The Women’s Leadership Accelerator is a yearlong intensive program that supercharges the leadership and management skills of women who are pushing digital innovation. Each year we welcome a cohort of women representing a range of backgrounds, expertise and newsrooms around the globe.

2020 Applications are Open

The Women's Leadership Accelerator is back and ready to select another 26 participants for a transformative program of coaching, support and development. The application deadline is Oct. 31. Start preparing your application now!

Read the Requirements  Apply Now

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; inspiring visits to digital media organizations; and one-on-one mentoring from industry leaders.
  • A year of check-ins and practical, targeted guidance and personal coaching on individual challenges.
  • Registration, travel and accommodations for the 2020 Online News Association Conference (ONA20) in Atlanta.
  • A half-day workshop for women in the program during ONA20.
  • The opportunity to be a part of a cohort of peers to serve as a strong career-long support system.

The program culminates in a workshop at ONA’s annual conference.

  • Oct. 2, 2019: Applications open
  • Oct. 31, 2019: Applications close
  • January 2020: Cohort announced
  • March 2020: Accelerator in California
  • Oct. 3, 2020: Final workshop at ONA20 annual conference in Atlanta

Opportunities for the community

Outside the cohort, ONA shares the lessons from the Women’s Leadership Accelerator through other programming and events, including collaboration with ONA LocalONA’s annual conference and training in partnership with other organizations.

In addition, you can connect with alumnae of the Women’s Leadership Accelerator through free one-on-one coaching on Over 60 women, including ONA Director of Programs Jennifer Mizgata, offer free coaching sessions to support other women in digital journalism with leadership and management tips, career advice and feedback on their work.

Subscribe to the ONA Weekly newsletter to receive announcements about other opportunities.

Resources and News

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.

Career advice for aspiring leaders from ONA’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator

Jennifer Mizgata, Elizabeth Whitmire and Brittany Grant provide advice learned from personal experience and picked up from ONA’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator.

Speakers and mentors joining the 2019 Women’s Leadership Accelerator

Each year a dynamic group of digital media leaders contribute to the Women’s Leadership Accelerator as speakers and mentors. The 2019 Accelerator kicks off Feb. 10-15, and we are thrilled …

Announcing the outstanding journalists in the 2019 Women’s Leadership Accelerator

WASHINGTON — The Online News Association (ONA) has selected 26 innovative women working at the forefront of digital media for the 2019 Women’s Leadership Accelerator. The Accelerator is a yearlong …

Past Programs

The Women's Leadership program began in 2015 and has evolved to be a year-long cohort experience. Learn about the past programs, including previous cohorts, speakers, sponsors and programming.

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 Design and Facilitators

Founder and Principal
Tiny Collaborative
Director of Programs
Online News Association

Program Supporters

The 2020 Women’s Leadership Accelerator is tuition-free thanks to the support of lead funder Dow Jones Foundation, and additional support from Microsoft News and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Microsoft News

To learn more about supporting the program, contact Jessica Strelitz, Head of Strategic Partnerships, at

Learn More

Contact Director of Programs Jennifer Mizgata at to learn more about opportunities to connect with the Accelerator.

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