How to Support the Women’s Leadership Accelerator Series  

In March 2021, the Online News Association will welcome 26 women to its fifth Women’s Leadership Accelerator program. Learn all about the 2021 cohort here.

Overview Demographics + Details:

  • More than 2,100 applicants in the six years total that ONA has run this program
  • 26 women in the 2021 cohort, plus dozens of speakers and mentors as part of year-round convenings and training.
  • Variety of roles, newsrooms, beats, and organization sizes represented

In addition to this year’s cohort, ONA plans to continue to broaden our Advancing Women in Leadership portfolio in 2021. We will once again host a series of conversations discussing leadership with women in digital media, paired with time for networking, as well as other stand-alone networking opportunities, peer coaching sessions and begin to build a framework for newsrooms to create their own resources for advancing women in leadership.

Women’s Leadership Accelerator participants call the year-long workshop “transformational” and continue to turn to each other for support as they work on their challenges throughout the year, and beyond. We have built a robust talent pipeline of more than 125+ professionals that have been a part of this year-round program since 2017, and as well as 50 more as part of the 2015 and 2016 cohorts, which ONA co-managed with Poynter.

As an industry leader in providing programming to train, coach and support diverse leaders in media, ONA has modeled successful training programs that use a cohort-based training model not only to provide professional development but to create and nurture a supportive community that gives training participants the lifelong peer support they need for success.  ONA annually receives hundreds of applicants for the year-long program, as well as 1,000+ other registrants for our non-cohort Women’s Leadership Accelerator specific programming.

Each of the cohorts we have selected and trained has reported extensive promotions and raises, more positive outcomes in working with supervisors and colleagues, successful launches of new projects and collaborations and new funding support for those efforts, and extensive positive feedback on the impact of the WLA in supporting their efforts, helping negotiation and decision making with workplace challenges and much more.

Co-led by ONA’s Director of Programs Jen Mizgata and consultant Tran Ha, the 2020 program featured dozens of inspiring speakers and mentors throughout the cohort year, both as part of our in-person (pre-COVID) programming in Los Angeles, regular digital cohort-only check-ins and practical, targeted guidance and personal coaching on individual challenges,  our summer speaker series (open to all) and as part of ONA’s annual event, ONA20 Everywhere which also went virtual in 2020 and had 1,800 registrants.

By supporting the Women’s Leadership Accelerator program and its related speaking series and events, you’ll join a stellar, global group of funders — including our continuing lead sponsor Dow Jones Foundation and supporting funders the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Inasmuch FoundationAlley, and Shindig as well as educational programs, nonprofits, technology firms, media companies, journalism fellowships and other brand supporters that help us keep this program 100% tuition-free for women in digital media around the world.

Funding levels are customized to your needs, interests and level of impact, and can range from general program support ($50,000-$500,000), event or series sponsorships ($10,000-$50,000)  supporting packages ($2,500-$10,000), as well as in-kind/product donations. All levels include WLA promotions, website logo/thanks, as well as an exclusive connection to our growing cohort community.

To discuss opportunities or share your ideas to support the event, contact Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer Jessica Strelitz at or at (202) 753-7110.

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