A new, hands-on leadership development program offered by the Kelley School of Business is designed to help women—and their organizations—reach their potential by building on female managers’ strengths rather than expecting them to work like men.
The Women in Leadership business certificate program, Dec. 2 – 6, 2019, brings women together with experts in leadership, negotiation, interpersonal and management communications, and coaching. They will participate in discussion, exercises, role-playing, assessment and introspection, and more on the IU Bloomington campus.
Ideal participants are women who are poised for upper management roles, who pitch and lead projects, and who need to have productive meetings that incorporate different styles of thinking.
“Our program can help organizations that say, ‘We need new perspectives; we need new ways of thinking about things; we need creativity; we need more effective decision making,’” said Carolyn Goerner, lead instructor of the program and an expert in human resource management, mentoring, and leadership.
Goerner, a clinical professor of management at Kelley, said most work cultures still prioritize masculine ways of thinking. This doesn’t mean that women need to model their male colleagues to get ahead, though. In fact, their employers may be better off if they do not—research has found that organizations with gender diversity in their leadership can expect to see stronger financial performances than those that do not.
“The purpose of the course is to recognize these differences so that women understand their strengths and can communicate their value in ways that can be heard,” Goerner said. “We’re not asking the women to develop new skillsets. We’re showing them what they already have and how to navigate the culture.”
Many professional women, Goerner said, have phenomenal strengths that sometimes include:
- intuition in negotiation, which makes them likely to achieve win-win outcomes and to sustain a relationship after negotiations conclude
- skill at assessing the context of decision-making, which allows them to think strategically about deployment and doing what’s necessary once a decision is made
- the ability to provide effective feedback and delegate useful, actionable tasks
- a knack for handling the people side of sales and decision-making
The program includes leadership and personality assessments for each woman to take so they can dig into their strengths with their instructors—all leaders in their fields—and learn how to maximize those strengths in the workplace.
The December program will be the first time Kelley has offered this course as a five-day, in-residence certificate program. Previously, it was offered as a two-day program, minus the exercises, role-playing, coaching, and other activities designed to enable the women to apply what they’re learning. Goerner expects the certificate program to continue the community building component of the shorter program, where participants often found allies in their classmates.
“From a networking perspective, the friendships and allies created during these programs are invaluable,” she said.
To learn more or register for the program, visit the Women in Leadership In-Residence Business Certificate online.