The Wisconsin Women's Network Policy Institute

The Wisconsin Women’s Network Policy Institute provides hands-on leadership, communications, and policy advocacy training to a select group of Wisconsin women every year. Our Policy Institute aims to grow the number of Wisconsin women who have the confidence, skills, and strategic know-how to successfully engage in their local and statewide communities on policy issues that matter to Wisconsin women and girls.

Through a series of two-day retreats, participants are organized into teams and assigned a specific policy advocacy topic that affects women today. Through specific training provided to the group, Institute participants form the skills to develop, drive, and advocate for their policy, arming them with all the necessary skills for the future.

Expert Speakers

  • Former Republican Senate Majority Leader Mary Panzer

  • Angela Russell, Director of Diversity & Inclusion at CUNA Mutual Group

  • Darcy Luoma, President of Darcy Luoma Coaching & Consulting

  • Naomi Takahashi, Race and Gender Equity Manager

  • Helen Marks Dicks, State Issues Advocacy Director at AARP Wisconsin 

  • Sara Finger, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health

  • Media Panel: Bridgit Bowden (Wisconsin Public Radio), Gwyn Guenther (The Wheeler Report), Dee Hall (Center for Investigative Journalism), Maureen McCollum (Wisconsin Public Radio), and Jessie Opoien (Capital Times)  

Policy Topics


  • Emergency assistance and homelessness prevention 
  • Lead poisoning mitigation 
  • Dating violence curriculum for WI schools
  • Medicaid coverage for Doula care
  • WI Well Women Program 


  • Address confidentiality program for victims of sexual assault (PASSED INTO LAW LAST YEAR!)
  • Homestead tax credit, making housing affordable for low-moderate income residents
  • Breastfeeding accommodations in the workplace
  • Access to local, healthy food options for Wisconsin residents




The 2016-17 participants visited to the Capitol where they met with 31 legislative offices and dropped off their policy issue one-pagers at another 37 offices. A great day of advocating for women and girls in the state capitol!


The 2015-16 participants visited offices in the capitol to advocate on behalf of the Address Confidentiality bill ending in a bipartisan group 18 senators and 41 representatives signing on as co-authors, the eventual passing of the bill, and the creation of an Address Confidentiality Program in Wisconsin. 

bio pic.jpg


"I am involved with the Wisconsin Women's Network because WWN's Policy Institute is a shining example of women empowering women, a unique and powerful program that gives women the skills they need to tackle real problems in their communities and in Wisconsin."



"I have gained so many friendships, sisters and connections! I am forever grateful to the Wisconsin Women's Network Policy Institute for believing in women and investing in them, and for opening the door for a girl who didn't even know there was a damn hallway..."



"More than anything, the Institute has taught me that the policy world is accessible to me. I am able to, as a citizen, go  be influential in any given issue, that i don't need any special credentials. that's the message I'm going to pass along to friends: you can learn it, you can do it."