[Skip to Content]

Welcome to the IWF Leadership Fellows Program Application Portal!

Program Overview

The International Women's Forum (IWF) Leadership Fellows Program accelerates the careers of top-performing women through world-class leadership training and exposure to the world’s top women leaders—IWF members.

The Leadership Fellows Program offers customized training at INSEAD and Harvard Business School aimed at developing leadership and strategic management capabilities to propel high-potential leaders to the highest levels in their fields. The program convenes up to 45 participants from around the world for three in-person sessions (4-5 days each) and approximately 50 hours of additional work conducted individually by the participants and with their IWF mentors, on their Legacy Projects, preparing for in-person meetings, and attending virtual meetings.

Through the mentoring experience, participants leverage the personal insights and advice of a hand-picked IWF mentor to address their specific professional development goals. Participants also have the opportunity to join IWF's annual World Leadership Conference, bringing together 850+ executives from more than 40 nations. Participants are responsible for implementing a Legacy Project that applies the skills learned in a relevant way and extends the program's benefits to their organizations or communities. Sample Legacy Projects include: a career conference series aimed at female university students in Mexico, a breakfast roundtable for women in the U.S. military in Washington, D.C., and mentoring circles to foster a pipeline of women leaders in the aviation industry.

Selection Criteria

IWF welcomes applications from high-potential leaders with exemplary achievement, recognition, leadership, and commitment. Please see  "Admissions Information" (above) to review the criteria

Application Details

All parts of the application are completed through this portal. Click "Apply Today" (above) to start your application! 

Applications for the 2024-2025 Leadership Fellows Program are due June 1, 2024. 

The application requires personal and professional details, two recommendations (one from inside the applicant's organization and the other from an external professional colleague), and responses to the essay questions listed below. Please refer to this sample application and sample recommendation form if you wish to preview the application before creating an account.

  1. Thinking about the individuals and experiences that have influenced who you are today, both personally and as a leader, which of those do you identify as the most significant and why?
  2. What are your short- and long-term professional goals, and how do you think the Leadership Fellows Program will support these goals?
  3. One of the goals of the Leadership Fellows Program is to establish a mentor culture among women. Each participant works with an IWF mentor across the program year, and members of the program cohort often become informal peer mentors. Please describe a previous relationship in which you were either a mentor or mentee (whether through informal interactions or a formal program) or a situation in which you benefited from or contributed to peer mentoring. What worked? What didn’t? What would you do differently in the future?
  4. Thinking about the mission of IWF (advancing women’s leadership and championing equality worldwide), how do these values play into your personal and professional lives? Please describe how you act upon these values (e.g., through family, volunteer, civic, community, or other activities). 
  5. Each participant is required to conduct a Legacy Project during the program. Legacy projects may be a significant next step in an existing initiative on which you are already working, or an entirely new initiative. While participants will have the opportunity to refine their projects early in the fellowship, the Selection Committee is interested in understanding the nature of the project, target audience, potential activities, and envisioned outcomes (to the extent you can define these elements at at this point). Please describe your proposed Legacy Project for the Leadership Fellows Program and how the project will leverage your knowledge and experience and will require an increase in your personal performance. 

Program Cost

Tuition for the 2024-2025 program is US$32,750 per participant and includes:

  • Orientation and Leadership Immersion Program (4 days, Washington, DC, October 2024)
  • IWF-INSEAD Women's Global Leadership Program (4 days, Fontainebleau, France, February or March 2025)
  • 2025 IWF World Leadership Conference (2 days, Seattle, Washington, May 21-23, 2025)
    • Please note: Leadership Fellows are not required to attend this event 
  • IWF-Harvard Business School Transformative Leadership Program (5 days, Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 2025)
  • Mentor meetings
  • Meals and accommodations at in-person events
  • All course materials
  • Transportation (ground and air travel) is not provided

A limited number of partial and full scholarships (typically 2-4) are available, primarily for women leaders working at organizations lacking internal professional development resources (e.g., nonprofits, civic or governmental entities, small businesses or entrepreneurs) and from lower-income/developing countries. Leaders from U.S. federal government agencies are eligible for designated scholarship funding; one federal agency scholarship per year is typically awarded. Scholarship requests are considered and awarded during the final stage of the selection process.    

Contact IWF by e-mail at iwf@iwforum.org