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AcornOak Summer Leadership Awards

Join us in recognizing the exceptional leadership and contributions of women through the AcornOak 2024 Summer Leadership Awards. 

Celebrating Women's

Transformative Impact

Lead boldly, Break Barriers 


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Welcome to Leadership ACCESS

Empowering Aspiring Female Executives

At AcornOak, we're combining our community extraordinary skills of fractional executive women to create a unique and unparalleled program.


While coaching and Advising are common in the industry, our goal is to innovate and introduce a unique offering for today's economy. 


Our mission is to celebrate the unique and powerful ways women lead, authentically and unapologetically, shaping not just their fields but the very concept of leadership in today’s world. 


These awards are a testament to the idea that true leadership embodies feminine qualities of compassion, collaboration, and community, moving us toward a future where gender balance is not just a goal but a reality.

The Breakthrough Award 

This award honors a woman who has broken free from the constraints society puts on women who lead.  She has overcome obstacles to lead authentically in a role or industry that has been traditionally unexpected or even unavailable to women.  Her ability to bring her own unique approach to leading serves as a model for other women who seek to break barriers.

The Collective Brilliance Award 

This award honors a leaders’ unique ability to strengthen affiliations for the better of the whole.  Leaders who privilege their relationships are able to cultivate deeper and more meaningful connections with all of their stakeholders: employees, colleagues, vendors, customers, communities, etc. They reach across boundaries to build webs of support and influence that elevate the collective and open new pathways for shared success.

The Heartfelt Leader Award 

Women have been forced to lead with only half of their power.  Their innate feminine gifts (empathy, caring, intuition, sensitivity, emotional intelligence, grace) are too often dismissed or demeaned in the workplace.  This award celebrates women who combine these gifts with their strength, determination, fierceness, and power to lead authentically. 

The Visionary Award

Historically, women have not been considered visionary, and this view persists even today.  We argue that this is an artifact of women's preference to co-create a collective vision. The result is a vision that is inclusive and collective rather than heroic and individualistic.  These leaders cultivate vision by inviting others to join in the process and to contribute their passion in search of even greater impact.

Awards Categories

Four Awards

That Recognize Excellence

Together, let's reshape the narrative and support a more inclusive, compassionate, and collaborative approach to leading in today's complex world.


The AcornOak Summer Leadership Awards aim to redefine leadership norms by emphasizing the integration of feminine qualities into leadership styles. Recognizing the challenges women face within patriarchal structures, the awards encourage a balanced approach, merging feminine traits with traditional leadership, fostering a more inclusive and effective leadership paradigm. 


This initiative reflects a commitment to enriching leadership diversity, moving beyond gendered norms towards a holistic and inclusive model of leadership excellence.


Let's walk together towards a future where every woman’s leadership journey is recognized and celebrated.

Celebrating the power of feminine leadership

Red Lips




Your nomination can help shine a light on the achievements of women who are making a difference, leading with authenticity, and inspiring those around them to strive for a world with greater gender balance and inclusivity.

Fill out this form to nominate a leader who inspires you or put forward your name to be considered for one of these prestigious awards. 


  • Accepting nominations until July 15th.

  • Voting and deliberation from AcornOak Members from July 15th to August 15th.

  • Announcing Awards August 15th

  • September Awards Ceremony



Follow The Stories of The Winners.


Award recipients will be celebrated with a unique blend of recognitions:

  • Their professional achievements and contributions are featured on a special page at AcornOak, including biographies and links to their companies and on social media

  • Winners are spotlighted in our esteemed Power newsletter. 

  • They have the opportunity to share their insights and stories as guest speakers at our exclusive community events.

2024 AcornOak Leadership Awards

Help us highlight those

leading the way to a more inclusive future.

Awards Descriptions

Click below to read

  • The Breakthrough Award celebrates individuals who break barriers and daringly challenge the status quo and the absurdities that have long been accepted in leadership norms. It honors those who question the outdated belief that leadership has a masculine face, dispels myths about women's vision and emotional intelligence, and rejects the notion that business isn't personal. 


    This award recognizes the courage it takes to break free from the constraints of traditional leadership models that advocate for control and militaristic strategies, urging a shift towards compassion, connection, and genuine care as core leadership values. It applauds those who have managed to "unlearn" the ingrained languages of power and perfection, encouraging a journey towards authenticity, and vulnerability, and shedding the layers of self-doubt and societal pretensions. 


    By highlighting the importance of feminine sensibilities such as affiliation, relationship-building, and nurturing, the "Barrier Breaker" award underscores the transformative power of leaders who not only excel in their fields but also pave the way for a more inclusive, empathetic, and holistic approach to leadership.

  • The Collective Brilliance Award shines a spotlight on collaborative leaders who embrace the complexity of leadership beyond the traditional heroic and binary narratives. It celebrates those who thrive in the gray areas, recognizing the multifaceted nature of decision-making and the importance of integrating nuances in leadership approaches. 


    This award honors leaders who excel in sensing the subtle dynamics within their teams and organizations. They understand that leadership is not about rigidly adhering to a 'right' or 'wrong' path but about exploring the diverse perspectives that each team member brings to the table. 


    These leaders are adept at feeling the rhythms of their environment, discerning the right timing for actions, and respecting individuals' personal connections to their work. They view tensions not as obstacles to be dominated but as opportunities to uncover valuable insights, fostering a culture where dialogue and mutual respect prevail over confrontation. By valuing the 'kaleidoscope' over the 'laser focus,' these leaders acknowledge that complex problems often require multifaceted solutions rather than a singular viewpoint. 


    The "Collective Brilliance" award recognizes the strength in flexibility, the wisdom in inclusivity, and the power of a leadership style that harnesses the collective intelligence and sensitivities of the entire team to navigate the intricate realities of the modern workplace.

  • The The Heartfelt Leader Award is dedicated to compassionate leaders who recognize and honor the deeper, often overlooked aspects of our work and business environments. This award acknowledges those who see beyond the traditional patriarchal and hierarchical models, understanding that the energetic and aesthetic dimensions of our workplaces have profound impacts on our collective well-being and creativity. It celebrates leaders who appreciate the significance of beauty in our surroundings, the spaces we inhabit, and the environments we create for one another, recognizing these elements as essential to fostering a nurturing and productive work culture.


    This accolade honors the sacredness of bringing people together, acknowledging that employees invest their life's energy into their work, and this commitment should not only be respected but also leveraged in a way that honors their contribution. It challenges the dismissive attitudes that undervalue ideas and encourages leaders to aim for transformative, moonshot goals that shift paradigms and create new, better realities.


    Moreover, the "Heartfelt Leader" award applauds those who cultivate an ethos of abundance within organizations, challenging the zero-sum game of resource allocation that breeds scarcity and competition. It recognizes leaders who understand that there is, indeed, enough to go around and that by fostering an environment of generosity and support, everyone can thrive. 


    This award is for those visionaries who have made a significant impact by transforming the fabric of their organizations into spaces of collaboration, innovation, and mutual respect, setting a powerful example of what compassionate leadership can achieve.

  • The Visionary Award seeks to redefine and honor the concept of visionary leadership, particularly celebrating the unique approach women often take in this realm. Traditional perceptions of visionary leaders often paint a picture of a singular, charismatic figure proclaiming a bold future—a figure much like Elon Musk, who stands alone at the forefront of innovation. However, this award recognizes that visionary leadership can manifest through collaboration and community.


    It celebrates women who, rather than positioning themselves as the sole source of answers, engage in bringing people together to collectively forge a path forward. These leaders understand the power of co-creation, fostering an environment where everyone is invited to contribute their ideas and energies toward a shared vision. This approach does not dilute the visionary's role but amplifies it by weaving a richer, more inclusive tapestry of possibilities and perspectives.


    The "Visionary" award acknowledges that true visionaries are those who can ignite passion and commitment towards a goal that matters deeply, not just to themselves but to the entire community they lead. It's about harnessing the collective power to inspire and drive meaningful change. 


    This award seeks to highlight and celebrate the strength of collaborative vision, proving that when women lead by creating space for collective dreaming and doing, the potential for impact is boundless.


Celebrate the extraordinary contributions of women in leadership. 

Nominate a woman leader today

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The greater the number of women nominated, the bigger the impact we can make.

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