Women in Leadership: Expanding Influence and Leading Change

To Be Announced  
Questions? Contact Us:
Christine Tom
Assistant Director, Learning Solutions
[email protected]
Format: Eight live sessions from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for four weeks. View the live online schedule.
Certificate Credits: 3
Learn more.
This program is open to all executives of any gender. Please see Columbia Business School’s Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination Policy.

Preferred pricing is available for groups of two or more. To inquire, email [email protected].

"Every woman transitioning to a leadership role should take this course. It provided me with a network of inspiring women and the tools to continue to ask for what I want."
– Past Participant Christine Keta, Program Operations Manager at the New York Power Authority

Hear from faculty director Rita McGrath and other program faculty about the live online version of the program.

The research and evidence is clear: inclusive leaders and inclusive organizations outperform those that are not, yet women remain underrepresented in all levels of management. This program is designed to help elevate the impact of women leaders – enabling them to navigate the business landscape, develop and leverage their talents, and step into roles of greater influence.

Despite the compelling case for equality of gender representation at all levels of an organization, even with the best of intentions, unconscious bias can distort critical decisions influencing who moves ahead within an organization. During Women in Leadership: Expanding Influence and Leading Change, participants will learn time-tested techniques and practical ideas which women can apply immediately to their career and that can help combat these performance-limiting biases. Get ready to be inspired, network with likeminded colleagues, and learn applicable skills for an immediate impact on your career and your organization.

Professor Rita McGrath, a globally recognized expert on management and strategy, is the program's faculty director. Focused on women’s advancement, this innovative program will provide participants with the knowledge, skills, tools, and real-time problem-solving needed to further the advancement of women in leadership roles.

For a complete program schedule, download the agenda.

Please Contact Us

Please contact our Learning Solutions Specialists at +1 212-854-3395 for a personal conversation to learn more.


The Women in Leadership: Expanding Influence and Leading Change program prepares participants to expand their influence and advance their leadership. Participants become more confident of their personal leadership identity, and committed to the changes they will effect in the workplace.

During this highly interactive program, you will learn how to:

  • Articulate your vision and your action plan for personal leadership
  • Advocate for yourself, your team, and your collective ideas
  • Establish strategic networks and leverage them in your career
  • Engage supporters through compelling communications
  • Overcome challenges to your visibility and authority
  • Negotiate favorable outcomes and manage conflict

Guest Speakers

Each iteration of the program features a set of guest speakers from the outside world who share their leadership journeys with the participants in the program. Recent guest speakers include Sharon Price John, president and CEO of Build-a-Bear Workshop, who explained how she effected a turnaround at her organization, and Nancy McKinstry, CEO of Walters Kluwer, who spoke about undergoing a digital transformation at her company.

In this video, hear from guest speaker Rachel Mushahwar, General Manager, Head of Americas for Retail, Hospitality, and CPG at Intel, on why the topic of women in leadership is important to her.


Upon completion of this program, you will earn three credits towards a Certificate with select alumni and tuition benefits. Learn more.


The program currently takes place in a live online format. View the live online program schedule. You may also view the in-person program schedule for when our in-person programming resumes.

The Women in Leadership: Expanding Influence and Leading Change program uses a combination of online tools, interactive lectures, inspirational talks, and workshop exercises for individuals and groups. Sessions taught by Columbia Business School professors, women’s leadership practitioners and business leaders are supplemented by sessions with colleagues from various fields and industries.

The weeks leading up to the program will help participants frame their personal goals for participation in the course, connect participants with each other, and solicit participant input to be used throughout the program with various online activities.

You will focus on crystallizing your goals and cultivating the supporters you need to realize your ambitions, including:

  • Identifying and developing your:
    • leadership identity
    • personal brand in the workplace
    • motivations, values, and strengths
    • vision statement for your leadership
    • personal positioning statement
  • Evaluating your formal and informal networks to identify the strengths of your network and individuals who can become supporters of your mission.
  • Learning strategies for advocating for yourself and gaining visibility for your accomplishments

You'll also focus on interactions with others and communicating effectively, including:

  • Effective and productive communication tactics in an array of contexts:
    • informal
    • formal
    • when the stakes are high
  • The importance of story-telling to enlist supporters and facilitate decision-making
  • Strategies and techniques for making your voice heard in challenging situations.
  • Specific approaches for overcoming obstacles in conflict situations and managing negotiations to a beneficial outcome.

You will also get equipped to create a new future – from envisioning new strategies to driving change in your organization, specifically:

  • Visioning skills required to identify and pursue opportunities beyond your to-do list and to alert others to new possibilities
  • Assessing your level of comfort in taking risks
  • Adopting a new framework for thinking about risk, uncertainty, and failure
  • Applying these new learnings to the opportunity to advance women’s leadership in your workplace and develop strategies to make that happen.

In this video, hear from faculty director Rita McGrath about a special session she teaches about power dynamics:

For a complete program schedule, download the agenda.


The Women in Leadership: Expanding Influence and Leading Change program is designed for middle- to upper-level executives who are looking to develop their leadership abilities and expand their impact and influence.

Columbia Business School alumni and up to four of their colleagues are eligible for a 25 percent tuition benefit for this program. More on the Alumni Tuition Benefit.

Typical Participant Mix

Geographic Spread

Years of Management Experience

Job Function



Hear from Past Participants:



Rita McGrath, Faculty Director
Faculty, Columbia Business School Executive Education

Rita McGrath is a globally recognized expert on strategy, innovation, and growth. Her work and ideas help CEO's and senior executives succeed in rapidly changing and volatile environments, and she is valued for her rare ability to connect research to business problems. Recognized as one of the top 10 management thinkers by global management award Thinkers50 in 2017 and winning the award for outstanding achievement in the strategy category, McGrath speaks regularly at corporate events, such as the Microsoft CEO Summit and the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. She appears regularly on television and radio and is often cited in the press, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times, and Businessweek and has published several articles in the Harvard Business Review. McGrath is the co-author of three books in addition to her latest book, The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast As Your Business (Harvard Business Review Press).

She has also been named one of the top ten business school professors to follow on Twitter, and was named one of the 25 smartest women to follow on Twitter by Fast Company magazine. In 2009, she was inducted as a fellow of the Strategic Management Society, an honor given to those who have had a significant impact on the field.

Prior to life in academia, McGrath was an IT director, worked in the political arena and founded two startups.


In addition to Rita McGrath, additional faculty members and practitioners contribute to the program.


Do you have questions about our live online programs? Please review our commonly asked questions on our live online programs FAQs page.