The IWF Mission
The International Women’s Forum builds better global leadership across careers, continents and cultures by connecting the world’s most preeminent women of significant and diverse achievement.
Who We Are
The International Women’s Forum is a unique organization comprised of more than 6,500 dynamic women leaders in thirty-five countries and seventy-six forums around the world. IWF members span careers, cultures and continents, however they are wholly aligned in their commitment to building better global leadership.
The heart of IWF is vibrantly represented at global meetings held annually. There is no other organization in the world that continually convenes such an extraordinary network of women leaders, provides exposure and access to such a broad and diverse audience of female decision-makers, while delivering cutting edge programs that explore topics impacting international progress, business, economics, ecology and enterprise.
What We Do
The IWF brings together an unprecedented global membership to exchange ideas, to learn, inspire, and to build better leadership for a changing world. This vision is realized through global conferences, training and mentoring programs and our networks of global forums. IWF provides one-of–a-kind programming designed by world leaders, for world leaders, both present and future. IWF provides a platform for leaders to meet among their peers in an environment where meaningful partnerships and friendships can grow and form.
Global Conferences and Training Programs
In 1974, renowned writer, civic leader and philanthropist, Elinor “Elly” Guggenheimer, founded the Women’s Forum of New York. The stated goal: “Bring together women of diverse accomplishments and provide them with a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences. By thus becoming aware of their counterparts in all fields, and of mutual interests and attitudes, they can, when desired, speak in concert on issues confronting the total community.”
Due to the strength and growth of the founding Forum, women around the country voiced the need for a national network that would allow women of significant achievement, across all sectors, beliefs and backgrounds to unite under a common purpose.
The National Women’s Forum, created in 1979, with Forums in Atlanta, Chicago, Colorado, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC was the realization of a growing footprint of exceptional women, united to build better leadership through the exchange of ideas, peer-to-peer support, and a concert of power and friendship. As Forums organized and grew across other parts of the country, many of them, in turn, helped to develop Forums in other states.
In 1982, the Forum expanded globally with the addition of the UK; and in ensuing years, the Bahamas, Israel, Montreal, Spain and Sweden. The name was officially changed to the International Women’s Forum (IWF) in 1987 and the global headquarters resides in Washington, DC.
In 1994, IWF created its Leadership Foundation (LF), a 501c3 supporting the training and growth of emerging women leaders. The Fellows Program is its flagship initiative.
Today, IWF with more than 6,400 members across 76 affiliates in 35 nations, continues to build better global leadership across careers, cultures and continents by uniting the world’s most preeminent women through training, mentoring, and connectivity.
IWF convenes an extraordinary network of women leaders, provides exposure and access to a diverse audience of key female decision-makers, and delivers cutting edge programs exploring the topics impacting international progress, business, economics, ecology and enterprise. IWF is a one-of-a-kind organization comprised of friendships, influence, power and purpose.
As it looks to the future, IWF will continue to prepare, unite and inspire women leaders on a global scale and at a local level through the growth of future forums.