Women in Leadership is a part-time training and networking opportunity for people who seek to learn and collaborate with others to improve the status of women in Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.

By participating in Women in Leadership, you will:

  • Get to know others who are passionate about improving the status of women
  • Explore challenges and opportunities facing women in western Pennsylvania
  • Receive mentoring while taking action to improve the status of women
  • Learn to build strong teams by leveraging people’s strengths
  • Hone your skills in group facilitation
  • Learn negotiation skills
  • Work with a coach to develop and execute your personal leadership development plan

We are now recruiting for Women in Leadership XX


Nomination Deadline: October 24th, 2016

Application Deadline: November 4th, 2016

Program Start Date: November 15th, 2016


Women in Leadership is the only experiential leadership program in Southwestern Pennsylvania devoted specifically to women. Participants are early and mid-career professionals from different sectors who are interested in civic engagement and motivated to strive toward the full inclusion of women in business, politics, government, arts, education, philanthropy and community organizing. Participants join a cohort who learn together to clarify their values, lead with authenticity, and integrate their lives at work, at home and in their community, while drawing support from a network of people dedicated to creating positive change for women in the region. The program utilizes the following training principles:

  1. Emphasis on inquiry and experiential learning
  2. Expose participants to public, private, and civic sectors
  3. Use the community as a classroom
  4. Provide opportunities for participants to assess leadership competencies and develop strategies for improvement
  5. Value the critical role of diversity and inclusion in leadership training

The Status of Women in the Region

The gender wage gap is one reason to take action.  Gianina Marquez Olivera (Coro Fellow ’14) wrote an op-ed for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,  “The most livable city for whom?”. Consider this article – and your own experience – when applying or nominating for Women in Leadership.

Women in Leadership XX 2016-2017 Schedule

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 5:30pm – 9:30pm

Saturday, November 19, 2016 10:00am – 2:00pm

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 5:30pm – 9:30pm

Saturday, December 10, 2016 10:00am – 2:00pm

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 5:30pm – 9:30pm

Tuesday, January 3, 2017 5:30pm – 9:30pm

Saturday, January 14 2017 10:00am – 2:00pm

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 5:30pm – 9:30pm

Saturday, February 11, 2017 10:00am – 2:00pm

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 5:30pm – 9:30pm

Saturday, March 4, 2017 10:00am – 2:00pm

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 5:30pm – 9:30pm

Saturday, April 1, 2017 10:00am – 2:00pm

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 5:30pm – 9:30pm

Saturday, April 29, 2017 10:00am – 2:00pm

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 5:30pm – 9:30pm

Saturday, May 27, 2017 10:00am – 2:00pm

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 5:30pm – 9:30pm


WIL XX: Monthly Collaboration Days

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 5:30pm – 9:30pm

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 5:30pm – 9:30pm

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 5:30pm – 9:30pm

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 5:30pm – 9:30pm

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 5:30pm – 9:30pm



During her first term as a Wilkinsburg Borough Councilperson, Marita Garrett has started “Wilkinsburg Community Conversations”, an initiative to connect and empower residents to work together for neighborhood improvement, co-founded the Free Store Wilkinsburg -where donations of new and slightly used material goods are available to residents and families, and was elected Vice-President of Council, where she serves as Chair of the Borough’s Social Media & Promotions Committee and sits on the Capital Planning & Public Safety Committees.

Ms. Garrett is the co-owner and managing partner of Admintrinsic, which provides a wide range of outreach and engagement services to small businesses, non-profits, and mid-level corporations. She has successfully coordinated small business educational events, 2016 Vacant Home Tour with the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation (WCDC), consulted on a research study at Carnegie Mellon University among other outreach programming.

Ms. Garrett received a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh where she was employed as outreach coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center for 7 years – starting there as a senior intern. She continued in Psychology receiving a Master’s from Chatham University and has been a panel speaker on several occasions for the Center for Women and Politics.  She has been recognized for her diligence in civic and community engagement by numerous organizations and media outlets such as the University of Pittsburgh African American Alumni Council, Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 Under 40, City Paper, and the Southwestern PA United Way eXchange series.

Currently, she serves as First Vice Chair of the Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT) as well as a member of both the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) Advisory Board and the YWCA’s Young Leaders Board. 


K5II8810-EditAshley Baptiste
HR Strategist & Instructional Designer Ashley Elyce Baptiste, MBA discovered her passion for helping individuals achieve work-life balance while working in benefits. She loves opportunities to bring a holistic approach to a well-designed life for professionals. Currently, she has a blog that provides simple holistic solutions for total body wellness from the inside out.





K5II8835-EditOlivia Benson
Olivia Benson is an accomplished public policy, political campaign, and public affairs professional with a proven record of promoting electable and qualified candidates, securing financial support for organizations, and implementing social impact initiatives across government, private, and nonprofit sectors. Olivia is the founder of a boutique public affairs and political consulting firm and a co-founder of an early stage non-profit focused on developing women entrepreneurs in low-income communities. She is passionate about impact investments, promoting women’s entrepreneurship opportunities, and engaging women and youth in the political process.



K5II8841-EditElaine Evosevic
After working in nonprofit programming and university fundraising, Elaine took time off to be a stay-at-home-mother. She maintained active on nonprofit boards of directors and as a contractor in community development banking. She is passionate about inclusive human-centered community and economic development and fair access to education, the arts, and opportunity for all. She has a Master of Public Policy and Management degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Women’s Studies.





K5II8792-EditNicole Harrington-Watkins
Nicole is a mother and a wife. She has a Bachelors Of Science: concentration Education Currently and is pursuing her Masters degree at Point Park University in Healthcare Administration and Management. Nicole loves singing and reading.





Hayward, AshleyAshley Hayward
Ashley Hayward, MBA is a Pittsburgh native with roots on the Northside of town. She received her bachelors degree from Edinboro University and her MBA in International Business from Point Park University. Ashley currently works for the UPMC Health plan as a Disability Specialist. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her friends and family.





K5II8781-EditSara Innamorato
A native Pittsburgher, Sara is personally invested in playing a role in making this City a more livable place for all. She cares deeply about the issues of inclusive community development, environmental and social justice as well as local food issues. Sara is on a professional mission to help socially-driven organizations tell their stories in new, strategic ways, and a personal mission to bake the best load of sourdough bread possible.





K5II8726-EditBernandie Jean
Bernandie is a PhD candidate studying drug discovery techniques in biochemistry at Duquesne University. Though she has the opportunities to network with other scientist in her field, she finds it alarming that women and minorities are not well represented in research science. She aspires to become a leader in her field of research and hopes that her experience in WIL can help her gain the necessary skills and confidence to become an effective leader.





K5II8825-EditKimberly Maddox
Kim is a Career Sales Manager currently working in the Medicare and Medicaid space. Her professional as well as well as civic interest include advancing health care and engaging the underserved population.






K5II8759-EditRachel Martone
Rachel Martone, a native of Erie, PA, first moved to the city to attend the University of Pittsburgh in 2009, which is when she fell in love with the city. As an alumna of the 2014-2015 class of Public Allies Pittsburgh, she is committed to bettering herself and serving her community. Rachel currently works at Animal Friends, a local non-profit animal resource center, where she is fulfilling her passions for animal welfare, humane education, and pet therapy work.





K5II8804-EditMeghan McNiel
Meghan McNeil is a recent graduate of McGill University in Montreal and has joyously returned to the city she loves. She is passionate about using the arts as a means of self expression and community building. She is very excited about working with the talented and driven ladies in this program, and hopes she can use her passions to make the world a better place.





K5II8738-EditOlusore Shields
Sore (ShowRay) was born and raised in Nigeria. She has an undergraduate degree in Finance and a graduate degree in Social Work with a concentration in Human Services Management. She is interested in learning ways to blend her business skills and her desire to help people and communities.






K5II8799-EditJennifer Van Dam
Jennifer Van Dam is the Program Coordinator at AlphaLab, a startup accelerator founded by one of the country’s most active seed funds, Innovation Works. In addition to working with AlphaLab companies on growth and marketing in the thriving Pittsburgh startup environment, she also serves as VP of Marketing and Communications for ALPFA Pittsburgh, which empowers and develops Latin@ professionals as leaders. Jennifer has a passion for supporting media literacy and challenging the status quo, specifically by working with disadvantaged communities in the technology space. Prior to joining the AlphaLab/Innovation Works team, she served as a Customer Specialist at Squarespace and has also worked with various nonprofits including The New School, Third Wave Fund, and WQED.




K5II8746-EditRebecca Watters
Rebecca has trained as a molecular biologist and works at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute to study breast cancer. While she enjoys researching causes and potential treatments for this disease, she prefers to have more personal interactions with patients and survivors. As a result, she has volunteered and joined the board for a local charity, Hair Peace Charities, which works to raise funds to help women receive wigs that are undergoing chemotherapy. She is also very passionate about the advancement of women in science related careers here in the region and works to promote this cause as a member of the local Pittsburgh chapter for Women In Bio.




K5II8780-EditNicole White
Nicole is the owner of Nick of Time Travel Agency and loves to travel in her spare time. Nicole has aspirations of owning her own Caribbean resort. She longs for warm weather, fresh water beaches, and relaxing to good music.


“I gained invaluable knowledge through WIL surrounding gender equity, leadership, collaboration, and civic engagement. WIL brought to light the importance of gender equity and how we, as women, cannot achieve it without working together, raising awareness and getting everyone involved, and aiding and promoting other women in their path to leadership. I also had the opportunity to learn about the amazing women in my cohort, their strength, their leadership skills, and their passion. I look forward to following their bright futures.” Christina Ascension Farmartino

“During the Women in Leadership course, I ran for the New Kensington-Arnold school board and won. It means a lot to me to be able to represent my community and fight for a better education. As a participant in the program, I have learned how to best use my leadership style to empower others. I can identify opportunities within myself and my community and I have been able to make change. I have also been able to make connections with like-minded women. Having a support system of women to encourage and uplift me has been invaluable.” Ellyse Williams

“I joined Women in Leadership to meet inspiring women in SW PA, and the women I met surpassed my expectations. The most significant way I changed during my time in WIL is that my network expanded exponentially, and I found fellowship with ambitious and successful women. WIL improved my project management skills, helped me identify my strengths, showed me how to use these strengths in my work, and taught me how to make a really great agenda (I ended up liking OARRs).”

Jessica Kaminsky “Women in Leadership is an incredible joining of learning and doing. Our cohort was challenged to employ our diverse skills and perspectives to create change for ourselves and other women in southwestern Pennsylvania. During the projects, we were able to foster growth in each other as collaborators, leaders, and change agents. I was incredibly inspired by the amazing women that I was able to meet and work with.”

Natalie Torti I have grown exponentially as a leader over the past year in Women in Leadership. At the beginning of the year I switched from the non-profit sector to the private sector by accepting a position with BNYMellon as a Corporate Social Responsibility Analyst. I have grown in my role at BNYMellon and has begun to seek more opportunity for growth and development within the company. Since joining WIL I have also grown as a food blogger, recently launching a self-hosted website.”

Samantha Hartzman I now take the leadership, communication and management skills that I learned at WIL to establish international relationships for Airviz. Through WIL’s use of OARRS, I learned how to clearly articulate values and vision in order to engage and excite people. This has been especially useful in marketing Airviz and rallying a group of air quality activists to use the Speck Sensor. I have also significantly broadened my social and professional network through our catalytic project and Coro networking events.”


The cost of participating in Women in Leadership is $1,000 per participant. Scholarships are available based on need. If you are interested in supporting Women in Leadership participants and programming, please visit our website: Support Women in Leadership


Click to see what Women in Leadership are doing




ATTENTION: The Women in Leadership XX Application is now open. If you would like to learn more about Women in Leadership, contact Coro’s Director of Recruitment, Teisha Stolich at tstolich@coropittsburgh.org or 412-258-3024.


Nominate someone to Women in Leadership today.


If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Coro’s Director of Recruitment, Teisha Stolich at tstolich@coropittsburgh.org or 412-258-3024.


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