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Born of a Movement

The International Women’s Forum was launched in New York City in 1974, when the first generation of women leaders was breaking the glass ceiling in professional sectors from finance to fine arts. Forum founders lacked access to “the old boys’ network,” so the new women’s network was born–to provide professional and personal support, to aid each member’s success and to inspire the women who follow.

Women supporting women is more important today than when IWF was founded 50 years ago. The International Women’s Forum now connects more than 8,000 preeminent women leaders in 76 Forums in 33 countries around the world. We are the only organization of this scale that builds significant relationships between C-level women across countries and careers.

Photo Credit: Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times
Photo Caption: IWF Founders (l. to r.) Elinor Guggenheimer and Eleanor Holmes Norton, with Gloria Steinem

We Are What We Believe

A Network of the Most
Accomplished Women
in the World




We unite our global community of women leaders to advance women’s leadership today and tomorrow.


Women supporting women is just as vital today as it was when IWF was founded 50 years ago. The challenges remain, and backsliding happens all too frequently. Women remain underrepresented in the C-suite; on corporate boards; and at the top of academia, the creative arts and the law, finance, science, technology, media and health sectors. Women also receive a fraction of the venture capital that is awarded to male-led enterprises.

Together we are shaping a future in which leadership has no gender and the next generation is inspired and equipped to transform the world.


We Advance Women’s Leadership in Three Ways

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Leadership Conferences

Networking opportunities and cutting-edge content essential to global leaders in a changing world.
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Leadership Development

Nurturing the next generation of women leaders through networking, mentoring and targeted training.
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Leadership Showcases

Showing the world what women leaders can do and inspiring the journey of others.
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How to Become a Member

Membership is invitation-only. Each local Forum has its own nomination process, and women of achievement and influence may be nominated by members of a local Forum.