Strong Women Action Network, a project of The Advocacy Fund, combines multiple layers of activities and support strategies to achieve a diverse and inclusive society that supports women’s leadership styles and women’s impact on society. Our purpose is to support and connect women of diverse economic and multicultural backgrounds at all levels of government, corporations, academia, civic groups and non-profit organizations so they can achieve more power and increase the influence and impact of women in our culture and society.

Women in Positions of Power

In 2012 a group of women experts in leadership development asked the questions – why are there not enough women in positions of power? We embarked on a three-year assessment and research project to identify the challenges and barriers for women to achieve positions of power. The findings, across age, geography and economic backgrounds, can be grouped in five areas:

  • Organizational cultures and policies that do not value and promote women’s leadership styles
  • Lack of safe and supportive spaces to develop personal and professional plans in their geography after attending leadership retreats and professional development sessions
  • Limited access to other women outside their professional, economic and issue areas and beyond their community silos
  • No infrastructure focused on supporting women across age, ethnicity, economic status, and profession with the purpose of achieving and keeping positions of power
  • Lack of a geographical network where women are intentional and persistent in connecting, developing and promoting the next generation of women leaders

Strong Women Action Network is addressing these challenges through six program areas:

  • Group and Individual Coaching Sessions
  • Regional Professional Development Trainings and State Retreats
  • Circles of support at the state level
  • Gender and racial focused diversity and inclusion assessment and technical assistance to government institutions, corporations, academia, civic groups and nonprofit organizations
  • Corporate, foundation, organizational and donor-sponsored programs
  • Support coalitions and alliances that connect diverse cultures, religious beliefs, and spiritual practices to create common ground and build bridges through respect, inclusion, and compassion

For information on our programs please go to the program tab and click on the specific program.

Strategic Plan 2018 to 2028

  • Support and nurture a nationwide network of women who want to increase their power to have an impact on our society.
  • Connect women leaders to each other across age, professions, ethnicities, religious beliefs and economic status
  • Develop, promote and connect the next generation of women leaders
  • Create environments where women feel supported and use their collective power to move into action and impact policies, culture and society.
  • Provide diversity and inclusion technical assistance and training to organizations and government institutions to address gender and racial systemic and structural barriers for women to achieve positions of power.
  • Implement an organizational structure that is flexible, reflects our values, addresses the needs of our target population and has enough resources to achieve our goals.

How do we measure success?

By December 2028 Strong Women Action Network will:
  • Provide coaching, resources, training, safe spaces and track the impact and professional/personal achievements of 2600 women leaders
  • Coordinate Circles of Support in 50 states
  • Be sustainable at the regional and state levels
  • Address gender and racial systemic and structural barriers in 10 institutions

How will we achieve these goals?

  • 1500 women will participate in group coaching sessions, regional professional development trainings or state retreats where they will develop personal and professional plans, access support, learn new skills and connect to networks across the country (150 women a year for 10 years = 1500)
  • 1000 women will coordinate and support the creation of Circles of Support at the State Level (5 states a year for 10 years 20 women per state = 1000)
  • 100 women will receive individual coaching (10 women a year for 10 years = 100)
  • 10 organizations, coalitions or government entities will participate in diversity and inclusion assessment and technical assistance in order to address internal and external gender and racial barriers for women, specifically women of color, to achieve positions of power (1 a year for 10 years)

For more information on how you or your organization can support our programs click here.


In order to achieve our goals, Strong Women Action Network is organized into seven regions. We want to build collective power to address gender and racial structural and systemic barriers so women can have a bigger impact in our society. We believe creating power at the local level is crucial for long-term impact. The projects in each region will be guided and supported by women leaders who represent the states within the regions.

Together We Can Achieve Change

Between September 2016 and March 2017 Founding Council members moved into action:

  • Two women ran for local office and won in Arizona and California
  • One woman left her job and started a new home care organization after receiving coaching from SWAN in Arizona
  • One woman published her 1st book and worked with a participant from CA to promote and launch her marketing campaign in Ohio
  • One woman did her 1st public speaking presentation as a lawyer in Arizona
  • One woman did her first press event in defense of Muslims and in favor of making Phoenix a sanctuary city in Arizona
  • One woman engaged in GOTV for the first time in California
  • One woman worked on her first political campaign and her candidate won in Arizona
  • One woman, with the support of other SWAN participants, went back to school in Ohio
  • One woman was promoted at work after receiving coaching through SWAN in Ohio
  • One woman seeded the 1st Chapter of SWAN in Phoenix with a meeting of 20 diverse women on February 13, 2017. One of the women present decided to run for the open Arizona US Senate seat in 2018

Guiding Principles

Our programs and strategies are guided by values that reflect women’s leadership styles:

Questions? Please click here for more information.