The Institute for Inclusive Leadership

With the recent formation of the Institute for Inclusive Leadership, Simmons has made an investment in ensuring that equity in leadership is a reality in our lifetime. The core expertise of the Institute lives in the space between what has traditionally been the domain of Diversity & Inclusion, and what has traditionally been the domain of Leadership Development. In collaboration with select partners, The Institute for Inclusive Leadership at Simmons University will be the global authority on the intersection of leadership, equity, and inclusion – with an emphasis on achieving gender parity in organizational leadership.

Established May 1, 2019
First Managing Director,
Susan MacKenty Brady,
author | speaker | leadership expert

Institute Offerings

Simmons Leadership Conference
Boston, MA

Rich History:
2020 marks 41 consecutive years in running

Big Impact:
more than 100,000 women have attended; 4,000 delegates each year for the past 10 years

95% of attendees recommend the conference to a friend or colleague; 97% would attend again

International Simmons Leadership Conference

2016 at the request of global clients EMC/DELL Technologies, Cisco & Liberty Mutual Insurance

500+ delegates each year; total 2,200 since inception

99% of attendees would attend again

Simmons conferences are known for bringing the inspiring and diverse stories of the world’s highest-impact women to the stage to ignite the leader within each of us; some past speakers include: Madeline Albright, Maya Angelou, Christiane Amanpour, Benazir Bhutto, Cherie Booth Blair, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Geena Davis, Viola Davis, America Ferrera, Geraldine Ferraro, Carly Fiorina, Rana Foroohar, Marta Fox, Julia Gillard, Whoopie Goldberg, Donna Karan, Billie Jean King, Sallie Krawcheck, Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, Denise Morrison, Queen Noor, Michelle Obama, Janet Reno, Jehan Sadat, Zainab Salbi, Diane von Furstenberg, Meg Whitman, Oprah Winfrey, and many more.

Executive Education and Center for Gender in Organization

  • Customized Leadership Development Journeys, drawing on 20+ content modules on various core leadership topics (e.g: mentoring, networking, visioning, gender & leadership, etc.)
    • For the development of women leaders
    • For the development of allied leaders & developing cultures of inclusion
  • Flagship experiential program: Strategic Leadership for Women
  • E-learning partner to imbed leading-edge digital solutions for custom learning journeys
  • A Distinguished Scholars Speakers Series

Sampling of current and former executive education, conference, and CGO clients and partners: Acacia, Accenture, Airbnb, Barings, Bayer, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Cisco, Carnegie Corporation, Dell, Eaton Vance, Ernst & Young, Fidelity, Ford Foundation, Hewlett Packard, Iron Mountain, Liberty Mutual, Merck, Mercury Systems, NASA, Oracle, Oxfam America, Parexel, Philips, Rice University, State Street, Tiffany & co, Vertex, Zoetis

Institute Expertise & Capabilities

Simmons is uniquely qualified to formulate game-changing professional initiatives aimed at developing and advancing women leaders. We combine the power of our own content, program architecture, digital learning, and delivery expertise with the flexibility to bring in any partner necessary to craft the best solution.


As professional architects of high-impact leadership journeys, Simmons faculty and Institute team members understand learning design and how to build a multifaceted educational experience beginning with the end in mind. Harnessing the brilliance of many diverse perspectives and creating the right learning journey with the right elements is what we do best.


Simmons has a broad and deep array of modular content on topics of highest import to developing women leaders and advancing mindset and action for equity in leadership. All of the Simmons content has what we call a “gender lens”, which allows for the realities women experience on the path to leadership to be explicitly addressed and discussed in a safe and productive manner. Our topical content expertise includes customizable modules aimed at 1) supporting the development of women to step into their full potential and 2) developing the awareness of all leaders to think and act inclusively.


Simmons draws not just on our own expert faculty, but also a highly skilled and vetted cadre of global leadership practitioners and subject matter experts. With known and tested relationships, our bench of talent allows Simmons to tap the best resources for the job, both in the US and globally.


As a nonprofit educational institution, Simmons has the flexibility and capability to partner with the most forward-thinking solution providers in the world. We successfully play “general contractor” and can manage the design and management of the “whole” while knowledgeably selecting partners that can serve in the learning journey in ways Simmons content and faculty might not. Most important: Simmons is uniquely able to discern high-quality content and delivery and to guide our trusted partners in the development of a seamless solution.


Simmons has a proven track record with well over 1,000 online students. We have developed deeply effective online learning best practices – geared toward an adult learner. We also have the processes to support the learner, faculty, and the technology platform. We provide a unified environment that encompasses asynchronous and synchronous learning, team collaboration spaces, and best practices in multimedia engaged experiences to support learning.


With its 40+ year history of producing mega-events in the space of women’s leadership, Simmons has the depth and know-how to produce large-scale, high-impact conferences and convenings.