Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation is proud to announce that we have made it to the next step in the “Equality Can’t Wait Challenge” as we work to accelerate the pace of progress for all women to be in positions to make decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives – because equality can’t wait. This notion has been at the core of our organization since day one.

Not familiar with this competitive grant opportunity that will award $40 million to help expand women’s power and influence in the United States by 2030? You can learn more at our YouTube Channel. View our 90 second video that will inform you of the opportunity and our approach toward finding solutions.  Learn more about our plans for our Next Level LeadHERship Program.

When this opportunity came along, it reinforced that Greater Missouri is positioned to assist with political empowerment, economic participation and opportunity, and graduating women in influential sectors. The organization’s research shows that there are essential sectors that have an outsized impact on society. By creating entry points and consistent support for women to advance within industries such as 1) public office, 2) tech, 3) academia, 4) media and entertainment, 5) finance, and 6) entrepreneurship, we can take important steps to expand women’s power and influence. It just takes a new way of looking for transformative solutions and with new funding it is feasible to grow off of our 30 plus years of foundational work.  COVID-19 has magnified structural inequities that disproportionately affect women but also opened the door for Greater Missouri to build community even when we can’t meet in person. And we have learned so much over the past year that we can change the status quo by expanding opportunities for our alumnae to increase their power and influence.

As a valid applicant, we are now evaluating peer submissions, providing scores and comments. The top-scoring applicants will move forward to a review by the evaluation panel. Up to 10 finalists will be selected to work with an expert team to strengthen their proposals and to have a chance to win a grant of a minimum of $10 million in the summer of 2021. While we know this is a long-shot, the application process has been helpful to our Board of Directors as we evaluate our strategic goals for the future – even if we are not selected from the more that 5,000 applicants that are believed to have been submitted.

Before we began our peer review, we were encouraged to view a short video on implicit bias. The video is succinct and helps to put reviewers in a good mindset. We think the message is so good that we will be reviewing this again before we make final decisions on the class selections for the cohort to be in the Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge Class of 2021. Our board embraced the transformative power of diversity and inclusion at the beginning of the year and we have adopted inclusion practices in which different groups or individuals having different backgrounds like origin, age, race and ethnicity, religion, gender, household income, sexual orientation and identity, geography and industry are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed while being equally treated.

Do you have a prospective woman leader that you would like to nominate to be in a future class? We encourage you to submit names and contact details of high-potential professional women for four three-day sessions of a Challenge Class of 2021 by sending an email to with your nomination. At the same time, your prospect can complete the application here.

These new Class of 2021 Challengers will join those who are able to repeat our last 3 sessions from the Class of 2020. They must complete the application process by November 27th  to be considered for the next year. The Board will select a limited group of new leaders during a special December board meeting and all notifications for the Class of 2021 will go out by year’s end.

Upon successful completion of the program these Challengers will be empowered women to grow in incredible ways through their LeadHERship journey. They will join a network committed to supporting each other and be in positions to make decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives in their homes, workplaces, and communities. Help us find a diverse group of others who will accept the challenge too and submit your support letter or nomination now!