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    The story so far

    An overview of our growth through continuous learning (and a pandemic-induced pivot!)

    WILD Forum auditorium full

    June 2018

    WILD launches the first Women in Global Development Leadership Forum welcoming 100 organizations in the Greater Washington DC area.

    It’s the first ever large-scale event focused on elevating the importance of investing in female professionals working in the global development sector.

    Financial support for the event comes from development organizations headquartered in the US, including ACDI VOCA, DAI and FHI 360, and we have speakers from organizations such as USAID, IFC, Vital Voices and Save the Children.

    The demand for participation far exceeded the capacity of our venue. The energy of the women and men who were there felt like it was lifting the roof! More content on intersectionality, greater participation from men, and more on what organizations could and should be doing to elevate leadership opportunities for everyone, gave WILD future direction for where we could innovate to enable actors in the global development sector to have an even greater positive impact.

    Women of color advised us that for WILD’s work to be meaningful, we must go beyond gender parity and directly address intersectionality. We used the outcomes of this event to inform the broader WILD community and lay the foundation for future programming that would develop leaders and organizations that support diversity, equity and inclusion.

    October 2018

    WILD hosts an event in Washington DC for women of color working in the global development sector.

    In response to requests from participants at the WILD Forum to hear more from speakers about the intersectional experience of being both a woman and a person of color in the global development sector, WILD organizes an event where those who identify as women of color can candidly share their experiences and what they want for themselves, their organizations and the sector.

    June 2019

    375 participants representing 150 organizations from 15 countries attend the second Women in Global Development Leadership Forum with many companies organizing delegations of 10 or more people.

    The focus is on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, and each presenter is asked to take an intersectional approach to their session, considering race, gender, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender and age.

    People flew to our second WILD Forum from 15 countries, and we actively sought male speakers and more male participants because meaningful change around gender equity needs men to be involved. In the closing session one senior leader stood up and said she was bringing her all-male executive team to the next forum.

    Covid put the brakes on our plans for the third annual in-person WILD Forum. We responded with a focused online series aimed at supporting global development leaders and the broader community to deal with the challenges they were facing due to Covid-19.

    May 2020

    1,200 people from 30 countries participate in the online series ‘Leadership in a Time of Crises’.

    July 2020

    Launch of the online WILD Learning Hub to make quality content on leadership development and creating inclusive organizations available to leaders at all stages in their careers.

    The video library provides free access to some of the most well-received sessions at previous WILD Forums and covers topics ranging from how to refine and expand leadership skills to tools and approaches for creating inclusive company cultures.

    At this point we had a valuable library of leaders in and outside the global development sector offering concrete and transferable learning – it was time for WILD to move into asynchronous learning.

    WILD made a ‘Covid pivot’ and went online. This transformed the WILD Forum into a truly global event. The perspectives and experiences we could learn from multiplied. The two consistent messages we received from participants were that they wanted to come together as a global community and that they wanted access to leadership development opportunities tailored for their experience and career stage. This deeper understanding of our customers needs informed our experimentation in 2021.

    November 2020

    900 women and men from 54 countries participate
    in the first virtual Women in Global Development Leadership Forum.

    By moving to a digital platform the number of participants in the WILD Forum almost tripled, while the number of countries represented increased by 260%.

    November 2020

    Launch of the WILD Global Leadership Coaching Program for Women in Development – 35 women from 20 organizations in 15 countries begin six-month 1:1 leadership coaching engagements.

    It had become clear at our first WILD Forum that women in the development sector lacked access to leadership coaching that those in the corporate sector enjoy. In response, we launched our Global Women’s Leadership Coaching Program in partnership with the not-for-profit arm of the world’s largest association of certified coaches.

    January 2021

    11 organizations take part in WILD’s Manager Essentials Course.

    This short, online course is designed to address the gap in leadership development resources within the global development sector, especially for new managers.

    March 2021

    WILD partners with 3 other organizations to develop and launch the Benchmarking Race, Inclusion, and Diversity in Global Engagement (BRIDGE) survey.

    This first ever survey to determine EDI baselines for US-based development and humanitarian organizations is disseminated to nearly 400 organizations. The results are a powerful tool for individual and collective action towards creating a more equitable industry.

    Being part of BRIDGE, which aimed to understand the current state of diversity, equity, and inclusion across US-based organizations in the international development and humanitarian sector was a good fit for WILD and our mission.

    April 2021

    17 organizations participate in the WILD Women of Color: Advance your Career Program.

    This program launches in response to feedback received at the 2020 WILD Forum that US-based women of color would benefit from developing networks and sharing experiences with other women of color working in this white-dominated sector.

    April 2021

    The WILD Network collaborates with over 30 other US-based organizations working in international development to create the Coalition for Racial and Ethnic Equity in Development (CREED), and launch the Racial & Ethnic Equity Pledge.

    Within a year of launch, more than 65 organizations sign the pledge which aims to create practical and quantifiable standards for advancing racial and ethnic equity in US organizations and strengthening racial and ethnic equity in the international development and humanitarian assistance sector.

    The value the online chat added to the Forum was unexpected – participants commented on the ease with which they were able to connect and hear wide-ranging perspectives on all the topics. It went beyond being a way to ask questions and increased accessibility, inclusivity and learning for anyone wanting to engage.

    May 2021

    915+ people from 265+ organizations and 120 countries participate in the 4th WILD Forum.

    June 2021

    55 women from 44 different organizations start the six-month WILD Leadership Coaching Program.

    September 2021

    Launch of ‘Leadership FailLab’ – an online event to normalize and encourage learning from failure.

    Inviting women to share their experiences of failure and what they learnt from the process was such a popular session at the WILD Forum, that we hosted a free-to-attend, standalone event to increase its reach.

    October 2021

    9 new organizations participate in WILD’s second Women of Color: Advance your Career Program.

    December 2021

    21 women from 12 organizations embark on the six-month WILD Global Leadership Coaching Program for Women in Development.

    March 2022

    The WILD Leadership Coaching Program receives a Prism Award from the ICF’s Toronto Chapter for the reach and impact it has had.

    April 2022

    WILD launches the WILD Network Leadership Attributes Framework, a self-assessment tool to aid professionals in assessing and developing their leadership skills.

    May 2022

    1300+ people from 400+ organizations in 125+ countries take part in the fifth Women in Global Development Leadership Forum.

    New at this year’s WILD Forum are the Community Conversation roundtables, designed to provide a platform for even more speakers and perspectives – 38 in total – from across the global development sector.

    May 2022

    Launch of MentorMatch at the 2022 Women in Global Development Leadership Forum.

    All registrants are asked to signal in their bios if they are ‘Open to mentoring’– 15% of participants indicate they are willing to mentor others.

    June 2022

    60 women embark on the six-month WILD Leadership Coaching Program.

    In two short years this program has served 230 Women from 100 Organizations in 55 countries. That’s USD 2.3 million worth of leadership coaching services provided to leaders tackling the world’s toughest problems!

    October 2022

    30 women from 10 countries embark on the WILD Global Leaders Coaching Program. This is our 8th cohort.

    October 2022

    Fourth cohort of WILD’s Women of Color: Advance your Career Program gets underway with participants from Southern Africa and the USA.

    April 2023

    WILD hosts 4x pre-WILD Forum skill-building workshops

    May 2023

    The sixth annual 2023 Women in Global Development Leadership Forum takes place virtually over two days. Servicing 1,300 leaders from 100 countries.

    Wonderful event, amazing topics, great speakers, well-organized and executed, thought-provoking, and hugely DIVERSE. What more could we ask for? Thank you!

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