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About Us

Across the Globe, We Are United in Our Dedication to Inspiring Women to Become Leaders

Our Story

Inspired Women Lead grew out of Bonnie Fatio’s conviction that women are the world’s change catalysts. She had a vision of a world of peace, collaboration and understanding where each person is valued and respected for their uniqueness. For this to come true she envisioned women leading in all areas of society, around the globe. 

To act on this vision, Bonnie Fatio founded Inspired Women Lead in June 2016. She crafted a unique peer-to-peer mentoring program starting with 10 women from 9 countries on 4 continents. In turn, each woman then mentored another woman. Since then, a fast-growing number of Inspired Women Lead’s alumnae are changing the world – so far in 85 countries, and on every continent.

In September 2017 Bonnie Fatio was joined by Andrea Oostenrijk, Annette Ebbinghaus, Geraldine Ang, Laetitia Fatio Gaillard and Margherita Brodbeck Roth to become the Charter Members of the Inspired Women Lead Association. Since then, more inspired leaders have come on-board IWL to continue and solidify the legacy of these imaginative women and founders.

Bonnie Fatio has been frequently recognized for her contributions to empower women globally. She was celebrated with the WIN Global “Inspiring Women Worldwide” award for “opening new paths and improving the confidence of senior women, mentoring young ones and bringing an innovative voice to the space of women’s leadership.” The International Alliance for Women “World of Difference” award was given to her in recognition of her outstanding contribution in “making all the difference in the world” to the economic empowerment of women. Female Wave of Change honored her with the “Accelerating the Change Process and Re-Creating the Future” award.

Bonnie Fatio founder of Inspired Women Lead

Executive Council

Brought together by the shared desire to empower women globally, Independent Women Lead’s Executive Committee is focused on the future.

Bonnie Fatio

Bonnie Fatio

Executive Council Member, President
Advocacy

Geneva, Switzerland

I think of myself as a change catalyst. For 30 years I have worked closely with women around the globe. Women everywhere are catalysts to create positive transformation of families, communities, and our planet. My mission is to help women use their unique strengths as authentic feminine leaders where they are, to lead changes that benefit all people.

It is inspiring to see someone act on her dream, especially when that dream benefits others.

Born and educated in the United States, I met my Swiss husband while in university and moved to Geneva, Switzerland where I neither spoke the language nor understood the culture. Despite this, Geneva offered opportunities to prepare me for creating Inspired Women Lead.

It began with helping to launch the first daycare center in Geneva, then serving on homes for elders, education advisory councils, as an elected City Council Woman, and civic organization leader. I assisted efforts to have more women reach professional positions at the United Nations in Geneva and served on an advisory council to the High Commissioner for Refugees.

As Global Ambassador of Women’s Leadership of the World YWCA (girl’s empowerment) and International Board member of ECLOF (making fair credit accessible), I witnessed how women transform communities at the grassroots worldwide. I sat with women on mats in the slums, grandmothers in huts, and girls in the fields as my sisters.

Women are the promise of the future. It is why Inspired Women Lead is so important to me. Women need the courage to step forward in greater numbers at all levels and lead with feminine values. Only then will we positively transform the world into one of peace where each person can thrive and contribute.

Renée van der Burg

Renée van der Burg

Executive Council Member
Onboarding and Engagement

Hertogenbosch, Holland

My role as global HR Leader in international high-tech companies, I have experienced many times what it is to be the one who “stands out” and at the same time needs to “fit in” to make the impact I was looking for. That impact has always been getting the best out of people, teams, and the organization, so talent management, leadership development and creating engagement and change were my focus.

After returning from my assignment in Singapore in 2016, I took some time to redefine what would be next for me. And with much reflection, many conversations, additional training, including the IWL mentoring journey, I concluded that I wanted to continue what I liked best in my corporate life, with a clearer focus and in a different environment.

So, I now run my own consultancy on career and leadership development and I am Board member in several organizations, with a particular focus on empowering women. I have joined Inspired Women Lead, because I want to inspire and empower women to step into their authentic feminine leadership. Women have all that it takes to make meaningful changes in their lives and in the world around them using their feminine values, energy and leadership and the IWL mentoring brings out all of that!

As Board member for Onboarding & Engagement, I take care of the inflow of new women in the program every cycle and of matching mentee/mentor pairs according to the IWL values. I love the connections with so many interesting and inspiring women across the globe!

I am happily married, a proud mother of two grown children, and a long-term dog lover! In my free time I love to travel, read, listen to music, cook, sing, draw mandalas, work out and meditate.

My dream is to have masculine and feminine values and qualities used and appreciated equally across communities and organizations, since this will lead to a world with more respect, compassion and stability.

Elsa Ferreira

Elsa Ferreira

Executive Council Member
Legal and Finance

Geneva, Switzerland

People matter most to me. Since my childhood, born and raised in Portugal, and then in Switzerland, I was always fascinated by humans. My academic choices supported this interest (M.A. in International Relations and in Southeast Asian Studies); as well as my professional career, which always included human interactions in a variety of facets. I learned several languages and lived in four countries, across three continents. Multilingual and multicultural, I observed more similarities than differences among us. Any one of us can be a source of amazing inspiration, support and power to another.

We humans are all interconnected and mirror each other, in our strengths and in our weaknesses. If we support each other, we all have the potential to become a higher version of ourselves and realize our dreams.

Presently Senior Logistics Manager at the Geneva Graduate Institute, I have a background in banking and civic leadership. I was involved with IWL since the beginning, as mentee in June 2016, and then mentored several other women in the program. I helped to organize the 1st Global Reunion 2019, in Geneva, where many of us met in person for the first time. I am honored to contribute again to IWL as an alumna and fully aligned with its greater vision.

Natalie Haigh

Natalie Haigh

Executive Council Member
Technology and Innovation

Southampton, United Kingdom

I believe in the power of personal growth and individual potential. I think we have so much potential as humans and women, but we don’t always have the support or confidence to activate and leverage our greatness. IWL and its work with female leaders can have a positive impact on our world by creating a better connected, kinder, and more accepting world.

I have worked in technology for over 20 years, in corporate, as an entrepreneur, and now as a freelancer. I’ve been a business mentor and a startup coach. I primarily work in the technology sector because I love people and I want to find the right blend of automation and personal skills to achieve the best outcomes for society.

I am the Technology and Innovation Lead at IWL, where I have the privilege of helping to grow our influence and strengthen our program. In my spare time, I enjoy rock climbing, tennis, fitness, performing arts, making handbags, running local community projects, teaching young people map reading, and spending time with my husband and our adorable cockapoo.

In 2019, I experienced a physical and mental illness that required me to give up my job, my company, and move back to the UK. It has taken me nearly four years to process this incident and regain my confidence. My values are authenticity, supporting creativity, and building communities.

Anouke Kluiters

Executive Council Member
Alumnae and Community

Soest, Netherlands

My passion for personal growth and curiosity why humans act as they do, made me change the course of my life several times.Working and living with all walks of life showed me that despite differences in beliefs, gender or background, everyone wants to be seen for who they are. Streeter or president. Maid or queen. With our natural ability to bind, I believe women play a key role in creating harmonious communities, where people are valued and respected for who they are and what they do.

I grew up in an art family. Because the theaterworld lured, I left art school early. I became an entertainer and make up artist which gave me an exiting life for many years. At the age of 33  my son was born and I made a radical change to become a full-time mother. The ungoing search for my purpose in life brought me many jobs, new studies in personal growth & health, and two divorces. In 2017 I allowed myself to pursue my mission. With a desire to inspire people around the world to reconnect with their heart & inner light through art, I founded Embrace of Love.

Life has shown me many ways to take on leadership as a woman. Being a high school principal of my fellow students, leading a group of make-up artists at a theater company, managing a household as a mother and wife, becoming an entrepreneur. I learned that true leadership is not about whether you have studied or have a high position in society. It is about being confident of your unique talents and traits, becoming a positive example to those around you

In 2017, I joined a Dutch organization for women entrepreneurs and led one of the groups for a year. This sparked my interest in guiding women to become the best version of themselves. In 2018, I joined IWL. Since then, it has become a source of inspiration and sisterhood  to me for which I am very grateful.

The Alumnae Community offers a sense of belonging and continuity, and the opportunity for all alumnae to stay connected, well beyond the 12-month program. Together, the beauty of Inspired Women Lead can be harnessed, by sharing ideas, promoting leadership, inspiring, and motivating both personal and professional growth as authentic feminine leaders.

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Christina Bracken

Executive Council Member
Communication and Marketing

Florida, USA

Growing up in Germany, then living and working in the US and all over Asia for many years heightened my sense of adventure and my outlook on what’s possible and achievable. Paying forward what my experiences afforded me is a strong motivation to work with Inspired Women Lead to help grow and broaden the organization’s reach.

An invitation and the need for more sunshine in my life inspired me to join a friend and sail across the Atlantic. After 23 days at sea, more sailing, and a short stay in Miami, I decided to move continents and make Miami my new home.

My background in marketing and design lead me to start several businesses, first in India, then back in the US. Working in the highly male dominated international footwear industry for over twenty years, taught me much about the perception and the challenges of women in the workforce worldwide, from basic laborer to top level executive.

Citizens Don’t Have Term Limits. When I became a US citizen in 2014, I was surprised by the emotional effect it had on me. After the sale of my company, I founded GoVoteMiami in 2015 to impact civic engagement in my community and beyond. GVM offers tools and materials to individuals, organizations and agencies to get eligible voters Election Ready.

Inspired Women Lead. Since 2019 I have been an IWL mentor and now become a board member of Inspired Women Lead – one of many incredible ways to channel women into leadership roles and act as change catalysts in their own communities and lives.

Our Mission

At Inspired Women Lead, we empower individuals, organizations, communities, and society to cultivate a peaceful world by nurturing existing and emerging women leaders around the world with cross-cultural mentoring in authentic feminine leadership

Our Values

Inspiring women is our fundamental aspiration and the power behind our sustainable growth and ever-increasing impact on bettering the world.

Unconditional Acceptance We are a multicultural and inclusive community, a safe haven where every woman is free to express herself – just as she is.

Authentic Leadership We foster and encourage an authentic and sustainable female leadership style through personal mentoring, one woman at a time.

Feminine Expression We spark the transformative power of feminine leadership and promote the feminine value as a valid complement to the masculine.

Change Catalyst We ignite the vision of each woman to light up communities and society as a whole for lasting positive change.

Our Approach

Our world needs a new form of leadership.

It is time for authentic, feminine leadership, defined by our unique qualities, skills and experiences.  

At Inspired Women Lead, we empower individuals, organizations, communities, and society to cultivate a peaceful world by nurturing existing and emerging women leaders around the world with cross-cultural mentoring in authentic feminine leadership

Connect globally with authentic feminine innovators passionate to make a difference, gain confidence, and explore ways to step into greater leadership roles.

For Partners: in order to make this program available to women in your organization, please contact our program coordinator

As individual applicant, begin your journey here.

IWL mentoring is for the women who seek to be...

You have a fire within you to make a positive difference at home and beyond.

You seek to increase your self confidence as a leader.

You want to express your ideas and opinions effectively, and to be heard.

You desire the support to accept greater leadership roles.

You seek meaningful connections with other women leaders globally.

You are comfortable communicating in English and have reliable access to the internet.

The Magic of Mentoring

Your overall commitment is for 12 months: six months of being mentored and six months of mentoring a woman from a different country, culture and life experience. Each month’s time commitment consists of two 45-minute sessions with your mentee/mentor plus a 75-minute group call.

Begin Your Journey

You’re the investment! You pledge your time and commitment, corporations underwrite the experience. Click Begin Your Journey to complete the questionnaire. When the application has been submitted, we will contact you for an interview.

Match With a Mentor

Once selected, you are matched with a mentor who comes from a different world experience than your own. She will be your mentor during the first six months.

The Mentee Process

Mentees commit to two 45-minute sessions a month, plus a 75-minute group call. The monthly group call allows you to meet others in the program, and to become part of a global network. For mentees, these calls facilitate discussions around a monthly theme and lay the foundation for the next.

Become a Mentor

During the second six-month period, you will become the mentor to another woman. Our carefully curated monthly mentor training sessions will prepare you to become a confident guide for your future mentee. You are supported and trained throughout the program by a team of Inspired Women Leaders.

The Mentor Process

Mentors commit to meeting with mentees for 2 sessions a month and are required to participate in the monthly mentor training group call. As a mentor, your monthly call is mentor training for the following month.

Alumnae Journey

Once you successfully complete the 12 months IWL mentoring program you are invited to join an elite sisterhood of alumnae from 80+ countries. This is your invitation to transform the world one woman at a time.