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Women’s Executive Leadership: Business Strategies for Success

Program Overview

From glass ceilings and work-life balance to “leaning in” and office politics, female executive leaders face numerous challenges. As they ascend the corporate ladder and take on greater management responsibilities, women executives need to do so with a full understanding of the dynamics involved.

Women’s Executive Leadership: Business Strategies for Success is an executive leadership program for women that features the latest Wharton faculty research in work motivation and engagement, career development, internal coaching, emotional intelligence, and women in leadership roles. Participants will gain invaluable insight into their personal leadership style and career strengths, and master the building blocks of business acumen.

Read more about the Experience & Impact »

Women’s Leadership Program Highlights & Benefits

In this program, you will learn how to:

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

Contact Us

Schedule a personalized consultation to discuss your professional goals:



March 12 - 16, 2018$10,750

Philadelphia, PA

October 8 - 12, 2018$10,750

Philadelphia, PA

Download the program schedule, including session details.

Tuition for Philadelphia programs includes lodging and meals. Prices are subject to change.

womens leadership rothbard

Featured Video

“This unique program has a dual focus on clarity, in the form of leadership development, and confidence, through strengthening business acumen skills.”

Professor Nancy Rothbard on Women’s Executive Leadership

Still considering your options? View programs within Leadership or use our Program Finder.

Experience & Impact

With a dual focus on clarity and confidence, Women’s Executive Leadership delivers sophisticated business and leadership concepts that have immediate and practical application for today’s woman business leader, allowing her to improve her leadership capabilities and advance her career. Participants will come away with a better understanding of how to apply contemporary business theories currently driving their organization and results, while creating a personal plan for their own professional advancement.

Wharton faculty, led by Professor Nancy Rothbard, apply their field-based research and the latest strategic insights to help women leaders find clarity in their careers while mastering key business acumen skills that Wharton is renowned for — leadership, strategy, management, finance, innovation, and negotiation.

What sets this program apart for women executives is its strong focus on business acumen and leadership, combined with a practical approach to developing and honing these strategic skills.

Session topics include:

  • Critical Thinking & Decision Making
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Financial Acumen
  • Leaning In: How Not to Fall Over
  • Leadership & Teamwork
  • Negotiations
  • How Top Women Succeed

Each afternoon, participants will break into small groups to review the day’s learnings and discuss how they can be put into practice back at the office. Wharton faculty and executive coaches 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.

Participant Profile

Participants by Industry

Women’s Executive Leadership participants by industry

Participants by Job Function

Women’s Executive Leadership participants by job function 

Participants by Region

Women’s Executive Leadership participants by region

Who Should Attend

Women’s Executive Leadership: Business Strategies for Success 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

Participants leave the program with an expanded peer network, plus specific tools and frameworks they can use to enhance their leadership impact within their organization.

Group Enrollment

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

Plan Your Stay


Nancy Rothbard, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Academic Director

David Pottruck Professor; Chairperson, Management Department, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Emotion and identity, work motivation and engagement, work-life and career development

Sigal Barsade, PhD   See Faculty Bio

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

Research Interests: Emotional intelligence, organizational culture, team dynamics

Matthew Bidwell, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Human resource management, knowledge workers, worker mobility

Brian Bushee, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Geoffrey T. Boisi Professor of Accounting, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Corporate disclosure, institutional investors, stock market anomalies

John (Jack) Hershey, PhD   See Faculty Bio

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

Research Interests: Decision processes, emergency preparedness, operations management research

Lori Rosenkopf, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Simon and Midge Palley Professor, Professor of Management; Vice Dean and Director, Wharton Undergraduate Division, The Wharton School

Patti Williams, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Ira A. Lipman Associate Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Consumer decision making, emotional and attitudinal ambivalence, the persuasive effects of emotion


Womens Executive Leadership - Lisa Larson

Lisa Larson

Associate Vice President, HDR Inc.

Watch the testimonial video

Women's Executive Leadership - Rachel Hudson

Rachel Hudson

Vice President of Operations, Cadent Network

Watch the testimonial video

What attracted me to Wharton’s program was its focus on women. The way Wharton structured this program we were able to become very close in a short time. There was a lot of exchange of experiences in a structured way — my class had women from Africa, Brazil and the U.S., and we all have the same challenges. That was really comforting and exciting.

The emotional intelligence session was one of my favorite parts. You always think that you are a certain kind of leader but being able to detach and look at it from a different perspective was very helpful. I’ve applied insights I learned during the session every day not only professionally but also personally. Also, I’ve worked in financial markets, which is a male-dominated environment here in Latin America and in the U.S. I was happy to learn that the challenges I had during my career were the same as the other women in the program regardless their career focus or age.

This program has helped me tackle new opportunities as I’ve changed jobs, going from the Brazilian Stock Exchange to now being responsible for sales for Brazil’s first open air shopping center that uses recycled containers. I am looking to be a transformation agent in the company and building a legacy professionally.”

Karina Melendez

Head of Sales and Business Development, Vila Butantan, São Paulo, Brazil

Rachel Hudson - Testimonial

A New Perspective on Leadership

Dr. Tami Benton explains why she chose this program

Watch the testimonial video

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 Senior Director, ThermoFisher Scientific

A Diverse Network

Mary Jo Timlin-Hoag gained a new professional network

Watch the testimonial video

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

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