Thanks to studies by organizations such as Dow Jones, McKinsey & Company, and Catalyst, it’s now common knowledge that companies with multiple women serving in senior leadership positions outperform those with minimal female leadership. So why are women not better represented in senior leadership positions? As women’s career and leadership expert Emily Bennington argues in her new book, Who Says It’s a Man’s World, we can’t cough up the disparity in numbers to an ambition gap. And as Sheryl Sandberg sagely reports in her bestseller, Lean In, the reasons go beyond institutional barriers. Whether the answer is that women lack the confidence and competence to self-advocate for themselves, we overestimate the barriers to leadership, or we fail to cultivate relationships with the mentors and sponsors necessary to champion our promotion, organizations with an eye-towards sustained profitability have an opportunity and responsibility to invest in one of their greatest assets — their female human capital. Enter Influencer Academy.

  • Dow Jones: For its 2012 report, “Women at the Wheel,” Dow Jones conducted a study of venture-backed companies and concluded that companies have a greater chance of either going public, operating profitably, or being sold for more money than they’ve raised when they have females acting as founders, board members, C-level officers, vice presidents, and/or directors.
  • McKinsey & Company: Companies with three or more women in top management positions achieve higher scores for each criterion of organizational effectiveness than do companies with no women at the top.
  • For Catalyst: Companies with the most women board directors outperformed those with the least on return on sales by 16 percent and return on invested capital by 26 percent. In addition, companies with sustained high representation of women—three or more women board directors in at least four of five years—significantly outperformed those with no women board directors.

Why Women Only

Women and girls excel in single-sex educational environments. Some of our nation’s most profitable organizations such as Colgate-Palmolive, American Express, Wal-Mart, and Deloitte are investing in women-specific leadership development as a pathway for growing more internal leadership. It’s worth noting that 30 percent of BusinessWeek’s list of corporate rising stars in America graduated from all-women’s colleges and universities. Approximately 33 percent of female board members of Fortune 1000 companies and 20 percent of women serving in Congress are also products of single-sex higher education. When given learning opportunities to talk about their unique fears, experiences, and aspirations as well as to develop and try out the real-world behaviors linked to the results they seek to create, women thrive. As an external leadership development experience, Influencer Academy provides high-potential women a safe environment to take off their masks and be transparent about the real and self-imposed challenges they experience, compile best practices from women in other industries and contexts, be bold in pursuit of sharpening leadership skills, and discover specific opportunities for yielding more influence.


Lex SpeakingWhy Alexia

As the graduate of an all-girls’ middle and high school, a women’s studies undergraduate and graduate student at University of Nevada Las Vegas and New York University, and a former women’s studies professor, I have experienced firsthand the magic of what happens when passionate, purpose-driven women have an educational space to develop their voices and skills. Throughout my career, I have been invested in empowering emerging through senior leaders to awaken to and sustain their highest career and workplace performance. Through my Step Into Your Moxie platform, I design and deliver programs for women across industries and sectors to speak with confidence and competence. Hailed a “Moxie Maven” by the White House Office of Public Engagement, my work has been featured on the White House blog, landed me on/in media such as CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal, Women’s Health magazine, European Business Review,,, and on stage at the United Nations speaking during the Commission on the Status of Women. I am the author of two books, including 90 Days 90 Ways: Onboard Young Professionals to Peak Performance, and I am a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Council (YEC), an invite only organization comprised of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.


Why Las Vegas

Las Vegas is one of the world’s top business and travel destinations with approximately 40 million visitors per year. While we are renowned as an international gaming capital, we have a lot of other industries and resources we are proud of. We are home to Switch and the SuperNAP, Zappos, the Ultimate Fighting Championship®, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases, and the Nevada Test and Training Range — the largest air and ground space for peacetime military operations in the free world.

Our downtown is also a hotbed of exciting business and community redevelopment. Through the joint efforts of private investors and local government, Downtown Las Vegas has recently birthed several dozen new tech startups, multiple co-working spaces, Symphony Park and the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, a new LEED certified City Hall, an assortment of restaurants, bars, and cultural venues, and a variety of speaker series featuring national thought leaders and community members giving TED-like talks.

Another asset is our University of Nevada Las Vegas, the 12th most popular national university according to US News & World Report. Among its crowning achievements are the world-class UNLV Business Startup Center and Center for Entrepreneurship, groundbreaking research programs in such areas as IT, cybersecurity, and solar and renewable energies, as well as the nation’s premier hotel and hospitality college.

Las Vegas is also home to McCarran International Airport, the 8th largest airport in the nation. Participants can easily fly in after work the evening before Influencer Academy sessions or, if traveling from within the Southwest, West Coast, or Rocky Mountains, the morning of. Influencer Academy sessions will end promptly at 5PM allowing participants outside of the Las Vegas Valley to fly home the same evening.

Whether you are applying to participate in Influencer Academy as an individual, seeking sponsorship from your organization, or are a company looking to sponsor one or more of your women, even if traveling from outside of the metropolitan Las Vegas area participation is a fraction of the cost of other executive and leadership development programs. Applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Apply Now

Influencer Academy is going on the road. If you have 12 or more women in your organization you would like to put through the Influencer Academy experience, contact to learn more about bringing this one-of-a-kind women’s professional development experience to your city.

Questions? Email us at