YWCA Greater Cleveland

Women's Leadership Institute

Empowering Leaders for Today and Tomorrow 

Today’s marketplace is relentless, fast-paced and highly competitive. There is a never-ending challenge to recruit, retain, develop, and inspire productive employees. You need team members committed to growing professionally and personally while motivating and mentoring those around them. Your employees need to be self-aware of their abilities to positively impact your business—and willing to take on increasing levels of responsibility to benefit their individual career tracks and the overall organization.

This is where YWCA plays an important role.

The YWCA Women’s Leadership Institute offers a comprehensive leadership development training curriculum and corresponding programs designed to build, train, recognize and empower transformative leaders at all phases of their careers.

The Institute’s proven programs are based on industry best practices, research and the personal experiences of our instructors. Plus, each program is designed using proven learning techniques to increase the competencies of our participants. We have influenced more than 800 women from Fortune 500 companies, small- and mid-sized businesses, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions.

Our programs can complement your existing in-house leadership development programs, or the Women’s Leadership Institute can serve as your external training arm. Learn more about what we have to offer below or join our e-mail list

Leadership Development Educational Series

This series consists of three leadership development programs—Boot Camp, Quest, and Momentum—designed to bring together women from varying backgrounds, organizations and phases of their careers to deepen their self-awareness and self-management to become more effective and productive leaders. The result of each program is empowered women—entry level to senior leaders—able to leverage their capacity, overcome obstacles and take confident strides toward higher levels of organizational leadership 

Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon

This annual awards luncheon recognizes a group of transformative leaders who embody empowerment and extraordinary accomplishments through career success, community service, leadership, mentoring and dedication to the YWCA mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.



This philanthropic giving group supports YWCA’s Nurturing Independence and Aspirations (NIA) program, allowing supporters to directly impact the lives of young adults transitioning to self-sufficiency. 

WLI Monthly Workshop Series

These monthly lunch-and-learn workshops are where individual participants learn about the key tools of leadership and how to successfully wield them in their day-to-day professional roles.

On-Site Leadership Development Training

At YWCA, we proudly offer a wide variety of leadership training programs and workshops that can be offered on-site at your location.Training modules are customizable based on your individual organizational and employee needs.

Developing Cultural Competency Workshops and Multicultural Competency Training 

It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race is an annual event that brings business, nonprofit, educational and community groups together to confront the race conversation with thought-provoking, honest and open dialogue. Additionally, we are launching the Developing Cultural Competency Workshop Series, which is designed to increase understanding of the relevance of cultural competency, economic impacts of racism and racial conflict management. We are also available to providing on-site training geared toward development of powerful action plans for the path forward. 


Heather Steranka-Petit, MA, CDP, Manager, Learning Programs
Phone: 216-881-6878 ext 226
email: hsteranka@ywcaofcleveland.org 



Heather Steranka-Petit
Manager, Learning Programs

Women's Leadership programs:



In 2016, women now make up 47% of the American workforce and are the equal if not primary breadwinners in 40% of families. 

In 2014, 4.6% of Fortune 500 CEO, 14.6% of Fortune 500 executive officer positions, and 17% of board seats were held by women.

In Northeast Ohio in 2015, from a survey of 85 local employers, only 16.2% of board members, 14.5% of senior management, and 8.5% of suppliers were non-white (GC Partnership, COEI)

In a 2016 Washington Post survey, 88% of black Americans believe there is still work to be done for black Americans to achieve equal rights, while only 53% of white Americans agreed.


We are on a mission for social justice. Get involved!