Women in Leadership: Dual Program for Rising Leaders and Their Managers

This joint program invites emerging women in leadership and their senior leaders within an organization to attend intensive sessions meant to foster leadership, professional growth, and gender equity in the workplace.

Organizations thrive and out-perform their competitors when they have greater gender equality and a strong pipeline of diverse talent to tap into. This unique leadership program is designed to help companies reach these goals.

The curriculum develops high-potential leaders at multiple levels with the skills to advance their own careers and to promote diversity in the workplace.

Women Emerging as Leaders

For high-potential women moving into leadership roles, this program provides the tools and unique perspective to be successful within their organizations. They will gain the skills they need to lead, communicate, and network with confidence.

Earn a Certificate of Completion from the Harvard University Division of Continuing Education

Senior Leaders

For established senior leaders looking for ways to drive change, this program offers tools and guidance on how to be a sponsor for a talented employee within an organization, while also building skills to advance their own career.

Earn a Certificate of Participation from the Harvard University Division of Continuing Education.

While it is not required that emerging and senior leaders attend as a pair or group, the program will be especially beneficial for those who do. Additionally, senior leaders do not need to be women to participate.

Program Schedule

Emerging women leaders will attend four days of sessions developed exclusively for them, focusing on their leadership story and key skills to transition to strategic leaders.

Senior leaders will attend a full day devoted exclusively to advancing their own leadership and executive presence skills.

The evening of day four is a networking opportunity for all participants attending from around the world. Day five is when emerging women and senior leaders come together to engage in mutually beneficial sessions.

Emerging Leaders Program Components

Virtual module I

April 12—30, 2021

On-campus module

May 3—7, 2021

Virtual module II

May 10—June 11, 2021

Senior Leaders Program Components

Virtual module I

April 12—30, 2021

On-campus module

May 5—7, 2021

Program Topics

Emerging Leaders

Self-Reflection: Develop your own style as an authentic leader using your individual path in life as a unique differentiator.

Building Leadership Identity: Leveraging your unique strengths to build your leadership value proposition. 

Communication: Develop your style as a confident, credible, and persuasive communicator.

Strategic Roadmap: Create personal development goals and map out your career plan. Develop your competitive advantages while learning to recognize and limit your detractors.

Networking & Building Productive Relationships: Becoming a trusted advisor. Identifying key players in and outside of your organization. Building confidence and credibility with those in your network. 

Gender and Negotiation: Learn what the latest research can teach us about how gender impacts negotiation outcomes, and what women can do to succeed in the face of other people’s implicit biases.

Panel Discussion: Explore personal leadership journeys with industry experts.

Senior Leaders

Strategic Orientation: Gain knowledge of how strategy works at the executive level.  Increase your level of contribution and learn how to effectively manage broader strategic priorities.

Executive Presence: Develop skills to communicate in ways that inspire others in the boardroom and build new credibility in a variety of leadership situations.

Emotional Intelligence: Become aware of your emotions, use them for critical problem solving, and help others use their emotions effectively as well.

Effective Sponsorship: Learn how to identify high-potential employees, support them, and create opportunities for them to succeed.

Joint Reception: Network with other senior leaders with similar interests.

Joint Sessions

Principles of Power: Recognize and use the principles of power, build the courage to take risks, and develop key organizational alliances that move your objectives forward.

Creating a Supportive Work Environment: Explore gender differences at work, navigating office politics, and develop tactics to take back to your workplace. 

Networking Lunch

Program Information

Program Dates

Emerging Leaders Track

May 3–7, 2021
Instructor Areen Shahbari, Emily F. Epstein, Jill Abruzese Slye, Julie Wilson, Laura Wilcox, Pamela Rucker

Senior Leaders Track

May 5–7, 2021
Instructor Emily F. Epstein, Jill Abruzese Slye, Julie Wilson, Laura Wilcox, Pamela Rucker

Class times

2020 Class Times: 8:30am-4:30pm EDT


One Brattle Square
Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.

Program Fees

Emerging Leaders
Senior Leaders


Pamela Rucker brings more than 25 years of experience helping executives to understand their business drivers, and to develop solutions that increase their bottom line. She has worked in diverse industries, and her expertise and leadership philosophy have been instrumental in providing solutions that add significant value to corporate profitability.

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Jill Abruzese Slye has nearly 30 years of business experience in sales, management, communications, public speaking, career event planning, and employer relations. As a Harvard University Extension School graduate, Jill was elected and inducted into the Phi Beta Chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda.

Read More about Jill Abruzese Slye

Emily F. Epstein has been helping people influence one another and manage conflict for over two decades. She founded Oakbay Consulting to teach businesses, NGOs, and government agencies more effective negotiation, facilitation, mediation, and communication skills. Epstein works with organizations in a wide range of industries, including technology, marketing, law, financial services, medicine, science, entertainment, hospitality, construction, and design. Her work has brought her throughout Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. Epstein is currently a lecturer of law at the University of California Berkeley School of Law, and she has served in the past as associate faculty at Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation and as adjunct faculty at the Georgetown University Law Center.

Read More about Emily F. Epstein

Laura Wilcox has been in academia for over two decades at the intersection of business, innovation, and education at MIT, MIT Sloan, and Harvard. Throughout her career in higher education management, she has a proven track record of leading people and teams, driving new initiatives, advising students/faculty/industry leaders, and creating new programs and products.

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Julie M. Wilson, founder of the Institute for the Future of Learning and an advisor to entrepreneurial students at Harvard’s Innovation Lab, has over 15 years experience as a leadership consultant, trainer, and coach working with a range of for-profit and nonprofit clients across the United States and Europe. As a learning and development consultant at Harvard University, Julie was the recipient of the Harvard Hero award for outstanding contributions to the University. Her recent book, The Human Side of Changing Education, was published by Corwin Press in 2018.

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Areen Shahbari is a social entrepreneur, a business consultant, and a lecturer on entrepreneurship, strategic management, marketing, and effective communication at Harvard University Extension School and Simmons School of Business. She provides consulting services to local and international entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies, leads travel courses that focus on women leadership and entrepreneurship, serves on business and entrepreneurship panels, and leads workshops and training on networking, negotiation, entrepreneurship, communicating across cultures, and persuasion. Shahbari has taught in the United States, Chile, Jordan, Palestine, Morocco, Turkey, and Mexico. She is also the Chief Executive Officer of Cactus Int., a company that she founded in 2013 to promote women entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa Region.

Read More about Areen Shahbari