Executive Education

The Women's Leadership Program

Organizations are only as strong as their people. Every successful organization helps its people thrive and its leaders lead - and women are playing increasingly significant leadership roles in higher numbers. The Women's Leadership Program helps women assess and address their unique strengths and challenges, as well as navigate the frequently complex dynamics of strategic business leadership. Participants will examine issues beyond moving up the ladder of corporate hierarchy and hone their skills as highly effective, visionary leaders.

Program Overview

Women’s strengths – including the ability to collaborate and to build trust and relationships – are now seen as vital to organizations operating in volatile environments. The Women's Leadership Program builds on participants' strengths and highlights the specific behaviors that are critical in effective leadership. Integrated program sessions promote the mindset and competencies necessary to transform participants from effective colleagues and bosses to successful and valuable leaders - who return to their organizations ready to lead at the next level.

During the one-week program held at the Darden School, participants will:

  • Address key business and personal leadership challenges and explore how to analyze and approach them as opportunities.
  • Compare different leadership styles and outcomes.
  • Receive open professional feedback from executive coaches.
  • Develop plans for actively managing personal leadership paths.


"A great opportunity to learn about your strengths and self-reflect on how you can make them even better."
Cecilia Carbonelli
Vice President, IT
Genworth Financial

"This program was mind-opening and life changing for me. I learned so much from my fellow students and the instructors."
Carol Durrant
Director, Engineering, Manufacturing & Logistics Operations
Northrop Grumman Corp.

"[The program] is truly inspiring and empowering for women in all facets of business."
Bridget Roche
Director, Region Process Owner, Institutional & Distribution Markets
Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc.

Related Resources


Primary Audience: Female executives with line- and people-management responsibilities who wish to become more effective, visionary leaders.

Sample Participant Titles:


  • Chair
  • Executive Director
  • Senior Director
  • Director
  • Associate Director
  • Deputy Assistant Director
  • Communications Specialist
  • Senior HR Manager
  • Contracting Officer
  • Senior Scientist
  • Deputy Associate Commissioner
  •  Senior Adviser
  • Field Security Specialist
  • Content Manager
  • Writer/Producer
  • Independent Consultant
  • First Level Officer
  • Manager
  • President
  • Senior Vice President
  • Assistant Vice President


Organizations Recently Represented:


  • Avendra LLC
  • Base Technologies
  • Capital One
  • CSX Transportation Inc.
  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • Genworth Financial
  • InScope International
  • Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc.
  • Joint Base Langley-Eustis
  • LifeNet Health
  • The Marcus Corporation
  • Merial Limited
  • Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • nTelos 
  • Penn National Insurance
  • Pitney Bowes Inc.
  • Projects Unlimited Inc.
  • Save the Children
  • Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)
  • State Farm Insurance
  • Telkom School of Art & Design
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA)/Federal Air Marshal Service
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • U.S. Social Security Administration




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.

Faculty Bio Page


Kristin J. Behfar

Associate Professor of Business Administration
An award-winning teacher of organizational behavior, Behfar's research includes study of group processes and performance, conflict management, group decision making, multicultural teams and cross-cultural leadership, and she has consulted 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.

Faculty Bio Page

Martin Davidson

Martin Davidson

Professor of Business Administration
Widely cited and published in the areas of leadership and diversity, Davison 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.

Faculty Bio Page

Powell headshot

Elizabeth A. Powell

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.

Faculty Bio Page

Fairchild Updated

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, New York Times and the Washington Post, among others.

Faculty Bio Page

de Guzman headshot

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.

Faculty Bio Page

Complete faculty information

Key Takeaways

  • Build and strengthen critical networks and partnerships.
  • Prepare for a more strategic role in your firm.
  • Strengthen your knowledge of strategy, negotiation, communication and leadership.
  • Maximize your influence with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Cultivate skills that can be directly applied to your organization's goals.
  • Anticipate future industry trends and predict their impact on your company's success.
  • Embrace the importance of wellness in a successful executive's life.


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


Program activities include:

  • Case discussions
  • Simulations
  • Workshop activities and exercises
  • One-on-one interaction with and feedback from Darden's top-ranked faculty, both in and outside the classroom
  • Time for individual reflection/development of a personal action plan - so that knowledge learned is immediately related to individual roles, functions and companies
  • Wellness program
  • Personal coaching
  • Network assessment exercise


  • Sunday reception, dinner and overview of wellness program
  • Daily wellness activities, sessions and meals at the Darden School
  • Evenings spent in group discussion and/or individual preparation
  • Final day sessions and optional lunch

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  • Course Information

    15-20 March 2015

    Image for EE Register Here
    $7,750 covers materials, meals and accommodations.

    Female executives with line- and people-management responsibilities who wish to become more effective, visionary leaders

    Gain one week of credit toward a Certificate of Specialization

    Darden School of Business
    Charlottesville, Virginia

    Additional Information:
    +1-434-924-3000 or contact the program director