An Economic Development Initiative in Northeast Florida

Take action to address identified gender gaps in leadership and help more women succeed both personally and professionally.

An Economic Development Initiative in Northeast Florida

Take action to address identified gender gaps in leadership and help more women succeed both personally and professionally.

Northeast Florida’s Call To Action

In order to remain competitive and lead in economic development and job growth, Northeast Florida businesses must be more reflective of the community they serve and the talent they employ. Diversity on corporate boards and executive-level roles remains below other state averages and well below the 50 percent target level.

What the Data Says

Elevate Women leverages a groundbreaking study titled The Status of Women in Northeast Florida: Strengthening the Pipeline for Women’s Advancement to Leadership by The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (2019). This study brought to light that women are preparing for advancement to leadership positions but are not transitioning into them at the same rates as men.

Women in Northeast Florida earn $0.77 for every dollar a man earns, which is lower than the U.S. average

Florida ranks 45th in the U.S. for women in managerial and professional roles

Women make up only 22.4% of board members of 22 major corporations in Northeast Florida


For the Jacksonville region to be known nationally as a place where women can succeed both personally and professionally.

Our Mission

  • Bring awareness to action that diversity at the decision maker level is a business & economic imperative
  • Ensure all women are represented
  • Create viable and sustainable pathways to leadership for women
  • Strengthen leadership pipeline & grow next generation bench
“The only way to have the best possible talent pool for companies who are invested and growing in our community is to ensure everyone has access to the opportunities. As a business community, we can and will do better.”
Past Chairwoman, JAX Chamber, Former Market President, Truist Bank

Proven Benefits of Diverse Leadership

  • Women tend to be better at organic growth and innovative initiatives providing more sustainable results. They tend to limit riskier merger & acquisitions which has shown to be a positive trend for shareholders & stakeholders
  • Female executives challenge the status quo and are less likely to focus on tradition, fundamentally increasing others’ receptiveness to change. As more women are appointed, organizations are more open-minded, making them adaptable and nimble
  • The top 25 percent of companies within their national industry groups had 33 percent higher profitability than bottom-quartile companies, and 21 percent higher if gender diverse

Mckinsey & Company, Delivering through Diversity Report, 2020

Why Board Diversity Matters

Internal Growth & Innovation vs M&A Risk
Adaptable & Nimble vs Change Avoidance
Profitability & ROI 33%+ Racial Diverse, 21%+ Gender Diverse

A Way Forward

Elevate Women is committed to making Northeast Florida a leader in the professional progression of women to both the C-suite and the board room. Our partners work with us to:

Bring Women Forward

Identify and recommend women who have the capacity and capability for corporate board service & executive level roles

Access a Diverse Executive Talent Pool

Tap into our high caliber executive talent network for executive opportunities

Drive Executive Development Partnerships

Elevate women into executive leadership within our own business community through collaborative partnerships

Elevate Women strategically partners with forward thinking organizations who want to balance opportunities in executive or senior leadership and create internal succession structures for female talent.

Our Objectives

Identify & understand the barriers for women achieving executive level and corporate board roles

Educate the community and bring awareness of the benefits of women in leadership

Create a pipeline of qualified women leaders and support system for future leadership roles

Recruit & mentor high potential women leaders

Provide sustainable programs and community resources to support and elevate women

Secure funding, sponsorship and/or investor programs for women business owners

Encourage & promote women to lead in all aspects of our community

Our Current Priorities

Creating awareness that leadership diversity is a business and economic imperative

Establishing executive mentor/sponsor programs for candidates and/or creating partnerships to proven leadership programs

Building an executive women’s network, bringing female C-suite leaders together to broaden relationships and stay abreast of opportunities

Collaborating with key community stakeholders to facilitate broader diversity and promote female talent

Connecting with executive search firms and executive recruiters to be informed of executive leadership positions and provide high-caliber women for these roles