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Empowering Women in Leadership

We encourage the advancement of women in the workplace. Women In Leadership Empowerment and Diversity (WLEAD) was established in 2015 with the mission to accelerate the advancement of women in the workplace at Alaska Communications.

The WLEAD team, with support from company leadership, actively works to improve gender diversity, and encourage professional development and advancement of women at Alaska Communications through career coaching, mentorships and developing career paths.

icon depicting an illustration of 3 women standing side by side

The WLEAD Program Mission and Goals

Alaska Communications and all companies are stronger and more competitive with a diverse workforce. In 2015, the WLEAD program began to discuss and determine how to address gender diversity and encourage the professional development and advancement of women at Alaska Communications.

With every great program comes goals and objectives. While the WLEAD team is constantly expanding and growing its core values, it all began with these five objectives:

  1. Improve Alaska Communications' ability to attract, develop, promote and retain women, particularly in technical fields.
  2. Understand and articulate the unique challenges facing women in the workplace.
  3. Implement training to help employees learn how to identify and counteract gender bias.
  4. Enhance women's professional growth through mentorships, providing information on career coaching, career paths and role models.
  5. Cultivate company-wide leadership competencies that reflect Alaska Communications' values.

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Training and Mentorship

Gender Bias Training
Unconscious bias—everyone has it. But that doesn’t make us bad; it makes us human. While we cannot completely rid ourselves of unconscious bias, we can learn how to recognize it and lessen its impact in the workplace. These are skills that everyone can learn.

Inclusion Insights by ParadigmIQ
Sharing strategies, tools, and research aimed at building stronger, more inclusive organizations.
Empowering women and closing the gender leadership gap are imperative for companies that want to perform at the highest level. That’s where Lean In comes in. Our programming helps women connect with peers and organizations to counteract gender bias. As a result, our partners report that more women are taking the lead.

Outline of woman facing the new day


AEDC 2019 Economic Forecast
AEDC expects Anchorage employment to trend up slightly in 2019, with a net increase of 300 jobs. While this employment forecast reflects some optimism for 2019, the state’s $1.6 billion budget deficit looms large.

Susan Colantuono
Why you should listen: Susan Colantuono is the CEO of Leading Women, a management consulting firm that empowers women. Colantuono works to uncover hidden gender bias and to help managers and executives think more deeply about the role gender plays in the workplace. She is the author of No Ceiling, No Walls: What women haven't been told about leadership, which takes a close look at the conventional wisdom keeping women from rising from middle management.

What Works for Women at Work -
Learn how to spot gender bias - and hear successful women' strategies for navigating it.
By Joan C. Williams, Distinguished professor of law at the University of California, Hastings College of Law and co-author of "What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know"

Why do ambitious women have flat heads?
Dame Stephanie Shirley is the most successful tech entrepreneur you never heard of. In the 1960s, she founded a pioneering all-woman software company in the UK, which was ultimately valued at $3 billion, making millionaires of 70 of her team members. In this frank and often hilarious talk, she explains why she went by “Steve,” how she upended the expectations of the time, and shares some sure-fire ways to identify ambitious women.

Portrait of young female professional

Reading Room

A Study Used Sensors to Show
That Men and Women Are Treated Differently at Work

By Stephen Turban, Laura Freeman, and Ben Waber

Can You Afford to Ignore Me?
How to Manage Gender and Cultural Differences at Work

By Elisabet Rodriguez Dennehy

Challenge, Develop and Include for Positive Change
By Kathleen Redmond

Girl Scouts of America - Infants at Work
By Beth Wood Shelton

How to Fight Gender Bias
Breaking through Bias co-author Andie Kramer shares her tips. Women in business contend with subtle — and not so subtle — gender bias every day. As we work together to confront and change those attitudes, we also recognize that’s a long-term journey. In fact, those of us who have been around for a few decades are often astounded by the battles still being fought in 2016. In the meantime, real women have to navigate real challenges on a daily basis.

How Women Decide
By Therese Huston

Lagarde Watches For Dark Clouds On The Economic Horizon
Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, suggesting the world would be a very different place if women played more leading roles in banking.

Lean In
In response to Sheryl’s 2010 TEDTalk on the ways women are held back—and the way we hold ourselves back—viewers around the world shared their own stories of struggle and success. This overwhelming response inspired Sheryl to write this book. In Lean In, she shares her personal stories, uses research to shine a light on gender differences, and offers practical advice to help women achieve their goals. The book challenges us to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what we can do, and serves as a rallying cry for us to work together to create a more equal world. Excerpted from the Lean In website. For more information, visit

Woman balancing on one foot

News & Insights about Closing the Leadership Gender Gap
Male Allies in STEM: How to Recognize Them & How to Become One

Quotas are a terrible way to promote board diversity. Companies should do this instead.
By Joel Peterson

Stop apologizing all the time - say this instead
By Vivian Manning-Schaffel

The 49th state ranks first when it comes to women entrepreneurs
By Matt Jardin, UAA Office of University Advancement

The Loudest Duck: Moving Beyond Diversity while Embracing Differences to Achieve Success at Work
The Loudest Duck dives into the many aspects of diversity in the ever-expanding, increasingly global workplace. Through practical stories, cultural anecdotes and personal experiences, Laura Liswood explains how to ensure a fair and level playing field for anyone working his or her way up the ladder in this new corporate world order.

The Role of Leadership in Addressing Bias in the Workplace
By Jim Barnett

Women in Company Leadership Tied to Stronger Profits
Companies pondering the incentives for increased gender diversity in their executive ranks may need to look no further than their bottom line.