The Chicago Defender’s Women of Excellence Awards celebrates local African American women who inspire others through their vision and leadership, exceptional achievements, and participation in community service. They are women who exemplify extraordinary stature, poise and grace. These women do it all while maintaining the delicate balance of filling the roles of helpmate, mother, teacher and professional. Each event attracts nearly 1,000 accomplished tastemakers, influencers, executives, heroines, and decision-makers.

In 2023 the 16th year, we will induct a new class of honorees who are champions of economic empowerment and diversity, backbone of religious and educational organizations, and driving forces in politics and community service into the exclusive society of professional women who have previously received the distinction of Women of Excellence.

Please nominate women who you believe are deserving of this award based on the nominating criteria listed below.

Nomination criteria:

  • African American executive, business leader, community leader, influencer, accomplished professional
  • Proven success within her profession or industry
  • Positive role model whose contributions encourage others
  • Active in community service or organizational involvement

Nominations Are Now Closed


Are you ready to engage your brand with Chicago’s largest community of professional and influential women and their network? Opportunities to promote and advertise your business, amplify your message, and engage thousands of metro Chicagoans are now available. Receive more information on how you can become an official sponsor of the 2023 Women of Excellence Ceremony by calling Dyanna Knight Lewis at 312-225-3766.

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