Requirements for the 2021 Women’s Leadership Accelerator

The application has five parts and is due by Nov. 30, 2020. Applications and all submitted materials must be in English. Any links you provide as part of the application must be public, with no password required.

Based on feedback from past applicants, we highly encourage you to start by seeking your letter of recommendation. The coordination required to get a letter often takes time and relies on others to adapt to your schedule. Waiting to start this step has caused many applicants to miss the deadline.

Section 1: Your bio

Provide name, bio, relevant online presences, photo, job title and an upload your resume. These questions help us to learn more about who you are and, if you are selected, your bio will be posted publicly as part of your bio when the 2021 cohort is announced.

Section 2: Your personal details

Provide details about where you live, how you identify yourself, your phone and email. The answers to these questions are confidential and help ONA staff and the selection committee better understand who applies to our programs, ensure a diverse cohort and that, if selected, you have a comfortable stay with us.

Section 3: Your challenge

The Women’s Leadership Accelerator is aimed at leaders who are pushing innovation in digital media. In addition to learning leadership skills and tools for navigating change, you will get practical feedback on a challenge specific to your career — a realistic obstacle you’d like to overcome, or an aspirational goal you’d like to achieve, either within your organization or as an independent project. In the application, we ask three questions about your challenge:

  • Describe the problem or challenge you are facing. (500 words or fewer)
  • Why is it important to solve this challenge? (250 words or fewer)
  • What do you hope to personally gain from participating in the Women’s Leadership Accelerator? (250 words or fewer)

Details about your challenge are confidential and accessible only to ONA staff and select reviewers to understand what you want to get out of the program.

Section 4: A digital project

The selection committee is looking for practitioners working in digital media, including freelancers, entrepreneurs and independent journalists. This means we’re looking for women who not only have an understanding of the digital journalism landscape but who are helping to advance it. Sharing a digital project you have worked on gives ONA staff and the review committee a unique window into how you think. Please provide a link to a project you’re proud of and a brief description of how you were involved. (This project does not need to be directly connected to the challenge you’ve outlined above.)

Length: 250 words or fewer.

Section 5: Testimonial / letter of recommendation

One letter of recommendation from employer, professional colleague or business partner outlining your demonstrated leadership ability.

Length: One typed page.

You may also want to visit the program overview and FAQ pages. For responses to additional questions, contact Director of Programs Jennifer Mizgata at

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Applications for the 2021 program are open!

The 2021 application deadline is Nov. 30, 2020.

Apply Now