IWL is committed to accelerating the advancement of women - and engaging men is part of our "how."

Black Enterprise

Want to know how you can start being a better ally right now? Subscribe to the "5 Ally Actions" newsletter by Better Allies to receive 5 everyday actions to create a more inclusive workplace. 
Nominate a Bold and Fearless Woman for the 2019 Christi Anderson Personal Innovation Award

Christi Anderson was one of the first board members for IWL, as well as a mentor, a friend, an advocate for women's leadership,  a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and attorney.  Christi was passionate about helping other women in leadership, and we honor Christi by awarding a scholarship every year to a woman who is looking to innovate herself, to be better and do better - just like Christi did, and who could benefit from the financial assistance to do so. 

It is our hope that this award will create opportunities for these young women and inspire them to lead their lives boldly and fearlessly and with the tenacity of our dear friend, Christi.  If you know a bold and innovative woman who deserves this year's award, please nominate her. Donations can also be made to the scholarship fund.

5th Annual 
IWL Louisville Conference
"Your Voice. Your Power. Your Time."

Louisville Marriott Downtown

Melinda Gates once said, 'A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman'. 

By stepping into your voice, you have the power to facilitate change at work, home, and in the community. Now is the time to embrace that power, recognize your influence, and take control of your future. What can you achieve by owning your voice, your power, and your time?
At IWL, we know that men are integral partners in getting to an equitable future  for women. Together, our voices are magnified, our power multiplied, and our time momentous. 

Join us at the Louisville Marriott Downtown on April 25, 2019 to learn the skills necessary to have courageous conversations, reclaim your voice, and be a tenacious ally for all women.

Cost: $380 for individuals, or $3,500 for a table of 10

Linking Indy Women
The Keys to Moving Beyond Your Comfort Zone - Where the Magic Happens
Featuring Jen Edds, Head Broad in Charge at the Brassy Broadcasting Company

Wednesday, April 17, 2019
7:30am - 9:00am
The Hatch
6161 N. Hillside Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46220

"I spent a lifetime being quiet. I didn't understand that my voice didn't have to be the best, the smartest, or the prettiest to be valued. I didn't know the power of my own voice. Today, I gratefully own that my voice, curiosity, and willingness to play beyond my comfort zone are my superpowers.  Those superpowers are the foundation of my work. I partner with mission-driven leaders to create podcasts that put them in the ears, heads, and hearts of their audiences. We leverage the power of their voices to inspire action and impact lives."

Cost: FREE

Diversity Roundtable of Central Indiana
The Importance of Diversity in Policing
Featuring Captain John Walton, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
8:00am - 10:00am
United Way of Central Indiana
2955 N. Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46208

An Indianapolis native, Captain Walton has served the City of Indianapolis for 36 years as a member of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and has received numerous promotions, awards, accommodations, and medals including the Medal of Bravery. In 2016, Captain Walton was the first African American promoted to the rank of Captain in over ten years. In 2017, Captain Walton was selected as the Director of Diversity & Inclusion for IMPD with the mission to enhance equity and inclusion within the department. 

In this interactive presentation, Captain Walton returns for part two of his November 2018 discussion on why it is important to have a diverse police force and some of the obstacles and challenges facing police agencies today. In addition, he will discuss viable solutions that can help police agencies become more diverse and increase exclusivity. Finally, he will discuss the important role and impact that citizens can have in helping police departments achieve greater diversity.

Cost: FREE

Louisville SHRM
Drive Business Success with Workplace Flexibility

U of L Delphi Center
310 North Whittington Parkway
Louisville, KY 40232

Effective and flexible work - or workflex - is rethinking how, when, and where people do their best work in ways that work for all. It's a fundamental element of the 21st century workplace shaped by advanced technologies, shifting demographics, and a 24/7 global economy. 

Learn how you can drive business success by harnessing the power of workflex to support your organizational goals and strategy. This session will provide you with knowledge on how to build the business case for workflex, customize a workflex program and share tips on implementation. Discussion will be grounded in the results of national research and best practices from SHRM's When Work Works Initiative and award-winning organizations that demonstrate how workflex can boost retention, engagement, and other critical outcomes.

Cost:  $40 ($35 for members and $20 for students)

Association of Women MBAs
Women in Leadership Forum

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
5:30pm - 6:30pm
University of Louisville
110 West Brandeis Avenue 
PNC Horn Auditorium - Room 106 
Louisville, KY 40208

Join the University of Louisville Association of Women MBAs for the 3rd Annual Women in Leadership Forum! This year they will be hosting a panel of women who work in data, analytics, or technology in a variety of industries. All are welcome to join for this great discussion.  Pizza will be provided.

Cost:  FREE

Kentucky Derby 
Diversity & Business Summitt

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - Saturday, May 4, 2019

DDBS has an international draw and exists to bring together the world's top diverse suppliers and executives - inclusive of ALL diverse groups (Minority, Women, LGBTQ, Veteran & Disabled) on a national scale to network, develop and enjoy the Derby.
A portion of the 2019 proceeds will be donated to kick start the formation of an NGLCC LGBTBE Chamber of Commerce Chapter in Louisville, KY.

Guests will have the ability to attend development seminars, panel discussions,  and even hear from highly sought after speakers to share their experiences in the business world of Supplier Diversity & Diversity and Inclusion.  Along with networking opportunities that will be available at the business sessions, guests will also have the chance to attend A-List celebrity events and the derby festivities with peers!

Help us have a greater impact. While we're proud of the progress that's been made, we know how far there still is to go to move the needle on gender equity. 

Your donation contributes to equipping women with the tools to connect, grow and advance as leaders and activating men as allies to support their progress.

Equal Pay Day 2019
What are you doing to move the needle?
IWL CEO Kim Graham Lee, Board member Kelley Gay, and Founder Jennifer Holmes re-enacted the impactful "equality vs. equity" image at the 9th Annual IWL Indianapolis Conference last August.
Equal Pay Day was Tuesday, April 2, symbolizing the date in the new year that women have to work on average to make the same amount as men made in the previous year. On average, women in the U.S. make 80 cents to every dollar a man makes - and progress is stalled.  But did you know that this isn't the same equal pay date for all women? Equal Pay Day for African-American women will be August 22, and for Latina women it won't be until November 20 ( Reminder: Today Still Isn't Equal Pay Day for All Women )

We also know that in Indiana (the state of IWL's home office), we have one of the largest pay gaps in the country at 73 cents to a dollar, and it's only widening ( Equal Pay Day 2019: Indiana lags behind U.S. in gender pay gap ) . So what can we do? The 2018 Lean In report suggested these ways companies can close the gender pay gap:
  1. Conduct a pay audit.
  2. Ensure that hiring and promotions are fair.
  3. Make sure women have equal opportunities for advancement.
  4. Make it a norm for women to negotiate.
Want to learn more? Here are some additional resources on equal pay:
IWL is a resource for you and your organization on the journey to gender equity. Let us know how we can help at We look forward to connecting with you!
5th Annual IWL Louisville 
Women's Leadership Conference
Thursday, April 25, 2019 | Louisville Marriott Downtown
$380 for individuals | $3,500 for a table of 10

Reserve your spot TODAY - seats are selling fast!

Melinda Gates once said, 'A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman'. By stepping into your voice, you have the power to catalyze change at work, home, and in the community. Now is the time to embrace that power, recognize your influence, and take control of your future.  What can you achieve by owning your voice, your power, and your time?
At IWL, we know that men are an integral partner in achieving an equitable future. Together, our voices are magnified, our power multiplied, and our time momentous. Join us at the Louisville Marriott Downtown on April 25, 2019 to learn the skills necessary to have courageous conversations, reclaim your voice, and be a tenacious ally for all women. 
Featuring 2019 Louisville Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Neeli Bendapudi
University of Louisville
Sheri Riley
Empowerment Speaker
Life Strategist
Exponential Living
Darleen Santore
Founder & CEO
Performance Meets Purpose
Coaching and Consulting

Catch a sneak preview from two of our fabulous mainstage speakers, 
Sheri Riley and "Coach Dar."

Darleen Santore is excited for

And a "Courageous Conversation" 
with Papa John's Leaders
Victoria Russell
Chief of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Papa John's International
Mike Nettles
EVP, Chief Operating and Growth Officer
Papa John's International
Lyndsay Railey
Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Papa John's International
Dawne Gee
News Anchor

IWL exists to be a partner for making companies better places for women, and through that, more successful businesses. We support organizations that realize that now is the time to address gender diversity and inclusion opportunities.

In this panel session, Papa John's executives will discuss the company's existing efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion. Panelists will talk about creating a culture that reflects the wide range of communities where its team members, franchisees, partners and customers live and work. 

Hear from Papa John's leaders about how they encourage team members to use their voices to engage in courageous conversations and to participate in trainings that promote an inclusive work environment. Learn how they are identifying and engaging in unique partnerships as a company, as well as through its newly-formed The Papa John's Foundation for Building Community. 

We'll have time for your voices to be heard, too.  We invite attendees to have their say and ask questions of these remarkable leaders.

Led by Co-Emcees:

Latisha Schmitt
IT Inclusion and Diversity Leader
AJ Hubbard
Global Executive
Diversity and Inclusion
GE Appliances, a Haier Company

AJ invites other male allies to join him on April 25 for a day of learning and connecting. We are Better Together!
Plus, breakout topics that you asked for and that are relevant in today's world:

To reserve a table of 10 for $3,500, contact Anna Rauh at Act now before seats sell out!
"My IWL Impact Story:  Attacking Imposter Syndrome"
By Melissa Melton
Senior Project Manager, Human Resources, GE Appliances
IWL Louisville Planning Committee Member and Women Influencing Louisville (WIL) President

To celebrate our 10th year as an organization, we are sharing some of the incredible stories that we've heard from people whose lives and leadership journeys have been positively impacted by IWL Foundation. Hear from Melissa Melton on how her involvement with women's organizations has changed the trajectory of her career.

At the 2017 IWL Louisville Conference, Melissa spoke on a panel - "Women Helping Women: Normalizing Camaraderie Between Women"

"It was 2017 and IWL was planning their 3rd annual conference in Louisville. At the time, I worked for an HR consulting firm, co-led their internal women's network and had recently joined Women Influencing Louisville (WIL). When all three roads collided, I had no idea the impact it would have!

I was soon approached by IWL to sit on a panel about women helping women and thought, 'Who, me?' I didn't see myself as a leader or someone with anything important to share. Had I misled these women I met into believing I was "more important" or higher-up in our organization? 'Oh no, what if I do this and they realize I'm a fraud?' And there it was, the first time I realized I was experiencing imposter syndrome."

Want to keep reading?  Read the full blog on our website.
10th Annual  IWL Indianapolis Conference:

We're celebrating a milestone year with the biggest and best IWL conference yet - and a compelling theme: Uniting Our Power.  The 10th Annual IWL Conference will focus on how we can unite the power of the many who show up, speak up and stand tall to advance the inclusion conversation in our companies, our homes and in our communities. 

Join 1,500 women and men at the JW Marriott on September 16, 2019 for a day you won't want to miss! Learn more on our website

If your company is interested in being a corporate sponsor of the IWL Conference, please contact IWL CEO, Kim Graham Lee, at
The IWL Team is Growing!
Meet our  Event Liaison and Operations Coordinator
We are excited to share that  Katie Sheets was hired in March 2019 as the Event Liaison and Operations Coordinator for IWL Foundation. In this position, she serves in a key oversight, operational, and relationship-management role for the IWL annual conferences and workshops that IWL delivers throughout the year.

Katie has a passion for empowering women and believes every woman has the right to work in a culture that supports and promotes work-life balance.  Prior to working for IWL Foundation, Katie spent 15 years working for Walker, an Indianapolis-based global leader in customer experience measurement and enhancement, as a Customer Experience Analyst. 

Katie Sheets
Event Liaison and Operations Coordinator
Providing a great experience to customers and other stakeholders is what Katie is all about, and she looks forward to taking this next step in her career with the IWL team.

Katie's greatest accomplishment is being a mother to her three children: Charlie, Sam, and Maddie, as well a loving and equal partner to her husband Eric. When she is not traveling, she loves to be outdoors hiking with her two dogs, Teddy and Luna. Katie has lived in Indianapolis for over 20 years and loves to participate in everything this wonderful city has to offer.

Spring has sprung, so the theme of this month is bloom. While the snow melts and the flowers start to peek their heads from the ground, face this month as the chance to try something new. Shake off the cobwebs and step out of your comfort zone. You can start small, by having a conversation with someone new at the office, or you can challenge yourself by really putting yourself out there in a new exercise class or signing up for a networking event or conference you haven't been to before. If it helps, ask a friend or mentor to join you; there's no shame in asking for support in new endeavors. In order to grow - personally and professionally - we have to be intentional about expanding our horizons and stretching our minds and bodies to new limits. It's okay if you're nervous - remind yourself those butterflies are just a sign that you're blooming!

Thank you to our 2019 Conference Sponsors... and there's still an opportunity to join!



Bose logo
Roche logo

IWL Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  To g ive to the IWL Foundation or become a corporate sponsor of the IWL Women's Annual Leadership Conferences, contact Kim Graham Lee, CEO, at
Better Together.
Integrating Women Leaders (IWL) Foundation accelerates the advancement of women  to drive individual and organizational growth and impact.