The Women's Leadership Program

  • Participants and faculty from The Women's Leadership Program share their insights and experiences.

  • Organizations are only as strong as their people. Hone your skills as a visionary leader and prepare for increasingly strategic roles, ready to lead your organization at the next level.

  • At a Glance

    Embrace your strengths and drive your organization to new heights. In The Women's Leadership Program, you'll build your skills and influence on multiple fronts and create a personalized plan to guide your career after you leave the classroom.

    The Program

    Blend your instincts and experience with accelerating techniques from the most powerful women in business. You'll study the behavior of individuals and organizations, refining key principles through case studies led by senior businesswomen and faculty members focused on corporate culture, communication, conflict management, leveraging differences, crisis leadership and decision-making under pressure. You'll customize these skills through simulations, workshops, a network assessment exercise and one-on-one professional and personal coaching. A wellness program and development of a personal action plan will round out your ability to assess and address your unique challenges and opportunities.

    Where You'll Excel

    • Strengthen your knowledge of strategy, negotiation, communication and leadership.
    • Identify your leadership strengths and practice applying them across your current and future organizational responsibilities.
    • Learn to actively manage your professional development and secure managerial support for innovative ideas and strategic opportunities.
    • Build and strengthen critical networks and partnerships.
    • Practice anticipating future industry trends and predicting their impact on your company's success.

    Schedule & Topics

    • Leveraging Your Personal Strengths
    • Leadership: Strategic Change
    • Negotiation
    • Success Amidst Conflict
    • Leadership Presence
    • The Effective Network
    • Life Balance


    You'll walk away from The Women's Leadership Program with:

    • A list of your most powerful skills and how to maximize their effectiveness in uncertain as well as structured environments
    • Your leadership profile and the role models who share it
    • Hands-on workshops featuring new techniques to manage change, negotiate successfully, strengthen networks and lead your organization to greater profits 
    • A fully articulated voice and vision for personal and organizational development that includes a holistic approach to wellness


    This course is designed for female executives and women with management responsibilities, especially those leading teams, direct reports, and product lines and verticals. Past leaders who improved their effectiveness and vision include corporate presidents and vice presidents, directors, senior HR managers and scientists, independent consultants and many more.



    Elizabeth A. Powell   (Program Co-Lead)

    Assistant Professor of Business Administration
    With a background in leadership and communication (including public speaking and rhetoric), Powell's teaching and research focus on management communication, corporate culture, corporate reputation, leadership presence, cross-cultural communication and leading with an enterprise perspective. She is the author of Women in Business: The Changing Face of Leadership  and has served as a communications consultant for organizations such as Constellation Energy, the National Industries for the Blind and United Technologies.


    Yael Grushka-Cockayne   (Program Co-Lead)

    Associate Professor of Business Administration
    Yael Grushka-Cockayne's research and teaching activities focus on forecasting, project management, strategic and behavioral decision making. Her research is published in numerous academic and professional journals, and she is a regular speaker at international conferences in the area of decision analysis, project management and management science. She is also an award-winning teacher, winning the Darden Morton Leadership Faculty Award in 2011, the University of Virginia's Mead-Colley Award in 2012 and the Darden Outstanding faculty award in 2013.  Before starting her academic career, she worked in San Francisco as a marketing director of an Israeli ERP company. As an expert in the areas of project management, she has served as a consultant to international firms in the aerospace and pharma industries. She is a UVA Excellence in Diversity fellow and a member of INFORMS, the Decision Analysis Society, the Operational Research Society and the Project Management Institute (PMI). She is also currently the Secretary/Treasurer of the INFORMS Decision Analysis Society.


    Melissa Thomas-Hunt

    Associate Professor of Business Administration
    Thomas-Hunt has spent more than 15 years teaching executives to become more effective members and leaders of high-performing teams. She focuses on conflict management and negotiations, and drives students to consider multiple perspectives and harness the full expertise of diverse, global teams and organizations. She was an account marketing representative at IBM Corporation for more than a decade and previously taught at Stanford University, Cornell University and Washington University.

    Kristin J. Behfar

    Associate Professor of Business Administration
    An award-winning teacher of organizational behavior, Behfar's research includes the study of group processes and performance, conflict management, group decision making, multicultural teams, and cross-cultural leadership, and she has provided consultation services to organizations on team and leadership effectiveness. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, and she is co-editor of the book Conflict in Teams: New Directions in Theory and Practice.


    Martin Davidson

    Professor of Business Administration
    Widely cited and published in the areas of leadership and diversity, Davidson has conducted research on four continents and is the author of the award-winning book The End of Diversity as We Know It: Why Diversity Efforts Fail and How Leveraging Difference Can Succeed, in which he discusses going beyond the usual "managing diversity" paradigm to "leveraging differences" to transform an organization. Davidson consults with Fortune 500 firms, government agencies and social profit organizations. He formerly served as associate dean and chief diversity officer at Darden and holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University.


    Gregory B. Fairchild

    E. Thayer Bigelow Associate Professor of Business Administration
    Fairchild serves as an academic director for Darden's Institute for Business in Society (IBiS). He teaches strategic management, entrepreneurship and ethics in Darden's MBA and Executive Education programs. In 2012, Fairchild was named one of the Top Ten Business School Professors in the World by CNN/Fortune and one of the 50 Best Business School Professors by Poets & Quants. His work has been cited by Inc. Magazine, The Economist, National Public Radio (NPR), USA Today, The New York Times and The Washington Post, among others.

    Terry S. de Guzman

    Adjunct Lecturer
    Terry's coaching and consulting expertise comes from her own executive and professional experiences as a practicing leader. She held the positions of finance manager at American Express, principal at Kwasha Lipton and division CFO at Bellcore. She successfully transitioned to not-for-profit leadership as COO at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, then as senior associate dean for Finance and Administration at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business. Terry is a CPA, holds an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business, and completed George Mason University's Leadership Coaching Program. She volunteers for organizations that foster financial literacy, education, and leadership roles for women.

    Location & Accommodations

    Darden School of Business
    Charlottesville, Virginia

    As a participant, you'll stay in a private room at the  Inn at Darden, our highly rated hotel adjacent to the classroom buildings and dining center. Accommodations are included in your tuition.

    Tuition & Certificates

    $7,900 covers materials, meals and accommodations at the  Inn at Darden.

    By taking this course, you will earn one week of credit toward a  Certificate of Specialization.