SALT LAKE CITY (May 12, 2018) On Thursday, 40 businesses and organizations accepted the ElevateHer challenge to elevate women in the workplace, bringing the total number of business taking the challenge to 200 since the Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) first created the challenge in 2015.  

“We value diversity on our team and already know the value female perspectives bring to our leadership teams,” said Tyson Smith, CEO of Reading Horizons, a company in Kaysville, Utah, dedicated to perfecting a reading system for new and struggling readers. “We look forward to working with the Women’s Leadership Institute to make sure we continue to elevate women in areas in addition to senior leadership.”

The ElevateHER Challenge consists of six key areas of focus for businesses: including women in senior leadership, adding women to boards, retention rates of women, monitoring the gender pay gap, mentorship programs and encouraging women to run for political office.

“We’ve made sure the EleveateHER Challenge is non-prescriptive and is adaptable among different company cultures,” says Patricia Jones, CEO of WLI. “With research behind these six areas, we’ve seen how implementing this challenge can attract and retain talent and even enhance ROI.”

Dr. Gary Lowder is head of admissions for the University of Utah School of Dentistry, which has participated in the ElevateHER Challenge since 2015. Over the past year alone, Dr. Lowder says the school has increased female admission by 30 percent, bringing their class of 2022 to 48 percent female 24 of their 50 incoming students are women.

“We know that the future of dentistry can include strong women,” explained Dr. Lowder. “It’s exciting to see positive improvements in admissions. These changes start with recruiting and took a willing effort.”

Utah businesses and organizations new to the ElevateHER Challenge include:

  • 1-800 Contacts
  • 97th Floor
  • Ballard Spahr, LLP
  • Betterment Labs, LLC
  • Brand Aid, Inc.
  • Brier & Moss
  • Brigham Young University
  • Cedar City Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Cents of Style, LLC
  • Chatbooks
  • Cicero
  • City Journals
  • Congressman Jon Curtis
  • Cotopaxi
  • Davinci Virtual Office Solutions
  • Dental Select
  • Domo
  • Dyno Nobel
  • Economic Development Corporation of Utah
  • Education Direction
  • ExpertVoice
  • Hale Centre Theatre
  • Jacques & Associates
  • Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute
  • KNS International
  • Navitus Sustainable Industries
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Park City Community Foundation
  • Pluralsight
  • Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.
  • Reading Horizons
  • RS International Business Consulting, LLC
  • Sparkki Education Blockchain
  • Spherion Professional Services Group
  • The Blueberry Hill
  • The First Tee of Utah
  • The Salt Lake Tribune
  • Utah Clean Energy
  • Utah Valley Chamber
  • Young Living Essential Oils
  • YWCA Utah

For a complete list of all 200 organizations and businesses as well as past participants, please visit


The Women’s Leadership Institute was founded in 2015 under the direction of CEO Patricia Jones. Its mission is to elevate the stature of women’s leadership in Utah in both business and politics. WLI began its ElevateHER Challenge in May of 2015.