Message from IWIL President, Kathy Kincaid

Over the past 12 months, IWIL has been involved in a number of conversations around our need to incorporate diversity and inclusion throughout our organization and how we empower women in our community. We formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Special Interest Group, which included voices outside of IWIL, to drive ideas and bring recommendations to the board. Today, we are saying boldly and with complete vulnerability that we have room for improvement.

When we say diversity, we mean race, gender identity, military status, seen and unseen disabilities and diversity of experience and thought. We believe the women of IWIL should be a reflection of the women in our community.

With that, we are excited to announce our Diversity commitment:

Illinois Women in Leadership strives to include diversity, equity, justice and inclusion among all IWIL activities in an effort to be a leader of women empowerment in Central Illinois. We commit to creating an environment, for all leaders that identify as a woman, to be heard, valued, and celebrated.

Beyond this statement we have made the decision to begin tracking demographic information to determine where we are today and what gaps we need to close. This will be the first step to keeping diversity front of mind. We will continue to take action by discussing where we can implement improvements in our events, presenters, awards, scholarships and board representation.

We are excited all of you will be on this journey with us. We hope you will update your demographic information in your profile to help us understand where we are today. Please know your information will never be shared individually. We will only share percentages in aggregate for public reporting.

We truly believe our members have a huge impact on how IWIL shows up for women in our community. Please continue to share your IWIL experience with other women and encourage diverse women to get to know who we are. If you have any ideas on how to increase diversity, please contact Sheila Feipel to share them or get information about our DEI SIG.

We will continue to do all we can to live out our credo and purpose, while remembering that maintaining a diverse mindset will be critical in our ability to give back and leave a legacy.