Center for Women's Leadership Initiatives

Linking women with resources and networks

The IIE Center for Women's Leadership Initiatives (CWLI) provides opportunities for women and girls worldwide to participate in cutting-edge training, professional development and exchange programs and pursue higher education.We work with sponsors to design programs that leverage strategic partnerships to engage emerging and established women leaders from underserved communities. Our programs create linkages among individuals, groups and networks, resulting in a tangible multiplier effect, measurable impact and long-term sustainability. WLI program participants are agents for change, mentors and role models. They start and grow businesses and run sustainable organizations. WLI participants lead their communities.

Building knowledge and skills among organizations and the women they serve.

  • Training and Education. In partnership with nonprofit, education, business and government sectors, WLI programs provide short-term training, workshops, mentorships and higher education opportunities for women.
  • Curricula. IIE develops customized curricula for targeted audiences from underserved women to emerging and established women leaders.

Linking women with resources and networks.

  • Networks. We provide technical assistance and resources to build locally-driven sustainable networks through which women can mobilize around issues of mutual interest and engage in activities to advance their goals.
  • Public Private Partnerships. We leverage partnerships with leading companies, governments and NGOs to support and engage women in mentoring, training and networking opportunities.
  • Local Engagement. We partner with local NGOs and community organizations to implement programs effectively and build local capacity.

Promoting women as leading innovators and change makers.

  • Exchange Programs. IIE administers many of the world’s most dynamic and prestigious scholarship and exchange programs, many with an emphasis on developing and advancing women leaders.
  • Leadership. Our community grants programs empower leaders to use their new-found skills and knowledge to extend their work and make a lasting impact on local communities.
  • Capacity. Our programs build the capacity of local organizations, experts, leaders and trainers leading to sustainable and locally driven, long-term impact.

Featured Programs

Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech)

Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech) is a CGI Commitment to Action to help women and girls enter and succeed in technology careers. WeTech trains women and girls, builds networks and offer professional opportunities across Africa, India and the United States, developing the skills needed to fuel technological and economic growth. IIE has brought together a powerful array of corporate program partners and continues to expand the consortium.

Higher Education Readiness (HER)

IIE’s Higher Education Readiness HER program provides young women in secondary school from underserved communities with a path to university. A three-year pilot project in Ethiopia, HER provides 100 girls entering the 11th grade with scholarship support combined with innovative leadership and life skills training to help them complete their secondary education and equip them with the tools needed to continue on to university.


TechWomen empowers, connects and supports the next generation of women leaders in STEM in Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East by providing access and opportunity to pursue their dreams and inspire women and girls in their communities. Through mentorship and exchange, TechWomen strengthens participants' professional capacity, increases mutual understanding and expands girls' interest in STEM careers by connecting them to female role models.

Women's Enterprise for Sustainability (WES)

WES equips women entrepreneurs in Tunisia with the leadership and practical skills needed to actively participate as innovative leaders in their communities. WES provides training, coaching and seed funding to partner organizations as they learn to operate WES Centers using a social enterprise model which supports entrepreneurialism and sustainability.

African Centers of Excellence for Women’s Leadership Initiative

ACE-Leaders supports four organizations in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia to develop centers of excellence in women’s advocacy and leadership training in Sub-Saharan Africa. ACE-Leaders provide a space for sharing experiences and networking to mobilize women for change.