Women’s Leadership Accelerator Underway in LA

By on February 8, 2017

We’re thrilled to welcome a stellar group of women who are leading change in digital journalism to Los Angeles for the Women’s Leadership Accelerator.

The weeklong forum — focused on developing skills for emerging female leaders working in digital journalism — kicked off Sunday at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Twenty-five women, selected from more than 300 applicants, are spending the week working with a team of mentors and faculty on challenges specific to their careers. Instructors are digging deep into issues such as inclusive storytelling, work-life balance, compensation, driving innovation and building digital teams.

In a keynote conversation on Monday, Recode co-founder Kara Swisher and journalist Willow Bay, Director of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism, shared a personal and insightful discussion about reporting, ethics and excellence. On Tuesday, cohort members visited Los Angeles-area media groups including Ryot, YouTube and Vice, where they got a first-hand look at innovative approaches to video and news distribution.

Throughout the week, the cohort will hear from a range of digital media leaders. Topics include:

  • Cultivating your leadership strengths – Jennifer Brandel
  • Relationships between tech platforms and media – Liz Heron
  • Leading change – S. Mitra Kalita and Jessica Yu
  • How to build a digital team – Charo Henriquez-Scaia
  • Navigating the digital newsroom – Stacy-Marie Ishmael
  • The compensation conversation – Will Neville-Rehbehn
  • Product’s role in editorial – P. Kim Bui
  • Innovating from within – Megan Chan
  • Driving digital change – Alexa Schirtzinger

The program for this week has been designed and co-facilitated by Tran Ha, innovation and design strategist, and Jennifer Mizgata, who creates training and workshops for ONA. It builds on the programming created for the ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media, offered in 2014 and 2015.

Thanks to the generous support of lead funder, the Dow Jones Foundation, and supporting funders Knight Foundation, Google, Facebook, WordPress.com VIP, the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau, the Women’s Leadership Accelerator training is tuition-free.

Learn more about the 2017 class, and see some of their photos, tips and takeaways via the #ONAWLA hashtag.


Jennifer Mizgata

Jennifer Mizgata is Director of Programs at the Online News Association, where she leads the Women's Leadership Accelerator. At ONA, Jennifer focuses on identifying talented digital journalists and innovative journalism projects and providing them with support. Jennifer is a business and design strategist with over a decade of experience creating industry-changing training programs, investing in award-winning projects, and managing key relationships with journalism partners and tech stakeholders. She regularly coaches managers, senior leaders and entrepreneurs on challenges related to their careers and launching new ventures. Jennifer shares advice for navigating tough work challenges in Work Space, a monthly column for Fortune.