Women Lead MSP

Problem Statement:

Women of diverse racial, socioeconomic and professional sector backgrounds are often under-represented and do not always have the relevant space and opportunities to connect and foster a thriving ecosystem for women’s success and leadership.

Target Group:

Women of diverse racial, socioeconomic and professional sector backgrounds from Minneapolis and St Paul.

Proposed Solution:

WomenLeadMSP ( is a project of the Minneapolis Global Shapers. The Minneapolis Global Shapers are a bridge between those who lead change and those who wish to; we are a bridge between those whose voices are powerful and those whose voices are under-represented. As Shapers and as friends, we put people first and use our collective strengths to complement each other’s efforts to create positive, sustainable systems change.

WomenLeadMSP creates intentional space to connect and builds bridges across sectors and experiences to foster a thriving ecosystem for women’s success and leadership in the Minneapolis-St. Paul community.

Hub Activities:

WomenLeadMSP has and continues to strive to be an inclusive community that celebrates strength through diversity. Both the organizing committee and event attendees represent women of diverse racial, socioeconomic and professional sector backgrounds. We purposefully keep our event registration costs at a minimum and offer scholarships to those women who express need to be as inclusive as possible. In marketing the event we leverage connections to women’s groups organized across a range of racial, religious and industry lines. Further, we seek to partner with organizations in the community that support social justice and inclusion, such as Lucky Chango Coffee and Eat for Equity (past event partners).

We want participants to leave the event having come to a new understanding of their abilities and potential. Through asking targeted questions about identity, leadership and ambition we want to help attendees sort through how they can continue to pursue self growth and what that can be translated into through their work and relationships. Another key takeaway from the event should be a shift from the “be good” to the “get better” mindset (i.e. growth mindset). This framing of ability and potential supports a lifetime of continuous self reflection and growth. We also hope that attendees will come to understand that they are not alone in their challenges, perceived weaknesses and ambitions. Through small group conversation and connections with other participants they will see they share these experiences and are working on themselves as part of a much larger community. Ultimately the event should impart a recognition of strength and ability, empowerment. By making themselves vulnerable and reflecting deeply in community, while there is work to be done, there should also be a recognition of both accomplishments and the ability to tackle future challenges. 

Short & Long-Term Goals/Results:

We will be able to witness these goals coming to fruition through self-organized communities of WomenLeadMSP participants (which has become a norm from past events), continued support and participation in WomenLeadMSP programming, and captured quantitatively in our regular post-event survey.

As we continue to build the WomenLeadMSP community, each event deepens existing relationships and creates new bonds. The WomenLeadMSP gathering events are intended to be a shared experience for participants which is a catalyst for authentic, organic connections to form. The safe space that WomenLeadMSP intentionally fosters allows for these relationships to be built on a foundation of trust and honesty. This translates into friendship, professional connections and new collaborations.

Available Metrics:

We have hosted 6 events (and counting!) over the years, with 500+ women/trans/non-binary folks participating in our different events and community.