Women's Leadership Initiative

Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) is ICA’s platform for supporting the social and economic empowerment of women in India. Working in partnership with NGOs and community-based groups, this program offers a multi-pronged learning process that equips women with tools and strategies to enhance their leadership skills. Afterwards, they are able to implement what they’ve learned in their personal lives as well as their organizations. WLI also supports individual women acquiring leadership training wherever possible. 

Vision: 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.

MissionEmpowering women and girls at the grassroots level, and to bring positive changes to the lives of those disadvantaged by socio-cultural-economic circumstances. 

The core mandates of WLI are to:

  • Enhance women’s leadership capacity and knowledge
  • Provide key tools for leading, organizing, advocacy, and mobilizing communities
  • Provide tools to overcome personal, social, and institutional barriers
  • Offer ways for each woman to effectively advocate for herself and her organization
  • Offer post-training coaching and mentoring

History: This program had its beginnings at the Global Women’s Leadership Training, offered by the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University, and was established in 2007. The program offered individual women leaders in India an opportunity to enhance their skills and broaden their outreach, which later transitioned to partnering with selected NGOs in India in order to support a larger number of women. Initially, this program was fully underwritten by the Sarah Kailath Leadership Fund and other friends.

Methodology: 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. Our signature program is the transformational training program offered to low-income, grassroots women and girls who face societal 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, and leadership opportunities. 

NGO Partners: 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. The partnerships enhance 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 so that they can be uniquely tailored. WLI holds true to the belief that development solutions are only sustainable when they come from an empowered community base.

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