IMpower: Amplifying IMpact

It’s been just about a year and a half since we launched IMpower: Grow the Talent that Will Grow Your Company, our program for developing emerging female talent.

With 18 months of Corporate Partner and IMpower graduate feedback, we have solid evidence that IMpower is a resounding success, amplifying the impact of female talent across a broad spectrum of organizations and industries. Our participants are telling us that. Their managers are telling us that. Their corporations are showing us that.

We are hearing from senior executives that their investment in early development of their high potential women is paying off in a more diverse talent pipeline and with inroads in gender parity; largely because the program consistently meets its goals of helping early career talent become:

  • Agile learners
  • Confident contributors
  • Relationship builders
  • Talented communicators
  • Innovative thinkers
  • Catalysts for change

First, Some Numbers
In a survey conducted of IMpower participants, over 66% said they learned how to become more intentional about their careers. Almost 63% indicated that their most critical learning was in developing networks and relationships that support their leadership effectiveness. 70% placed great value on understanding how to become more confident and visible by creating their own brand.

In addition to the sessions themselves, participants emphasized the value of the program materials, with 89% indicating the Individual Development Plan (IDP) was a vital resource for reinforcing and reflecting on their growth and development. Over 70% said the IDP resulted in better conversations about development with their managers.

Participants were particularly favorable about their program peer teams with over 96% saying they added different insights and perspectives; and 74% indicating peer teams provided real-time advice – key components to developing strong networks as business leaders.

I’m thrilled at how the evidence confirms the impact of IMpower. For me though, the heart and soul of our results is in what the women themselves and their managers are saying about the women’s growth and their increased contributions to their organizations.

What Our Participants Are Saying:

  • “IMpower took me out of my comfort zone, but before doing so equipped me to know what to do when out of my zone.”
  • “I significantly improved relationships with an important retail buyer… and was able to help sell our biggest January display to date.”
  • “Enhanced visibility lead to a new position within the company.”
  • “I am more able to sell myself right now for a position within the company.”
  • “I was promoted shortly before Session 6.”
  • “I have improved how I communicate results so that all pertinent information is clearly laid out and the benefit for the business is understandable to the audience.”
  • “I was appointed to manage a high profile project.”
  • “My manager confirmed that I’m a bolder leader.”
  • “I apply my learnings from the IMpower program to build relationships with senior management throughout my organization.”
  • “This program has allowed me the opportunity to serve as a sounding board not only to my peers, but also to various departments.”

What Their Managers Are Saying
Managers overwhelmingly echo the improvements in confidence, visibility, strategic thinking, communications skills, and alignment with corporate goals that the women see in themselves.

For example:

  • “She was a head-down worker—now speaking up more. Senior management has noticed.”
  • “Her communication skills have greatly improved. She’s willing to test herself.”
  • “She has begun to envision what’s possible…to hear things she could not before.”
  • “Focus and maturity: How she strategizes. How she leads others. She has organized her team.”
  • “This program gave her the confidence to interview for another position—which has been offered to her.”
  • “She is now sought out to provide feedback on new initiatives.”
  • “Her presentations to senior management are at a higher level.”
  • “The program is exciting for both of us. I’ve seen increased confidence, bigger picture thinking and she is really viewing herself as a leader.”

As more and more women participate in IMpower, we look forward to the exponential growth of its IMpact on gender parity.

Dr. Rosina L. Racioppi
President & CEO
WOMEN Unlimited, Inc.