board.

When evaluating an applicant for the program, The Leadership Foundry Steering Committee considers the following qualifications:

Management and leadership experience

Eligible candidates have held a position in significant leadership, management or senior faculty roles.

Consideration will also be given to those who have experience in high-priority growth areas, have demonstrated experience in today’s major business challenges.

Skilled and diverse background

Candidates must be able to understand the legal responsibilities of a director and the processes of a public company and have the personal qualities to make a substantial active contribution to a corporate board.

Consideration will also be given to those with who qualify as a “financial expert” under established standards and international experience.

Integrity and professionalism

It is essential that candidates have the highest standards of moral and ethical character and personal integrity and have a track record in positively dealing with sensitive issues, competing interests and dissenting opinions.

Candidates must be independent, objective and have an intense dedication to serve on a corporate board.

The Leadership Foundry Steering Committee, an independent panel of industry experts and C-level executives, will review applications and make final selections. Only information submitted with the application will be reviewed.

The application process is competitive. Due to the nature of the program, only 15-25 qualified participants are selected each year. For a more in-depth description of our selection criteria, download our Applicant Selection Criteria and a sample application.

Download the Selection Criteria

Requirements and Refund Policy

The Leadership Foundry Program has a limited number of spaces available for qualified candidates for each program year. The application process is competitive. Admission decisions are handled by an independent panel of highly respected industry experts who serve on corporate boards comprising CEOs and other executives from the DC regional area. The panel will review only the information submitted in the application. If selected, class members will participate in the nine-month program which includes a Director Professionalism training class conducted by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) in addition to evening events scheduled approximately each month.

All application fees are non-refundable. All successful program applicants will be notified in writing by the date on the application of acceptance of their application for admission into the next year’s class. In order to include the NACD certification on your materials you must attend the full Director Professionalism training. Dates for the NACD training class will be provided. Please be sure that these training dates fit into your schedule.

It is WIT’s goal to ensure that all interested and qualified candidates have an opportunity to benefit from this valuable program, and that the class seats are filled. Upon notification of selection and offer of admission into the program, successful applicants must notify the WIT Office, in writing, of their acceptance and submit payment of the program fees in full within two weeks of the notice. If acceptance and payment are not received by the WIT Office within two weeks, the participant cannot be guaranteed admission. All application and program fees must be paid in full and are non-refundable.

Participant responsibilities

The Leadership Foundry is committed to the success of its classes, and requires each participant to be responsible for the following:

  • Commit to completing the nine-month program and actively work to become more
    qualified as a for-profit corporate board member
  • Participate in the full board training class conducted by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD)
  • Attend core monthly training and networking events
  • Dedicate time to build core competencies and develop appropriate networking connections
  • Commit sufficient time to discharge the duties of board membership and have sufficient years available for service to make a significant contribution over time
  • Provide feedback on The Leadership Foundry Program, and participate in advocacy efforts to promote the program including case studies, testimonials and speaking opportunities

This program is based in the Washington, D.C. metro area and participation is required in all planned activities. Participants may also be required to schedule and attend ad hoc meetings with their colleagues in The Leadership Foundry program.

Please note that completion of The Leadership Foundry program, including the NACD board training, does not guarantee board selection of participants.

Program Cost

Participants in The Leadership Foundry Program are required to pay the non-refundable program fee of USD $3,500.00. This fee includes the NACD board training, core monthly training and quarterly group meetings.

Hear from our graduates

Discover how The Leadership Foundry has given women the training, tools and connections needed to secure a seat on a corporate board.