Fellows Program

Each year, IWF invests in making women stronger, smarter and more influential through its Fellows Program, a year-long, intensive leadership development experience. The Fellows Program was launched in 1994 with seed-funding from the U.S. Labor Department as a direct result of the Glass Ceiling Commission and annually convenes approximately 35 Fellows from around the world for a total of 20 days. Featuring academic partnerships with Harvard Business School and INSEAD, the program offers customized leadership training for high-achieving women leaders on their path to the C-suite. The approach is holistic and focused on the participant’s personal and professional development, career path, and trajectory, while embracing the value of an outside perspective.



For corporate outreach – All donations will be gratefully acknowledged and recognized. For more details, please contact caralyn@iwfbc.com.
For IWF members- IWF BC will match up to $15,000 for all donations made by members. To donate, please contact accounting@iwfbc.com 

Friba’s Journey

IWF BC Fellows Program Update 

We want to ensure you stay informed about Friba’s Fellows journey, and we have asked Friba to keep a journal of her adventures and experiences. This month, we posed some questions to her regarding her participation in the Detroit Leadership Conference. Here’s what she had to say.


This summarizes my learning experience as a 2023/24 fellowship program offered by the IWF from Feb 26th to Feb 29th, 2024.
The four-day executive leadership training was an excellent learning opportunity for me at INSEAD University in France.
While completing the assigned readings and attending the classes, I have learned that diagnosing and changing the organizational culture is critical for a leader to know and understand its dimensions. For instance, one dimension differentiates effectiveness criteria that emphasize stability, order, and control.

Furthermore, in this class, I learned about its flexibility and discretion, which are hierarchy, adhocracy, clan, and market.
While learning about the diagnoses, I also learned about the ‘culture protocol’ from a great instructor, Spencer Harrison. He talked about the importance of culture in organizational settings and how it shapes the overall team and workplace culture. Cultural accounting is crucial for leaders to have if they want to lead a successful team and, hence, the organization.

The lecturers at INSEAD also focused on leading in volatile times. The instructor gave an example of an exemplary and successful employer, where he adopted a new culture and system at the workplace to keep all the employees happy and provide them with leadership opportunities. The case study was Ricardo Semler, A CEO based in Brazil. This CEO adapted the adhocracy and clam based organizational behaviour which led to an award winning leadership of ‘Human Resource management/Organizational Behaviour’.

In addition to the academic learning, I was also assigned a designated coach to coach me on executive leadership skills, and we also talked about the 360-degree feedback from our leaders, peers, colleagues, and others. This was very valuable to me because I had the opportunity to spend time in a small group of four with the coach, who touched upon many essential elements of leadership while connected to oneself. She helped me discover the hidden skills and talent within myself and helped me utilize them in successful leadership.

Moreover, I had a great opportunity to connect with the other 39 fellows in the program even more this time. We shared our stories, laughter, and challenges and also built a sisterhood that we can count on. Sharing our stories with each other empowered us and also made us realize how similar we are; therefore, we can relate to each other, understand each other better, and lead together.

Friba Rezayee
2023/24 Fellowship fellow IWF

Detroit Leadership Conference

IWF BC Fellows Program Update – Detroit Leadership Conferen

We want to ensure you stay informed about Friba’s Fellows journey, and we have asked Friba to keep a journal of her adventures and experiences. This month, we posed some questions to her regarding her participation in the Detroit Leadership Conference. Here’s what she had to say.

1.  How did you find the conference overall?

It was incredible! I had the chance to meet with other IWF members from various forums. I also had the opportunity to meet with a previous fellow from the IWF Fellowship program. She provided support and encouraged me to enjoy the conference and connect with new members of IWF. I found all the women amazing and very supportive of each other.

2.  What were some of the highlights for you?

My connection with a previous fellow from the program who truly helped me get the most from the conference was definitely a highlight.

3.  Interesting people you met and perhaps your interactions with the other fellows?
I met with many interesting women. To name a few, Barbara Faulkenberry, a retired general from the US Air Force, stood out. She was one of the very few women who joined the Air Force and paved the way for other women to join the Air Force Academy. She mentioned that she had been to Afghanistan multiple times. She was strong, incredible, inspiring, and funny!
Also, I had the honor to meet the launch director for Artemis rockets from NASA. We had a fascinating conversation about women in science and STEM.

4.  And finally what have you chosen as your legacy project?

I chose the “Afghanistan Learns Online” program, which is an online teaching and learning platform designed for young Afghan women whose schools have been closed by the Taliban, forcing them to stay at home. This program covers four subjects: Math; Digital Literacy; English Language; Dari (One of Afghanistan’s official languages)

The objective of this program is to provide online access to education for girls to help them complete high school and obtain a certificate of incorporation with UBC, enabling them to apply for college or university.

BC Leadership Fellows Program Committee:
Patra DaSilva, Dierdre Campbell, Patricia Chew, Naznin Virji-Babul, Barbara Mowat, Joanne Gassman