The Leadership Foundry prepares women to serve on corporate boards in the Washington, DC area. Structured as a nine-month program, it includes an intensive board training session in cooperation with the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), dinner and monthly training and networking events. Program participants should also expect to dedicate an average of three to four hours per month for board member executive development and promotion/search activities (overview PDF).
Thank you for your interest in The Leadership Foundry. Click here to receive notification upon the opening of applications for The Leadership Foundry Class of 2018. If you are interested in volunteering for the committee that runs the program, please find more information here. If you’d like to be added to our mailing lists for our Fall research launch and Spring recruiting event, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who Should Apply?
The ideal candidate should have demonstrated notable or significant achievements in business, education or public service; possess the requisite intelligence, education and experience to make a significant contribution to a board; bring a range of skills, diverse perspectives and backgrounds to its deliberations; and have the highest ethical standards, professionalism and dedication to serving the interests of shareholders.
Given the competitive nature of the program, those who believe that personal or work considerations will necessitate missing the NACD training or more than two scheduled program sessions should not apply.
Participants apply to The Leadership Foundry via an online application process. WIT relies on the Steering Committee to guide the selection of the participants. Participants must cover part of the costs of the program and commit to a good faith effort to obtain a board position. Successful participants may be asked to support WIT’s advocacy efforts to increase the number of women serving on local corporate boards.
Read about The Leadership Foundry program graduates Vincette Goerl and Jill Bruning success in achieving a corporate board seat.
Hear from past Leadership Foundry participants in this video.
Download the program brochure.
Download the program information package as a zip file.
Potential candidates for The Leadership Foundry Program are required to follow the application submission instructions in order for their application to be considered. The application process is competitive and due to the nature of the program, only 15-20 qualified participants are selected each year.
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 in the application will be reviewed.
Applications will be evaluated based on the following attributes/qualifications:
- Management and leadership experience — Relevant experience should include, at a minimum, one of the following: a past or current leadership role in a major public company or recognized privately held entity; a past or current leadership role at a prominent educational institution or senior faculty position in an area of generally relevant to business; a past elected or appointed senior government position; or a past or current senior managerial or advisory position with a highly visible non profit organization. Consideration will also be given to relevant experience in high-priority growth areas; demonstrated experience in major challenges businesses face today; and the ability to support fundraising.
- Skilled and diverse background — All participants must possess the aptitude or experience to understand fully the legal responsibilities of a director and the governance processes of a public company, as well as the personal qualities to make a substantial contribution to board deliberations, including intelligence and wisdom, confidence, interpersonal and communication skills, inquisitiveness, and vision. Consideration will also be given to financial management, reporting and control expertise or equivalent experience qualifying the participant as a "financial expert" under established standards.
- Integrity and professionalism — The following characteristics are essential for each board candidate: highest standards of moral and ethical character and personal integrity; independence, objectivity and an intense dedication to serve as a stockholder representative; a personal commitment to company principles and values; impeccable corporate governance credentials; a proven track record dealing with sensitive and sometimes competing interests, and a demonstrated ability to encourage productive dialogue and manage conflict.
Download the Selection Process brochure.
The Leadership Foundry is committed to the success of its participants, and as such requires each participant to abide by the following accountabilities:
- 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).
- Join 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 program including case studies, testimonials, speaking opportunities etc. Graduates may also assist future participants by participating in The Leadership Foundry Steering Committee and the alumni group.
Note that completion of The Leadership Foundry program, including the NACD board training, does not guarantee board selection of participants. In some cases, participants may want to seek appointments on non-profit boards to gain experience before seeking a corporate board position.
This program is based in the Washington DC area and requires participation in all planned activities to maximize the value of the program. In addition to attending the planned events, participants may be required to schedule and attend ad hoc meetings with their colleagues in The Leadership Foundry program.
Participants in The Leadership Foundry Program are required to pay the non-refundable program fee of USD $3,500.00.
The program fee includes the NACD board training, in addition to core monthly training and quarterly group meetings. Participants should also be prepared to commit to 3-4 hours per month to build their competencies and make appropriate networking connections.
The Leadership Foundry 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 in full of the program fees 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 program fees must be paid in full and are nonrefundable.