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14th Annual HIGHER Ground 
Women's Leadership Conference 

Not Waiting to Lead 

Now, more than ever, women are making significant strides in varied capacities while navigating an ever-changing leadership landscape. Analysis of progress shows that women lead on multiple fronts. They hold more payroll jobs, earn more college degrees, and have made advances in formal leadership roles with representation among elected officials, employment as CEOs of corporations, and service as presidents of nonprofit organizations, reflecting a moment of zeitgeist. In spite of these successes, the reality remains that women experience obstacles in pursuit of the top position. Although female leaders are demonstrating a higher degree of competency, qualifications, and experience, they are still relegated to second place. 

Women are shifting the paradigm of leadership conversations by stepping into formal and informal roles, regardless of recognition. They are challenging dominant expectations of what leadership progress and change should look like and shaking up systems of hierarchies that reinforce the status quo. Designed to create space to imagine new leadership models, The 14th Annual HIGHER Ground Women’s Leadership Conference will: interrogate why deserved recognition for women's accomplishments is absent from prevailing leadership spaces; explore how to break free of leadership models that undervalue women; and embolden women to take the lead without needing to hold position, ask for permission, or wait for an invitation. Not Waiting to Lead will disrupt the narrative to catalyze the change that demands a future in 1st place.


Shifting to an online event has allowed us to lower the costs to attend. Registration for the 14th Annual HIGHER Ground Women's Leadership Conference is $74.00. Registration includes an all-access pass to recordings and speaker presentations for 30 days following the event. Payments will be accepted via credit card and processed online at the time of registration. 

Update: Conference registration is officially SOLD OUT! If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please use the link below. We will send notifications by October 28th, as registrations become available. 

Serve as a Conference Sponsor

We are offering our conference virtually for the first time to an extended audience. We have curated a set of unique sponsorship opportunities to reflect our expanded reach. If you or your organization would like to participate in this year’s event as a Sponsor, please click here. 

Event Sponsor ($10,000)
Keynote Sponsor ($7,500)
Opening Plenary Sponsor ($2,500)
Supporting Sponsor ($2,500)
Happy Hour Sponsor ($2,500)
Supporting Sponsor ($1,000)
Door Prize Sponsor ($300+ value)
Conference Website (Advertising Only - full section on website with name/logo: $1,000; quarter section on website with name/logo: $500; list with name only: $250)

Join us for HIGHER Ground 2021!

The VCU Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute is now recruiting for its HIGHER Ground Women's Leadership Development Program. HIGHER Ground is a five-month leadership development experience for current and emerging women leaders who are committed to investing in themselves and their organizations. HIGHER Ground is designed to benefit women at all career levels in public, private, nonprofit and entrepreneurial positions. This highly rated leadership development experience offers opportunities for professional growth through experiential learning, personal assessment, leadership coaching, and networking. By engaging in intellectual and experiential workshops, participants learn key principles aimed at enhancing their leadership styles to help them successfully leverage opportunities for advancement. HIGHER Ground Women's Leadership Development Program applications are due November 15, 2020. To learn more about the program click here.

Make a Gift to GEHLI

Monetary gifts from Friends of GEHLI support the promotion and development of current and emerging leaders in academic institutions, as well as other public, private and nonprofit organizations and communities. We ask you to help the Institute continue its mission of excellence. Your gift can help us further enrich the Institute experiences for all future participants. To make a donation, please visit this link.

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