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Advancing Women’s Leadership and Championing Equality


IWF Ireland's mission is advancing leadership across all sectors, supporting the next generation of women leaders, and offering each other friendship and enriching exchanges.

We are part of the invitation-only International Women's Forum membership organisation of more than 8,000 diverse and accomplished women from 33 countries on six continents.

IWF Ireland is an organisation that fosters women's leadership across a wide range of sectors, and is affiliated to the worldwide International Women's Forum.


The story of the International Women’s Forum began when Elinor “Elly” Guggenheimer – chair of the New York City Planning Commission – went to a meeting in Philadelphia. When she arrived, she was told that the only women allowed in the building were waitresses and maids. Determined to participate, Elly found a maid’s uniform, put it on and took her rightful place at the table. At that moment, she knew something had to change.

In 1974, Elly established the organisation that grew to become IWF. She had three partners in this endeavour: Muriel Siebert, the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange; Eleanor Holmes Norton, now Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives representing the District of Columbia; and Muriel Fox, one of the first female public relations executives and founder of NOW.

Their stated goal: “Bring together women of diverse accomplishments and provide them with a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences.”

At the time, women were just beginning to break into the highest levels of leadership. One woman ascended the Fortune 500 list with the first female CEO as another woman was about to scale Mount Everest.

Today, we are those CEOs and mountain climbers. We are Nobel Laureates and sports legends; entrepreneurs and film stars; astronauts, prime ministers and presidents.

We support the emerging leaders of tomorrow who will achieve breakthroughs that cannot yet be imagined.

After nearly 50 years, we continue to bring together the world’s most high-achieving women. We connect and promote almost 8,000 leaders across 33 countries around the world. We are truly global.

A glimpse of a past event



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