Gov. Branstad signs proclamation in support of women in leadership

Jun 13, 2016


Diane Ramsey

Diane Ramsey is the Chief Executive Officer of Iowa Women Lead Change (IWLC). Under her stewardship, IWLC transitioned from a grassroots-driven once-a-year event to a statewide 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to advance women’s leadership development and excellence.

On June 13, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad issued a proclamation in support of The EPIC Corporate Challenge, a public-private statewide partnership in support of women in leadership. With the proclamation, the Governor will acknowledge that the continued growth of Iowa’s economy depends on the cultivation of diverse talent in the workforce.

In partnership with Governor Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa Women Lead Change (IWLC), the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and the Iowa Department of Workforce Development, The EPIC Corporate Challenge is an initiative that brings together Iowa businesses to formally commit to grow and retain women at all levels of company leadership, creating a unique community of organizations working collectively on the vital issues of recruiting, maintaining, and promoting women in the workforce. The EPIC Corporate Challenge officially launched on March 31 with opening ceremonies in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids.

“Iowa has an opportunity to continue its unparalleled growth by unlocking the potential of all our talents and this is particularly true for women-owned businesses, women in leadership, women on corporate boards and women in elected office,” said Branstad. “Companies that achieve diversity in their management and on their corporate boards attain better financial results, on average, than other companies.”

Hy Vee, Inc., Delta Dental, and Rockwell Collins serve as Presenting Sponsors of The EPIC Corporate Challenge. “Many of the state’s largest and most influential employers have signed on to send a clear message that they are serious about advancing women in their workforce,” said Diane Ramsey, CEO of IWLC. As of today, 33 Iowa businesses have joined as EPIC member organizations.

Organizations that commit to the challenge commit to three things: 

  1. The Chief Education Officer (CEO) must agree to participate
  2. Assign one person, with direct access to the CEO, to oversee the EPIC Corporate Challenge
  3. Commit to track and report at least one of the suggested areas

 Companies that sign on to be EPIC Corporate Challenge partners will commit to set voluntary measurable goals in at least one of the following areas:

  • Actively recruit women to fill open positions at all levels of the organization, in order to increase the percentage of women in the company’s workforce, including women in non-traditional roles
  • Increase the retention rate of women at all levels of the organization
  • Increase the percentage of women among the top 10% of the company’s senior positions
  • Increase the number of women on the board of directors
  • Monitor pay by gender and address such gaps as are discovered

More information on the EPIC Corporate Challenge, as well as information on how organizations can get involved can be found at