Certificate program aims to empower female professionals

Women comprise 44% of the overall labor force among S&P 500 companies, but hold just 25% of executive and senior-level positions and represent only 6% of CEOs. Even the most experienced, capable women can struggle to rise to leadership positions.

To empower accomplished professional women to reach their full potentials, Cornell has launched the Executive Women in Leadership certificate program. Available online through eCornell, this certificate program equips participants with the tools to identify and reduce the gender bias and power dynamics in their own organizations, and to bring greater parity to workplace culture.

Deborah Streeter

“Research shows that when both women and men think of a leader, they think of a man,” said faculty co-author Deborah Streeter, the Bruce F. Failing Sr. Professor of Personal Enterprise at Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business. “This certificate program allows learners to create a personalized action plan using recommended strategies to understand the gendered environments in which they are operating and then navigate the most effective path to leadership, status, and power in their organization.”

Susan Fleming

Women leaders in mid- to senior-level positions, women who hold or are interested in seeking board positions, women entrepreneurs and founders, and male leaders seeking to better understand gender dynamics in their organizations will find value in this program. Participants will refine their executive presence to improve interactions with people at higher levels, improve their approach to negotiations, explore the strategies needed to develop a strong professional network, and assess the core competencies needed for board membership.

“In order to become a senior leader, an individual must first be perceived as one,” said Susan S. Fleming, faculty co-author, executive educator and former senior lecturer at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and the Johnson Graduate School of Management. “This requires demonstrating myriad skills such as being an effective negotiator, a visionary, and an excellent networker, as well as personal characteristics such as gravitas, authenticity and the right mix of authority and warmth.”

Once participants complete the program, they will be better-positioned to navigate institutional dynamics and achieve higher levels of leadership. Courses include: Power and Gender Dynamics; Developing Executive Presence for Women Leaders; Gender Bias and Negotiation Strategies; The Network Effect; and Decoding the Gender Gap in Board Membership.

Upon successful completion of all five courses, learners earn an Executive Women in Leadership Certificate from Cornell SC Johnson, 40 professional development hours and four Continuing Education Units.

Media Contact

Rebecca Valli