Women’s Global Leadership Initiative (WGLI) inspires and trains women around the globe to become successful leaders in their communities, workplace and associations. We work with partners both locally and internationally to expand our reach and implement programs to change women’s lives. Workshops, tools, knowledge from experts and mentoring women one-on-one help them gain the confidence and skills to lead in various capacities. WGLI believes these voices matter—and that they’re shaping the future generations of women.
WGLI grew out of the life experiences of Founder and Director, Diana Ruiz. Forced to grow up quickly, Diana took charge of her life at a young age. She made her own opportunities by gaining business savvy, learning to identify mentors, and boldly navigating the corporate ladder.
A self-made business leader, Diana was inspired to help other women, as so many others had nurtured her own success.
In 2008, she left the business world and founded WGLI after creating lasting social change and supportive networks for young women in Tanzania and the Balkans, an area she had researched extensively for the effects of war on women. Trips to Croatia gave her firsthand understanding of their challenges and urgency for political and personal change after decades of war.
Diana connected with nongovernmental organizations in the region to develop a long-term plan for the women of Croatia and the blueprint for a far grander project: to implement effective leadership systems for women around the world.
Today, WGLI has a team of women leaders, mentors and dedicated professionals from the United States to implement and grow WGLI’s programs globally. WGLI serves women in several communities throughout the United States, Latin America, the Balkan Region and Turkey and is expanding its reach, dedicated to helping women remove social barriers and take the steps to become self-assured, empowered leaders.
WGLI’s unique model provides professional women (Partners) with the opportunity to share their influence and expertise to benefit women in their local communities. Driven by deep-seated convictions and personal struggles in the professional world, our Partners serve as powerful advocates for the advancement of women in leadership.
As a result, aspiring women leaders who would otherwise not have the opportunity to invest in their futures are provided with access, support, education and the ability to contribute to their communities.
Partners represent women’s associations and service providers, universities, colleges and trade schools as well as community and economic development agencies. They have access to and benefit from the following:
- Standardized Leadership Development Programs that can be tailored to the audience or a specific area of development
- Revenue generating model: includes fee for service products, funding and sponsorship procurement and partnership development opportunities
- Brand recognition associated with a global movement to education and support women’s leadership development
- Engage stakeholders
- Local and state agencies to support women’s workforce development and
- civic engagement
- Professional women to serve as mentors, trainers, sponsors and build awareness and support for organization’s objectives
- Corporate partners and sponsors to support women’s local communities’ development projects
Around the globe, WGLI’s programs provide women-focused organizations and individuals with the tools to educate and develop women leaders in their communities.
The WGLI Core Leadership Program
The Core Leadership Program, a 5-day workshop series, is designed to help women identify and develop their leadership abilities. There are more than 27 modules of education that can be taken individually or combined to address an area of concentration, online or in the classroom. Key areas of study include, exploring emotional intelligence, developing communication skills, tools for successful negotiation, facilitation, team building and entrepreneurship. As a result, participants become confident, credible women with direction and purpose.
WGLI Emerging Leaders Workshops
2–4 hour workshops are expanded versions of the Core Leadership Module of education. Additional subjects are developed based on participant feedback.
Mentorship is an essential benefit that connects attendees with professional women who have strong coaching experience. Mentors with diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise guide and facilitate goal-driven strategies and provide support and accountability.
Community Engagement Programs:
These programs engage and build support for women’s leadership development and promote WGLI’s mission and programs:
- WGLI Speaker Series: a step-by-step guide on how to start a speaker series and build a community of support by engaging professional women. One-hour sessions provide local women with education that builds confidence and professional skills.
- RUN (Rise Up Now!) Forum: a one-day forum designed to inspire, encourage and mobilize women to get involved in their local community by volunteering and serving on local boards, commissions and committees. A standardized format provides tools to engage a large number of partners from all areas of society.
Since 2008, WGLI’s direct services have enriched the lives of more than 1,500 women and currently has more than 8500 members around the world.
WGLI is established as a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization in Sonoma, California, dedicated to helping women in the United States and around the world develop leadership skills.
WGLI Leadership Series for Women launches in Croatia. Participants represent diverse backgrounds and worldviews, yet, they share convictions and collaborate to address community concerns.
- WGLI begins the conversation about women’s contribution in Croatia and ignites hope. The possibility of Women as Leaders (Vogene) is acknowledged by the Croatian media for the first time. WGLI workshop participants are interviewed on national television and addressed as future leaders.
- We participate in the Kadiger Conference—a women’s leadership and entrepreneurship conference—the first of its kind, in Istanbul, Turkey.
- We partner with the College of Business in Zagreb, Croatia, and deliver leadership development training to a variety of professional women. We receive support from political and professional organizations.
- WGLI Women’s Core Leadership Program and Mentoring Program launches in Sonoma, CA. Participants include university students, community organizations and professional women, 23–56 years old.
- We contribute to the development of the first Women’s Leadership Forum showcased on national television (Dobro Jutro) in Croatia. It highlights women in various leadership roles as they share their struggles and personal experiences.
- WGLI Leadership Lecture Series begins at Santa Rosa Junior College in Santa Rosa, CA and is free and open to the public. Professional women share their expertise, providing experiential learning and resources
- WGLI Leadership Lecture Series expands to Sonoma State University, Sonoma, CA, bringing together students, faculty and the business community.
- R.U.N. Forum (Rise Up Now) is created as a fullday event, encouraging women to get involved in local committees, commissions and boards. More than 20 governmental agency partners (city, state and federal) join this effort in Sonoma, CA.
- The Women’s Wellness Series launches in Sonoma, CA to create awareness and provide education in areas related to women’s physical and mental health, self-development and financial literacy.
- WGLI’s Core Leadership Program and Mentor Program extends from 2 to 5 days, offering a wider range of integrative leadership development subjects.
- A community project serves as a connective thread to initiate and encourage leadership practices.
- WGLI launches website, including a contact management system to help reach different audiences, mentors and WGLI supporters.
WGLI introduces programs in Oakland, CA, engaging professional women’s networks, academic institutes, trade schools, local women’s service providers and advocacy groups. Events include R.U.N. Forum, Women’s History Month, Women
Defying Limits, the Leadership Lecture Series and the Core Leadership Program.
WGLI standardizes the Core Leadership Program and begins to scale programs and community organizing tools to share with national partners, such as YWCA and AAUW (American Association of University Women).
- WGLI will offer programs to partners who make it possible to educate and support women across the globe!
- WGLI becomes a membershipdriven organization—offering various levels of participation and benefits—that connects members globally to build a supportive network of resilient, passionate women leaders.
- The next R.U.N. Forum is in San Francisco, CA. Potential local partners, such as Sephora, the Commission on the Status of Women, Squared Up, Morgan Stanley and advocacy groups will engage local women to join commissions, committees and boards to represent minority interests.
- WGLI to establish its regional office in San Francisco, CA.