By Pamela O’Leary
Director of Sponsor Development, UPWARD
As Lisa Lambert, a Vice President at Intel Capital, climbed the corporate ladder, she realized her merit alone would not advance her career but that she needed a strong network of sponsors, mentors, and supportive colleagues along the way to truly move up the ranks. So in 2013, Lisa hosted nearly 100 executive women in her home to talk about these challenges. This is how Uniting Professional Women Accelerating Relationships & Development (UPWARD) was born, a nonprofit whose mission is to accelerate career advancement for executive women by cultivating educational and networking opportunities for a vibrant community of executive women.
In less than three years and predominantly through word of mouth, UPWARD has grown to about 3,000 members on three continents. UPWARD has chapters in the Bay Area, New York City, Austin, Seattle, Tel Aviv, and London. In 2016, new chapters will be launched in Washington, DC, Chicago, and Buenos Aires. Executive women, especially those who are closest to the top, are eager to join this unique, and supportive community of their peers.
According to a recent KPMG Women’s Leadership Study, seven in 10 working women (70%) feel a personal obligation to help more women advance in the workplace, only one-third (33%) have learned to leverage and support other female employees. Similarly, 70% of women ages 18-64 claim, “I am more likely to talk to other women about the challenges around career advancement rather than the opportunities.” UPWARD provides a tangible solution to help women build their networks by harnessing the power of peer networking for women leaders.
UPWARD is a distinctive women’s organization which focuses primarily on senior-level and executive women by supporting those who are closest to breaking the glass ceiling to get to the top and stay there. Membership is free. Members must be a director, vice president, founder, or C-level executive in business, government, and academia or an executive in a professional field such as a lawyer, doctor, financier, investment partner, professor, etc. UPWARD members come from top companies such as Intel, Ernst & Young, Oracle, Microsoft, Bain & Company, Gibson Dunn, Korn Ferry, Credit Suisse, Comcast, Chevron, and Cisco to name a few. But many members are also starting and leading their own companies!
The women of UPWARD are collaborating to accelerate each other’s career advancement as they climb the leadership ladder. Together, UPWARD members meet up, build up, and move up!
Get Involved with UPWARD!
- Are you a senior-level or executive woman or know someone who is? Join UPWARD today!
- UPWARD is rapidly expanding. Volunteer to help us start a new chapter!
- Connect your company or organization with the UPWARD network through sponsorship opportunities!