Participants in the Executive Program in Women’s Leadership program


Explore how to use power, influence, and persuasion to transform your leadership skills and career trajectory.

Women in the workplace face unique challenges and opportunities. So, Executive Program in Women’s Leadership designed a unique curriculum to help you develop your personal leadership style and strengthen your influence and impact within your organization. It’s one week of thought-provoking lectures, simulations, techniques, and tactics.

The highly-specialized curriculum focuses on the issues of negotiation, team effectiveness, power and relationships, social networks, and influence. These are the most critical and complicated issues. These are the essential skills you need — to enhance your power, navigate the workplace, and take the lead.

Executive Women at Stanford

Executive Women at Stanford

Past participants discuss the benefits of attending Stanford GSB Executive Education programs.

Program Highlights

Below is just a sample of the sessions you’ll experience as part of the program.

Acting With Power

The ability to function effectively within a hierarchy is a crucial component of leadership, yet many women struggle with “authority issues” that make certain hierarchical roles and positions difficult for them. This series of sessions draws on the craft of acting and the concepts of psychology, helping you learn how to use them to develop the characters that can play these roles effectively. 

You’ll also learn the importance of influencing small groups, particularly when you have little or no authority. Analyze effective influence tactics, and develop multiple perspectives on how to gain influence through dynamic interactions with others.

Building Alliances

Building strong alliances is critical for today’s leaders, particularly when the formation and implementation of new strategies depend on allies who may not be subordinates and who may even seem like natural adversaries. Ultimately, alliances are based on trust and reciprocity.

Communication and the Art of Persuasion

As a leader, you spend the majority of your time communicating with others: team members, subordinates, clients, and public constituents.

We have chosen topics and designed sessions to improve the skills and tools of women and address the challenges that they uniquely face.
Margaret A. Neale, Faculty Co-Director

You probably don’t spend much time thinking about the way you communicate, nor are you likely, in the corporate setting, to get honest feedback on the messages you send. Yet the quality of your communications largely determines your effectiveness, particularly when you are trying to implement change in your organization.

This session will help you appreciate the nature and complexity of communicating change and will provide guidelines for improving your own communication style.

Neuroscience and the Connection to Exemplary Leadership

The exponential growth in our understanding of the workings of the human brain has led to a rather startling and maybe embarrassing (even depressing) conclusion.

While the human brain is unique among species in its ability to strategize, conceptualize, hypothesize, memorize, etc., it is now undeniable that most human decisions are shaped by nonconscious instinctual neural systems and processes.

In these two sessions, you will first gain an understanding of the workings of the instinctual brain and then leverage that understanding to be exemplary leaders — to be more effective at making decisions and influencing others’ (e.g., key stakeholders’) decisions.

Creating Inclusive Workplaces

In these two sessions, we will strategize about how to create workplaces where all people can thrive. One of the main focuses will be on how to reduce gender biases that can undermine women’s achievement and limit their advancement, and we will develop strategies for more effectively identifying, retaining, and promoting top talent. 

In this course, we have the opportunity to step back and think in a big-picture way about our goals, our aspirations, the extent to which we contribute to the bottom line in our companies.
Deborah Gruenfeld, Faculty Co-Director

To realize the value of diversity, teams must also be inclusive. We will learn about barriers that limit the power of teams to leverage all of their talent, and discuss strategies for getting beyond these barriers and creating truly inclusive and successful teams.

We will reflect on the challenges and opportunities for building more diverse and inclusive teams and workplaces as we move into the new hybrid work environments that are emerging in the post-Covid era.




Christine Coli | Associate Director, Programs, Executive Education
Associate Director Executive Education