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.

Announcing the 2021 Cohort!

26 participants were chosen by the Women's Leadership Accelerator review committee for a transformative program of coaching, support and development.

Meet the Cohort

About the Program

The Women’s Leadership Accelerator kicks off with an intensive week 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 week of 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.
  • Up to three online sessions between March and October, tailored to the needs of women in the cohort
  • Registration to 2021 Online News Association Conference (ONA21)
  • A half-day workshop closing workshop for the cohort in Fall, 2021
  • The opportunity to be a part of a cohort of peers to serve as a strong career-long support system.


  • Oct.28, 2020: Applications open
  • Nov. 30, 2020: Applications close at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time
  • Spring 2021: Cohort announced
  • March 22-26, 2021: Intensive Accelerator week
  • October 2021: Closing workshop

Each year, we welcome a cohort of women representing a range of backgrounds, expertise and newsrooms around the globe to our intensive program.

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.

Summer Series Events

We’ve created these four unique, online sessions for women in leadership roles based on the feedback we’ve received from hundreds of women who’ve participated in our events. All four events are available on-demand. Learn more about the series.

Launching and Leading the 19th* — Women’s Leadership Accelerator Summer Series

Building the newsroom we want to see in the world: The 19th* Co-Founder and Publisher Amanda Zamora and Editor-at-Large Errin Haines share what it has been like to launch a … Read more.

Women in Product — Women’s Leadership Accelerator Summer Series

Join us for a conversation about leading newsroom-product work and the value in developing a career bridging those two areas. You’ll hear from a diverse group of senior-level women representing local … Read more.

Career Advice from the Women’s Leadership Accelerator Summer Series

In this session, you’ll hear from women who lead in a range of journalism roles, including managing newsrooms, leading video strategy, creating and curating podcasts, delivering impactful community-focused reporting, launching … 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

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.

Introducing the Women’s Leadership Accelerator: Summer Series

We’re excited to introduce our first Women’s Leadership Accelerator: Summer Series, conversations that dive into the topics we most often hear women want support around. The series will start on ... Read more.


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.
Vice President, Programming
Executive Editor

Program Supporters

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

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.

Read the FAQ