Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) is ICA’s platform for supporting social and economic empowerment of women in India. Working in partnership with NGOs and community-based groups, it offers a multi-pronged learning process that equips the women with skills and tools to propel their leadership forward and take their personal lives and their organizations to their full potential. WLI also supports individual women in acquiring leadership training wherever possible.
History: Initiated in 2007 to offer individual women leaders in India an opportunity available in the SF Bay area for enhancing their skills and broadening their outreach, which later on transitioned to partnering with selected NGOs in India in order to support a larger number of women. Initially, this program was fully underwritten by Sarah Kailath Leadership Fund.
Vision: envisions a more equitable world without any barriers to women’s participation, achievements and success in all spheres of life in order to obtain better futures for themselves, their families, and communities.
Mission: committed to empowering women and girls at the grassroots level, disadvantaged by socio-cultural-economic circumstances and to bring about positive changes in their lives. By providing the necessary knowledge, tools and skills training, WLI strives to enable women and girls to enhance their capacities to develop to their full potential.
Core mandate of WLI is to:
- Enhance women’s leadership capacity and knowledge
- Provide key tools of leading, organizing, advocacy and mobilization of community
- Provide tools to overcome personal, social and institutional barriers
- Offer ways for her to advocate for herself & her organization more effectively
- Offer post-training Coaching & Mentoring
Methodology: Our signature program is the transformational training program offered to low-income, grassroots women & girls who face socital barriers to self-sufficiency. It is designed to help them identify and develop their personal and professional competencies in several key areas including Personal growth & Aspirations, Entrepreneurship & Economic Sustainability, Leadership Opportunities.
Partnership is a core element of WLI with goals to work in a collaborative manner with local NGOs and community-based groups serving women & girls in India. Central to the partnerships are programs that support the following categories: Life Skills, Livelihood and Leadership.
All programs are designed by a special team of women, for women and are completely customizable by objective, audience, region.
Achievements –ensuring a better future for women & girls
- 2007-2010 Sponsored 4 women leaders from India to attend advanced leadership training in the SF bay are
- 2012 – Provided leadership training to 60 women in Kadapa, a mid-size town in AP
- 2015 – Provided professional training to 100 mid-level women managers in Hyderabad
- 2019 – Conducted entrepreneurial training to 70 micro-entrepreneurs in Ahmadabad
- 2019 – Sponsored a woman leader to advanced professional training in SF
- 2020- Conducted enrichment workshops for 70 teen girls and 60 young women in Bangalore and Mumbai