Open the doors to advancement

Despite advancements in workplace diversity and inclusion, one of the most enduring challenges is the underrepresentation of women (and, by definition, the overrepresentation of men) in leadership positions, especially at the top ranks of an organization. Differences in leadership styles and unconscious biases often affect the opportunities and roles available to women. Navigating this environment requires an understanding of the dynamics at the top levels of the workplace and developing strategies to address any misalignments.


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In this program, you will critically examine the issues facing women who aspire to hold leadership positions. You’ll also explore the strategies employed by those who have successfully navigated to top organizational roles. In a supportive, live-virtual environment, you will explore the latest research on women in business, discuss best practices, and reflect on how you can be a more effective leader when managing and navigating the corporate landscape.

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To participate in this course you will need to have a working webcam, built in or attached, and have downloaded the Zoom Cloud Meeting app onto your laptop.


If you have any questions about this requirement, call Duke Executive Education team at +1.919.660.8011 or Toll Free +1.800.372.3932, or email us at

Who Should Attend?

  • Women and men with 5 or more years of professional experience directing people and/or projects
  • Any business leader who aspires to have greater influence and impact in his/her organization
  • Anyone invested in the advancement of women executives into the senior ranks of an organization's leadership
  • Leader or members of a women's employee resource group who want inspiration about future workshops, training, coaching, or activities for your company

More about this program

In four live-virtual and highly stimulating sessions, held on consecutive days, you will learn through case studies, research reviews, experiential exercises, and rich discussion how to navigate the challenges of managing or influencing people who are different from you, and improve your overall effectiveness. Attending with several people from your organization is highly recommended.

Course Topics

  • Understanding Influence: Stereotypes, Bias, and The Leadership Gap
  • Communicating Influence: Buy-in, Feedback, and Linguistics
  • Navigating Influence: Leaning In, leaning Back, and Systemic Change
  • Knowing Your Own Influence: Success, Careers, and Life Stories

Program Objectives

At the end of the program, you will:

  • Gain a broad intellectual understanding of why the gender leadership gap persists in organizational settings
  • Understand the barriers and obstacles that women (and men) sometimes face when pursuing and occupying leader roles
  • Improve your ability to analyze gender stereotypes, biases, and discrimination – be it implicit, subtle, explicit, or blatant – that can persist in organizations
  • Learn how to actively manage social perceptions and impressions to help improve work relationships
  • Discover how to negotiate influence to help attain parity and equity in the workplace
  • Recognize the extent to which intersecting social identities inform a better and more accurate depiction of leadership experiences and disparities
  • Develop an understanding of strategies that have been successfully implemented to help close the gender leadership gap
  • Learn the meaning of success to you and understand how it can change over time

Benefits to Organizations

By sponsoring employees’ attendance, you will:

  • Learn how to make diversity your organization’s strategic advantage by maximizing the strengths of high performers
  • Learn why some corporate cultures tend to facilitate or hinder equity and how to empower positive change agents
  • Equip a few of your “culture influencers” with ideas for starting new or developing current employee resource groups

Sample Schedule

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Session 1

2-4p ET

Pre-work:  Complete Implicit Association Test
                   Optional Readings

Topic:  Understanding Influence: Stereotypes, Bias, and The Leadership Gap

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain a broad intellectual understanding of gender issues in organizational settings
  • Understand the gender-related barriers and obstacles that can occur when pursuing and occupying leader roles
  • Improve your ability to analyze gender stereotypes, bias, and discrimination that can persist in organizations

Time:  2 hours

Speaker:  Ashleigh Shelby Rosette

Session 2

2-4p ET

Pre-work:  Optional Reading

Topic:  Communicating Influence: Buy-in, Feedback, and Linguistics

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize ineffective communication habits
  • Understand how to better assert your ideas and gain buy-in
  • Give actionable feedback and ensure you’re receiving it as well

Time:  2 hours

Speaker:  Daisy Lovelace

Session 3

2-4p ET

Pre-work:  Optional Reading

Topic:  Navigating Influence: Leaning In, Leaning Back, and Systemic Change

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the pros and cons of leaning in
  • Consider how best to advise women about how to traverse a path when leading
  • Learn which gender-related structural and policy changes have been found to be most effective

Time:  2 hours

Speaker:  Grainne Fitzsimons

Session 4

2-4p ET

Pre-work:  Complete the Career Journey Exercise
                   Optional Readings

Topic:  Understanding Influence: Stereotypes, Bias, and The Leadership Gap

Learning Objective:

  • Reflect upon whether gender differences have impacted your previous work experiences or how they may impact your impending careers

Time:  2 hours

Speaker:  Ashleigh Shelby Rosette

Women Leaders: Elevating Influence and Impact

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Ashleigh Rosette

Ashleigh Rosette is a Professor of Management and Organizations and a Center of Leadership and Ethics scholar at Fuqua. She is also a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences. Dr. Rosette studies diversity and negotiations in organizational settings. In her research, she examines the influence of affect and culture on the negotiation process and negotiated outcomes and explores social and contextual factors that influence diversity-related perceptions. Her research has been featured in media outlets such as Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, and Business Week. She has received the Excellence in Teaching Award of the Year in the Executive MBA programs at Fuqua eleven times. She also received the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award at the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. In addition, she has provided consulting services on topics such as diversity, decision-making, leadership, and negotiations to an array of clients in varied industries, such as banking, auditing services, automobile manufacturing, medical services, and the social/non-profit sector.

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Certificate Requirements: Attendance to the Duke Leadership Program and three electives within a three year period. More