Course list

Research demonstrates that gender diversity helps an organization's bottom line. There's a strong business case to be made for inclusivity in the workplace and at all levels of leadership. At the same time, research also tells us that both women and men equate being a leader with being a male. In other words, leadership itself is equated with masculinity and what we are socialized to understand are the behaviors and gender roles of cis-gender men. How does that affect women's ability to advance to the highest levels of leadership and to C-Suite positions? And how does it prevent organizations from harnessing all the talent that's available?

This course, designed specifically for women in leadership positions, was created by Deborah Streeter, the Bruce F. Failing, Sr., Professor of Personal Enterprise at Cornell, and Susan S. Fleming, a Senior Lecturer at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.

It considers power and gender dynamics from two perspectives: that of an individual hoping to advance personally, and that of a leader hoping to foster a more inclusive work environment to benefit others as well as the organization. In this course, you will identify how power is accrued within organizations, and you'll look at the sources from which you derive your power. You will examine some ways to increase status and power. You will look at the strategies leaders can implement to help create social "vaccines" against gender-based stereotypes within a team and organization. You will examine how to cultivate an awareness in yourself about when unconscious bias may be coming into play and look for ways to counteract its effects through organizational policy.

The concept of “authentic leadership” has become very popular in recent times. In addition, much has been written about executive presence and how to cultivate it in yourself. Both of these things are affiliated with rising to the top.

There is an inherent dilemma for women trying to apply these concepts. Everyone expects that to move up in leadership they will have to display the “right” professional identity and work style – ones that “fit” with expectations.

But what is right and fits is heavily influenced by the majority culture of the organization, which in most cases has been established by men (mostly white, mostly older). So on the one hand, the professional identity needed to succeed includes behaviors more prominent in male culture. On the other hand when women go too far in exhibiting those behaviors, they get pushback. As a result, in certain very traditional masculinized settings, women learn to alter, repress, or hide some of the characteristics of their identities (being a mom, caregiver, acting communally). In essence, some women in certain contexts find they have to restrain their personal style in order to fit in.

In this course, designed for women in leadership positions, learners will examine strategies for incorporating being self-aware and genuine without suppressing their unique personal style.

Research indicates that women - even high-ranking women in leadership positions - face a fundamental obstacle when negotiating: Women come to the negotiation table with lower perceived status and less power than men. Women must tread carefully in attempting to level the playing field, though, because negotiating with a stereotypically “male” style could result in social consequences that negatively affect the outcome of the negotiation. The burden is on women, therefore, to skillfully adapt their negotiation style to suit the styles of other negotiators and the context of the situation.

As women in leadership roles ascend the ranks of their organizations, they face increased responsibilities to negotiate successfully for their teams and institutions as well as themselves. This course, designed specifically for women in leadership by Deborah Streeter, the Bruce F. Failing, Sr., Professor of Personal Enterprise at Cornell, challenges learners to evaluate their negotiation style through the lenses of gender and power and use their emotional intelligence to tailor their style to any situation. Learners will explore advanced negotiation techniques that help women capitalize on their strengths and avoid triggering the double bind in negotiations.

Leaders often ascribe different causes to their success in ascending to senior positions in their companies. Research shows that women are likely to point to the merit of their own work as the reason for promotion, whereas men tend to attribute upward mobility to their skill forging strategic relationships. In reality, strong professional networks - and the ability to leverage them to meet individual goals - are a crucial component of career advancement regardless of talent. Unfortunately, many potential women leaders undervalue or underutilize this critical tool.

In this course, designed specifically for women in leadership by Deborah Streeter, the Bruce F. Failing, Sr., Professor of Personal Enterprise at Cornell, you will deconstruct your own professional network and how it is working - or not working - for you. By defining key roles and relationships, you will identify and address areas in your network that can be strengthened. This course will also provide you the tools to overcome common challenges to developing and maintaining networks that women face due to harassment or the double bind.

Symposium sessions feature three days of live, highly interactive virtual Zoom sessions that will explore today’s most pressing topics. The Leadership Symposium offers you a unique opportunity to engage in real-time conversations with peers and experts from the Cornell community and beyond. Using the context of your own experiences, you will take part in reflections and small-group discussions to build on the skills and knowledge you have gained from your courses.

Join us for the next Symposium in which we’ll discuss the ways that leaders across industries have continued engaging their teams over the past two years while pivoting in strategic ways. You will support your coursework by applying your knowledge and experiences to relevant topics for leaders. Throughout this Symposium, you will examine different areas of leadership, including innovation, strategy, and engagement. By participating in relevant and engaging discussions, you will discover a variety of perspectives and build connections with your fellow participants from various industries.

Upcoming Symposium: June 4-6, 2024 from 11am – 1pm ET

  • Tuesday, June 4, 2024  11am – 1pm ET
    • Building a Culture of Collaboration
  • Wednesday, June 5, 2024  11am – 1pm ET
    • Identifying Common Barriers to Performance
  • Thursday, June 6, 2024  11am – 1pm ET
    • Setting Yourself Up For Successful Buy-in

          All sessions are held on Zoom.

          Future dates are subject to change. You may participate in as many sessions as you wish. Attending Symposium sessions is not required to successfully complete any certificate program. Once enrolled in your courses, you will receive information about upcoming events. Accessibility accommodations will be available upon request.

          Symposium sessions feature three days of live, highly interactive virtual Zoom sessions to explore today’s most pressing topics. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Symposium offers you a unique opportunity to engage in real-time conversations with peers and experts from the Cornell community and beyond. Using the context of your own experiences, you will take part in reflections and small-group discussions to build on the skills and knowledge you have gained from your courses.

          Join us for the next Symposium! From the workplace to our homes, discussions about diversity and inclusion are necessary to become aware of our biases and promote action and change. Throughout this Symposium, you will examine and dissect key diversity and inclusion topics like psychological safety, belonging, and equity. By participating in dynamic and relevant dialogues, you will discover a variety of perspectives and create genuine connections with participants from diverse industries and backgrounds.

          Upcoming Symposium: May 15-17, 2024 11AM – 1PM ET

          • Wednesday 5/15/24 11:00 am – 1:00 pm ET
            • Fostering a Climate of Belonging
          • Thursday 5/16/24 11:00 am – 1:00 pm ET
            • Setting Standards for Inclusive Behavior
          • Friday 5/17/24 11:00 am – 1:00 pm ET
            • Exploring Equity

          All sessions are held on Zoom.

          You may participate in as many sessions as you wish. Attending Symposium sessions is not required to successfully complete the certificate program. Once enrolled in your courses, you will receive information about upcoming events. Accessibility accommodations will be available upon request.

          Men overwhelmingly outnumber women on public boards of directors, but times are changing and more boards than ever are actively seeking qualified women to help steer their companies. For interested women, the challenge is that the typical path to board membership—through the C-Suite—is optimized for the male executives who often land senior leadership roles.

          This course, designed specifically for women with leadership experience by Deborah Streeter, the Bruce F. Failing, Sr., Professor of Personal Enterprise at Cornell, and Susan S. Fleming, a senior lecturer at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, will demystify the journey to board membership for women and break down the responsibilities and opportunities that women can expect once on a board. In this course, you will prepare yourself for board membership by assessing your personal competencies and potential barriers to joining a board. You will write your own value proposition for what you could bring to a board and then identify potential boards and make a plan to approach them. You will also analyze how, as a woman, you can make a positive impact on a board, all while successfully navigating the double bind.

          Inclusion is a relational construct. It's ultimately about how your team functions and performs based on the quality of social connections, openness to learning, agility, and depth of decision making. How can you foster greater inclusion within your workgroup? Throughout these modules, you will be asked to reflect upon your own experiences and apply the lessons in the modules in your own role.

          You will examine the concept of climate, specifically inclusive climates, as well as learn about the specific behaviors and skills you need to demonstrate in order to be successful in shaping an inclusive climate.

          Advancing to a more senior leadership role requires a specific set of skills. Senior leaders must shift away from tactical oversight into a more strategic and visionary role. This transition does not occur naturally and is often not a part of standard professional training, development, or onboarding. The ability to adapt to this mindset is crucial and can lead to the success or failure of an individual and/or their team.

          In this course, current and potential leaders will be guided through this transition by Kate Walsh, Professor and Dean of the School of Hotel Administration, as she shares her professional expertise and research. Learners will create a personal leadership strategy and build a professional network within their organization to prepare and further their roles in the organization.

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