View all programs within: Leadership

Women's Executive Leadership: Business Strategies for Success

Sep 26, 2016 - Sep 30, 2016Philadelphia, PA$10,250
Apr 24, 2017 - Apr 28, 2017Philadelphia, PA$10,250

From glass ceilings and work-life balance to “leaning in” and office politics, the issues for women as executive leaders continue to stir conversation and controversy. While women are making it to the corner office, the event still generates headlines. As they ascend the corporate ladder and take on greater management responsibilities, some women may want to seize greater challenges, but do so with a full understanding of the dynamics involved.

The week-long Women’s Executive Leadership: Business Strategies for Success program is designed specifically for today’s female executives and those who aspire to leadership roles. It covers new ground as revealed by the latest Wharton faculty research in work motivation and engagement, career development, internal coaching, emotional intelligence, and women in leadership roles.

Two pillars of the program are clarity and confidence: giving participants the clarity to know one’s personal leadership style and career strengths, along with confidence in mastering the building blocks of business acumen.

Impact & Experience

The Women’s Executive Leadership: Business Strategies for Success program provides an engaging forum for female executives and high-potential women transitioning into senior management roles to come together, gain new knowledge from the latest research, and put those concepts into practice during their time at Wharton.

Participants will gain keen insights and the tools to:

  • Reimagine and further develop leadership skills
  • Enhance professional influence
  • Improve business acumen by providing a more sophisticated understanding of core skills including marketing, talent management, financial reporting, and communications
  • Better understand nuances of negotiations and emotional intelligence
  • Hone critical thinking and decision-making abilities

This five-day program delivers sophisticated business and leadership concepts that have immediate and practical application for the modern woman business leader, allowing her to improve her proficiencies and advance her career. Participants will better understand and learn how to apply contemporary business theories currently driving their organization and results, while creating a personal plan for professional advancement.

Each afternoon, participants will break into small groups to integrate and put the day’s learnings into practice. Wharton faculty will oversee the sessions, providing real-time coaching and feedback for effective outcomes and translating the practicum for participants to take back to the office.

Within this collegial forum, participants will establish the beginnings of a lifelong network of women executives who often face similar decision points and possibilities along their career paths, becoming a rich resource of influential peers.

What sets this program apart for women executives is its strong focus on business and leadership, combined with a practical approach to developing and honing professional business skills. Participants also benefit from study at the Wharton School, with its world-renowned reputation and faculty who are the most cited, most published of all top-tier business schools.

Who Attends This Program

The Women’s Executive Leadership: Business Strategies for Success program is best suited for executives and high-potential women who are transitioning into senior management roles within a large corporation or women entrepreneurs who are taking on a broader leadership role as their company grows.

The program is designed for women executives who:

  • Have 10 or more years of experience
  • Have titles ranging from manager or director to vice president, and also consultant and business owner
  • Work in a wide range of industries
  • Aspire to more senior levels of management
  • Seek to enhance their professional influence

We encourage women and men to recommend this program to high-potential women on their staff who would benefit from honing leadership skills and business acumen, becoming a more valuable asset to the organization. 

To further leverage the value and impact of Women’s Executive Leadership, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants to this program.


  • Nancy Rothbard, PhD

    Academic Director

    David Pottruck Professor, Professor of Management, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Emotion and identity, work motivation and engagement, work-life and career developmentSee Faculty Bio

  • Sigal Barsade, PhD

    Joseph Frank Bernstein Professor, Professor of Management, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Emotional intelligence, organizational culture, team dynamicsSee Faculty Bio

  • Matthew Bidwell, PhD

    Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Human resource management, knowledge workers and worker mobilitySee Faculty Bio

  • Brian Bushee, PhD

    Geoffrey T. Boisi Professor of Accounting, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Corporate disclosure, institutional investors, stock market anomaliesSee Faculty Bio

  • Karen A DiNunzio, PhD

    Principal, Karen DiNunzio PhD LLC

    See Faculty Bio

  • John (Jack) Hershey, PhD

    Anheuser-Busch Professor Emeritus of Management Science, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Decision processes, emergency preparedness, operations management researchSee Faculty Bio

  • Mauro Guillén, PhD

    Dr. Felix Zandman Professor, Professor of International Management, The Wharton School; Director, The Lauder Institute, University of Pennsylvania

    Research Interests: Globalization, international political economy, multinational managementSee Faculty Bio

Program Logistics

Tuition for Philadelphia programs includes lodging and meals. Prices are subject to change. Contact a member of the Wharton Executive Education Client Relations team for more information on course specifics and to discuss how this program can meet your professional development needs. Please contact them by email or by phone at +1.215.898.1776.

Plan Your Stay


“Women in business are always compared to the highest achieving men, never the mediocre ones. I feel like we wear a sort of invisible armor, especially in science where we are so outnumbered. You always have to be the best. I would never share my weaknesses with them. But the first day of Women’s Executive Leadership (WEXL) was like a high school reunion. We shared our challenges, which is something I would never do in another group. We were all very established women from many different industries and disciplines.  I’ve always thought of myself as an R&D person — I have been in science for 25 years. But after the first few sessions in the Wharton program, I realized I could grow more. WEXL showed me that I have strengths on the business side. I never thought of myself that way. It really raised the bar on how I view myself and my strengths. I feel very empowered.”
Junko Stevens, R&D Sr. Director, ThermoFisher Scientific

“The program brought together a diverse group of women leaders from across the world — Africa, South America, North America (Canada and the US), Japan and India. Each of us are at various points in our careers - some were in senior roles, others were middle managers and still others were  early in their leadership journey.  Such diversity provides an insight into how women manage their career path in unique cultures. However, we quickly learned that, regardless of where you live and what role you have in your organization, each of us experienced the same barriers and career struggles.”
Mary Jo Timlin-Hoag, Senior Director, Strategic Planning and Business Development, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

“It is rare to have the opportunity to share with other business women. Women are not a minority, but we often behave like we are. We keep our defenses up and feel the need to prove ourselves all the time. In this program, we were not competing — we were collaborating. From the beginning, it was like being in a group of people that you knew already. The usual competition, the hyper alertness you feel in other programs, wasn’t there. We were able to share personal things, talking about issues we struggle with every day. It wasn’t the main topic of the program, but it was interesting that we could be more open about things that we would not discuss in another environment. I have organized many leadership programs for MBA students both in Chile and overseas, and have also attended many programs. This one was really outstanding. We had some of Wharton’s top faculty with us every day — their energy and commitment to the program was a real bonus.”
Paula Broitman, Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

View all programs within: Leadership

Back To Top