The history of the formation of the EPIC Corporate Challenge finds its roots in two organizations – Nexus Executive Women’s Alliance and Iowa Women Lead Change. These two organizations possessed similar goals, and through partnership and collaboration, joined together to grow and retain women in leadership positions in business.
As a result, the EPIC Corporate Challenge was formed, creating Iowa’s first public-private partnership to spur Iowa companies to formally commit to grow and retain women at all levels of business.
With its launch in March 2016, Iowa became the second state in the nation to bring together government – including Iowa’s Office of the Governor and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor – private businesses and non-profit organizations dedicated to working on the vital issues of recruiting, retaining, and promoting women in the workforce.
The Nexus Executive Women’s Alliance publishes the Nexus Index, data regarding gender bias in pay status and barriers that prevent Iowa women from advancing.
2012 – 2015
IWLC and partnering organizations publish the first of six studies on women’s leadership in sectors across Iowa, leading to the conclusion that work needs to be done to grow and retain women leaders in Iowa. View the research.
With invitation and support from Iowa's Governor, Lt. Governor, Iowa Workforce Development, and the Iowa Economic Development Authority, The EPIC Corporate Challenge was launched statewide in March 2016.
EPIC hosts the second-annual EPIC Corporate Challenge Annual Meeting and for the first time gives awards for outstanding achievement to:
- Pinnacle: Rockwell Collins
- Champion of Change: Mark Polking, Transamerica
- Most Innovative: Pella Women's Connections Moxie Program
- EPIC Engagement Public Sector: Iowa National Guard
- EPIC Engagement <500 Employees: Delta Dental of Iowa
- EPIC Engagement >500 Employees: UFG
Jeff Russell, Delta Dental of Iowa, and Tiffany O'Donnell, Women Lead Change, are named EPIC co-chairs. EPIC 2.0 strategic plan is developed to increase awareness across Iowa and beyond. EPIC now boasts 101 member companies.
Diane Ramsey, Women Lead Change Co-Founder