Leadership Institute

The NeedThe Role of NOBEL WomenF.A.Q.Application

The NOBEL Women Leadership Training and Educational Development Institute “The Institute” is a highly intense year long program designed to help participants develop the expertise to become the leaders, strategists, and lead executives within their respective industries.

The first NOBEL Women Leadership Institute was held in 2002. Today, more than 200 graduates are putting the political and executive leadership skills they developed to work. Through a competitive process, NOBEL Women accepts and critiques hundreds of applications. No less than 25 Black women will be selected to participate in this unique year long leadership experience at a time.

Fellows will explore each component of successful campaign execution and as well as receive training on how to successfully attain board appointments and other executive leadership roles. Fellows will conduct successful candidate and issue campaigns or lead public and private sector policy work.

This non-partisan educational program is offered yearly and in consist of quarterly in person training sessions. Accepted applicants participate in a comprehensive curriculum developed and led by outstanding facilitators who help students learn proven strategies and develop skills that are critical to a success role procurement, including:

  • How to develop a winning strategy
  • How to develop and execute a successful campaign plan,
  • How to develop and lead an effective staff and volunteer team,  How to develop and communicate effective messages,
  • How to build a successful fundraising strategy,
  • How to take advantage of the latest technology,
  • How to establish a winning presence,
  • Importance of taking initiative,
  • How mentoring helps, and
  • Going from expert to advocate

Our approach to leadership development is highly-interactive. For example, all participants will engage in simulated campaigns and board meetings throughout the program. They will fulfill specific (campaign and executive) team roles, and compete simulations of an electoral campaign as well pitch senior executives of a Fortune 500 company on their latest groundbreaking idea.


Throughout our history, the United States has relied on the innovative spirit of its most dedicated citizens to meet the challenges confronting our families, the community and the nation. That dedicated citizenry often has been comprised of strong enterprising Black women. As an organization representing over 240 Black elected legislative women, as well as an increasing number of women in appointed positions, both political and corporate, we know that Black women are making strides unlike ever before.

While we have witnessed a steady increase in the growth of women participating in the political process and in corporate leadership, since the late 80s, we must not lose sight of the implications that term limitations and redistricting have an adverse impact the electoral process and a lack of diversity in executive leadership still are issues of concern.

In a 2013, Huffington Post article, The Limits of Leaning In, authors Jan Diehm and Katy Hall, captured in an infographic many disturbing truths that exist for women looking to climb the corporate ladder. 1
The two exposed, that despite the wave of women throughout the country who were making efforts to “Lean In”2, men still held majority of the top leadership positions in much of Corporate America.
Within a 35 year (1975-2010) span, the number of women awarded college degrees increased by 58.7%, while the women serving in Congress only rose to 18.3% and the number of women who headed Fortune 500 companies was a dismisal 4.3%.

Studies show that both men and women possess a desire to advance to the next level in the workplace yet, if presented with the opportunity to advance, only 18% of women would choose to do so. 3
According to the Center for Talent Innovation, women in the United States make up only 34% of what they refer to as the “marzipan layer”. 4

The Center for Worklife Policy, reports that most women are stuck at midlevel “staff” roles, while their male counterparts are “fast tracked” to a career in corporate leadership.

With stats like these for women in general, one can only imagine what alarming numbers exists for women of color. The Center of American Progress reports, that women of color is a growing demographic comprising 36.3% of the entire female population and 18.4% of the total United States population. With such significant growth patterns, you would expect the living conditions of women to be much better, yet, with a wealth gap of approximately -$108.00/week it is not surprising to find that 25.6% of Black women, 25% Hispanic women and 26.4% of Native American women live in poverty.

In recent years, the number of women enrolled in college has surpassed men by 16%; the number of Fortune 500s with female CEOs has nearly doubled and as a result companies are seeing high returns on their sales, equity and invested capital.


At the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women (NOBEL Women) we know that when given the adequate resources and opportunity, the possibilities of women are great. Given that most women, particulary Black women, are the sole breadwinners of their families, we understand the need for women to make an equitable wage, receive fair and just benefits and be in a position to properly provide for their families. We have dedicated the second half of our operating year to reinstituting the NOBEL Women Leadership Training and Educational Development Institute, which will aid us in fulfilling our mission to train an educated, equipped and experienced workforce of Black women leaders.

Recognizing the evolution of the role of the Black woman in the workplace, the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women is committed to identifying, educating, cultivating and elevating that next generation of Black women leaders. It is just as important that we create a culture of succession to ensure that there are no gaps or lapse in smart, effective, efficient leadership.

The NOBEL Women Leadership Training and Educational Development Institute is one of the signature programs of the organization. Since its inception in 2002, the Institute has achieved national prominence and is heralded as a premiere educational forum that provides leadership, public policy and campaign training to prepare Black women to run for public office, seek board appointments and advance in careers in the public, corporate and community sector.

To achieve the pinnacle of excellence for the Institute, NOBEL Women partners and engages the elite experts in the fields of public policy, leadership and political arena to develop an innovative and challenging curriculum that equips these women for the next level in their careers. In addition, NOBEL Women seeks to engage their organizational partners by inviting them to serve as facilitators and mentors to the “fellows” that are accepted into the program.