The Women’s Leadership Accelerator empowers women in digital journalism.

The program supercharges the leadership and management skills of women who are pushing digital innovation. We provide connections, training and practical tools to women though our intensive, cohort-based program and through workshops, trainings and events aimed at the broader journalism community.

Applications are open for the 2022 Cohort!

Twenty-six women leaders in digital journalism will receive yearlong support to level up their careers. Applications are due Nov. 30, 2021.

Apply Now  Preview the Requirements

About the Program

The Women’s Leadership Accelerator offers an intensive program of mentoring, discussion and learning from some of the top minds in digital media.  Participants work closely with mentors on challenges unique to their careers and also receive support and coaching from ONA throughout the year.

The Women’s Leadership Accelerator provides:

  • A virtual kickoff workshop in March and an in-person cohort gathering in May or June, focused on hands-on personal and professional work; candid discussions about leadership, work-life balance and problem-solving in the newsroom; deep dives on developing leadership and management skills; and one-on-one mentoring from industry leaders
  • A year of check-ins and practical, targeted guidance and personal coaching on individual challenges
  • Registration to the Online News Association Conference (ONA22)
  • A half-day workshop closing workshop for the cohort in September 2022, in coordination with ONA22
  • The opportunity to be a part of a cohort of peers to serve as a strong career-long support system


  • Nov. 3, 2021: Applications open
  • Nov. 30, 2021: Applications close at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (4:59 UTC)
  • Spring 2022: Cohort announced
  • Week of March 28: Kickoff workshop (virtual)
  • May or June: In-person workshop in Los Angeles (exact dates to be confirmed)
  • Week of Sept. 18: Closing workshop during ONA22 in Los Angeles

Past Programs

The Women's Leadership program began in 2015 and has evolved to be a year-long cohort experience. Each year, we welcome a cohort of women representing a range of backgrounds, expertise and newsrooms around the globe to our intensive program. Learn about the past programs, including previous cohorts, speakers, sponsors and programming.

Virtual Events

We’ve created these online sessions for women in leadership roles based on the feedback we’ve received from hundreds of women who’ve participated in our events. Register for this year's three-event series now. All four 2020 events are available on-demand.

Making the Case for Your Ideas and Team

Join us for a conversation about strategies for demonstrating the value and impact of your ideas and your team’s vision. You’ll hear from a panel of women who have led … Read more.

Challenging the System on Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is not only an individual feeling many women grapple with, it’s a systemic problem across many industries. Join us for this conversation on how to tackle the challenges … Read more.

Building the Career you Want

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In this discussion, you’ll hear from a diverse panel of senior-level women addressing challenges encountered on the path to leadership and how … Read more.

Women in Entrepreneurship — Women’s Leadership Accelerator Summer Series

Get inspired by women in journalism who are leading the charge. From launching new businesses to bringing an entrepreneurial mindset to their organizations, these women are energizing the journalism industry, … Read more.

News and Updates

Leadership conversations with women in journalism — a special virtual series with the Women’s Leadership Accelerator

We are excited to bring you a new series of leadership conversations inspired by the Women’s Leadership Accelerator. The accelerator is a yearlong, cohort-based program that supercharges the leadership and management … Read more.

Introducing the 2021 Women’s Leadership Accelerator cohort, speakers and mentors

The Online News Association is pleased to introduce the 2021 cohort of the Women’s Leadership Accelerator, plus 16 phenomenal digital media leaders confirmed to serve as speakers and mentors during … Read more.

Applications open for a virtual 2021 Women’s Leadership Accelerator

If you are a woman in digital journalism who is looking for career support this year, I hope you apply to the 2021 Women’s Leadership Accelerator. You deserve a network … Read more.

Why apply for the Women’s Leadership Accelerator?

We designed the Women’s Leadership Accelerator to help advance women in digital journalism. The intensive program provides a lifelong connection to a cohort of amazing women.


Motherhood: Living It in Newsrooms, Covering It in the World

Motherhood is too often dismissed as a fluffy topic for lifestyle pages, rather than one in dire need of serious reporting on its intersections with healthcare, economics, public policy, gender … Learn about this subject.

Career Advice From the Women’s Leadership Accelerator

We’ve heard from women all over the world who are looking for more support and guidance as they move through their careers. Through ONA’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator, we’ve connected women … Learn about this subject.

A Seat at the Table

Women and communities of color are underserved and underrepresented in digital news, as with every other major institution and field of work. What they need and demand is nothing more … Learn about this subject.

Wonder Women, Unite! Navigating the Digital Workplace

Get tips on managing up, down or just managing yourself, from fellow women digital news leaders. This session will explore tips for women in the newsroom with a candid discussion … Learn about this subject.

Past Speakers

The ONA Women's Leadership Accelerator has featured an excellent array of industry leaders and inspirational voices to shepherd our cohorts through their time in the program.

Ladyswagger, Inc.
URL Media
Executive Editor

Program Supporters

The 2021 Women’s Leadership Accelerator is supported by lead funder Dow Jones Foundation, with additional support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Inasmuch and Shindig.
Dow Jones Foundation

To learn more about supporting the program, contact Jessica Strelitz, Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer, at

Learn More

Contact us at to learn more about opportunities to connect with the Accelerator.

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