Thomson Reuters leaders identified a problem almost a decade ago: there were too few women in the technology practice and of the women that were there, even fewer held leadership positions. To address the issue, Thomson Reuters partnered with organizations like AnitaB.org, formerly known as the Anita Borg Institute, and sought the advice of Susan Davis-Ali, a business executive and founder of Leadhership1.

Among the outcomes of their collaboration was the development of the Thomson Reuters Leadhership1 initiative, a six-month virtual leadership development program designed for emerging female talent. Program participants engage both independently and collectively with the curriculum, following weekly online coaching modules on their own and coming together monthly to discuss leadership topics within a team.

Initially focused on technologists, Thomson Reuters expanded the program to include women in roles across the organization. The most recent cohort included 10 teams of approximately 15 peers, reaching 150 total participants.

Thomson Reuters introduced a mentor enhancement element to the program this year, helping to connect current participants to leaders across the organization. Leaders and participants work together over a period of 6 months, beginning as mentors/mentees, with the overall goal of sponsorship, as their relationships form.

Nearly 11 years after the program began, 1,000 women across Thomson Reuters have participated in it, and it has helped the company strengthen gender equality in the workplace.

On Aug. 25, Thomson Reuters leaders and program participants will be part of the Minnesota Technology Association (MnTech)’s Fireside Chat: Advancing Women Leaders in Tech. Their discussion will focus on the importance of supporting women in technology and improving gender equality in the workplace.

MnTech President and CEO Jeff Tollefson will moderate the discussion. Panelists include:

  • Rick King, executive vice president of Operations, Thomson Reuters
  • Sarah Menke Vanasek, vice president of Leadership Development, Thomson Reuters
  • Kalika Dennis, senior risk analyst and Leadhership1 participant, Thomson Reuters
  • Susan Davis-Ali, founder and president, Leadhership1

Register for the one-hour chat, which begins at 1 p.m. (Central) on Aug. 25.

To learn more about efforts at Thomson Reuters to advance women’s careers, read MnTech’s column.