Welcome to our third International Leadership Association (ILA) biennial Women and Leadership conference! The Women and Leadership conference, sponsored by ILA's Women and Leadership Affinity Group (WLAG) provides a critical forum for bringing together top scholars, leaders, and practitioners to discuss the latest research and work about women and leadership. The peaceful, rejuvenating, and rustic setting of the conference location will offer distinctive opportunities for learning, discussion, networking, reflection, and renewal. Our 2017 conference theme, Advancing Women in Leadership: Cultivating Our Whole Selves, encapsulates two essential elements of ILA's Women and Leadership Affinity Group: cultivation and wholeness.
The Women and Leadership conference nourishes and develops female leadership in a supportive community with the goal of enhancing women's leadership status worldwide. WLAG is the largest affinity group in the International Leadership Association with over 1000 WLAG community members. WLAG is active throughout the ILA. For example, at the 2015 ILA annual global conference in Barcelona, WLAG had nearly 350 members attend, 200 participants at our annual luncheon, and over 60 non-U.S. members from 25 nations. We also have a flourishing book series, Women & Leadership: Research, Theory, and Practice, with three publications to date, and more on the way. The biennial Women and Leadership conferences are uniquely designed to support the development of hundreds of successful, professional women.
History of the Biennial Conference
WLAG deepened its commitment to women and leadership, hosting the inaugural 2013 conference, Building, Bridging, and Blazing Pathways for Women and Leadership: Celebrating the Past, Present, and Future at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California where participates wrote The Asilomar Declaration and Call to Action on Women and Leadership. The conference was held there again in 2015 for Advancing Women in Leadership: Waves of Possibilities. These impressive meetings included typical conference features like well-known keynote speakers, concurrent research presentations, and applied workshops, but also added unique retreat-like opportunities such as guest-speaker fireside chats, yoga, silent reflection, walking tours, community bonfires, wine tasting, and healthy meals with facilitated discussions.
A New Location in 2017!
After holding the 2013 and 2015 conferences near the Pacific Ocean, 2017 features a new location in the Hudson Valley near the Atlantic — The Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. Like our previous venue, The Omega Institute was chosen for its synergy with WLAG's core values. The institute houses the Omega Women's Leadership Center whose vision includes women's leadership "advancing a future where…. Our global society fosters nurturing and mutual relationships, healthy families and communities, and a peaceful, just, and sustainable world — for everybody." Annually 23,000 people visit the Omega Institute for "diverse and innovative educational experiences that inspire an integrated approach to personal and social change."
The 2017 conference will provide opportunities to reinvigorate and balance our whole selves: minds, bodies, careers, lives, and relationships. Our first announced keynote speaker Sally Helgesen, best-selling author of The Female Advantage: Women's Ways of Leadership and one of "The World's Top 30 Leadership Gurus," will explore female leadership in ways that are powerful and engaging. Additional conference programming will offer leadership educators, scholars, and practitioners a holistic forum to discuss work on women and leadership, share useful resources, develop meaningful personal connections, care for our health, and pause for contemplation. With your active participation, we can be Cultivating Our Whole Selves!