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Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education

Cambridge Rising Women Leaders Programme

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Cambridge Rising Women Leaders Programme - Origins of the programme

Next dates

Jun 26—28
3 days
Cambridge, United Kingdom
GBP 3594 ≈USD 4649
GBP 1198 per day
Sep 25—27
3 days
Cambridge, United Kingdom
GBP 3594 ≈USD 4649
GBP 1198 per day


The challenge

Research shows that diversity in senior leadership encourages innovation, improves decision-making, reduces corporate misconduct and improves financial returns. Despite this fact, gender diversity is still a worldwide challenge at both an organisational and an individual level.

Whilst we have witnessed great strides in achieving gender balance in the workplace, there are still systemic barriers in place for women looking to achieve more senior leadership roles. In addition, our experience has shown that some women lack the belief, confidence or support to reach the top.

Many organisations have put in place initiatives to encourage gender diversity but progress is slow. The average percentage of women on boards of the 1,000 largest global companies is 16.8 per cent. The percentage of women in executive positions is even lower, standing at 11.7 per cent.

Even in progressive market places like the UK, the challenge is significant. Women on average earn 18 per cent less than men, and women managers are 40 per cent less likely to be promoted than male managers.

The future is bright

Despite the significant challenges, we believe positive progress is being made, with the number of female executives globally set to rise by 36 per cent. We believe that supporting and nurturing a growing pool of talented female professionals is a crucial step in achieving greater diversity and it is what drives our work at Cambridge Judge Business School. We believe that a lot can be achieved by taking a collaborative and positive approaching to understanding and empowering female leadership.

Global context, personal growth

To address the global challenge of gender diversity we need to keep focused on the big picture whilst making a commitment to individual growth. We strongly believe that women need to proactively prepare themselves for the opportunities and challenges of executive positions through building confidence, personal power and leadership skills. We take a strengths-based perspective, looking at the positives of female power and encouraging authentic leadership styles that serve both the individual and the organisation.

Our two day, research-based open enrolment programme has been designed specifically for high potential women in junior and mid-level managerial positions aspiring to reach the top. Our academics and industry partners provide the context of a shifting global marketplace whilst helping you to identify and develop your own personal leadership style.

This research and evidence-based programme takes place in the historic city of Cambridge, providing you with the space and support to fully commit to your personal and professional growth.

Wo+Men’s Leadership Centre

Participants of the programme become lifelong members of Wo+Men's Leadership Centre (WLC), which aims is to foster the next generation of women leaders and expand the pool of women with the requisite leadership skills.

The Centre conducts cutting-edge research to generate insights on creating the cultures, institutions and organisations that will enable more women to become successful leaders. By bringing students, corporations and policy makers more closely together, WLC disseminates the findings and creates forums to translate ideas into practical solutions.

Four core themes - or 'pillars' - form the basis of the programme:


This is the foundational part of the programme, where participants will spend time working on and analysing their own psychometric profiling, on their personality and leadership style, as well as self-efficacy.

They will leave the programme with a clear plan of how to further build and enhance their leadership style.

Strengths building

Participants will work through negotiation skills and techniques for improving communication. More specifically, sessions will include topics such as female leadership, confidence-building/executive-centred skill building, as well as how to build and grow high-performing teams.

Participants will leave the programme with greater self-confidence and effective techniques for continued success in this area.

Shared experiences – 'words of wisdom'

The group will have the unique opportunity to listen to, debate and exchange views with some of today's most successful leaders - in the corporate world as well as from a range of exciting sectors. The stories emerging from these unique individuals would not be ones usually released - this would take place in an intimate, confidential setting. In addition, participants will be able to engage in personal conversations during reception and dinner with the distinguished panel members as well as each other.

Continued learning

Upon completion of the programme, participants will automatically become members of Cambridge Judge Business School's Women's Leadership Initiative, founded in 2015. This serves as a platform to enable women's' empowerment and leadership in the business world globally. Participants will be connected to other members in this wider group, and be invited to events associated with this. Their leadership journey will continue beyond the two-day programme.


Some of the topics covered on the programme (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Executive coaching and career strategies
  • Female leadership advantage
  • Negotiation skills
  • Building, working with and growing high-performing teams
  • Strategies for career success, discussed with a distinguished panel
  • Strength based approach


  • A clear action plan for career advancement in rising to senior leadership roles
  • Reflective learning through discussions and debates about how to address the real challenges faced by participants in their current roles
  • Close and informal conversations with senior executives about their journey to the top and their advice on how to tackle the challenges participants face in their career advancement
  • A strong supportive network of peers who will remain on the learning journey beyond the programme
  • Historic Cambridge college dinner at the end of the first day, with a distinguished speaker
  • Membership of Cambridge Judge Business School's Women's Leadership Initiative that includes:

  • Invitation to yearly networking events and skill-building workshops such as the Women's Leadership Conference

  • Regular updates and sharing of cutting-edge research articles by CJBS faculty.

  • Platforms and forums for knowledge and job sharing with the women's leadership participant community

The Cambridge experience

The biggest differentiating factor in this programme is Cambridge - the Cambridge experience. Cambridge is one of the most impactful universities in the world. Our faculty are experts in their field and we attract the best and brightest from around the world, engaging deeply with policy makers and corporations to make the crucial shifts in mindsets and approaches.

The University of Cambridge is one of the world’s oldest universities and leading academic centres. Its reputation for outstanding academic achievement is known worldwide and reflects the intellectual achievement of its students, as well as the world-class original research carried out by the faculty of the University and the Colleges.

Cambridge Judge Business School is a great business school at the heart of the University and is in the business of transformation - of individuals, of organisations and society. It means we work with every student and organisation at a deep level, identifying important problems and questions, challenging and coaching people to find answers, and creating new knowledge.

Cambridge and its historic colleges are both beautiful and inspiring for those seeking new knowledge. As part of this programme participants will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Cambridge environment with cultural activities such as a walking tour and the formal dining experience at one of the historic Colleges.

Who should attend

This programme is designed for women who are intent on growing their professional capabilities within their organisations, and also their personal capabilities beyond corporate life. We are expecting a truly global audience, with high potential women around the world convening in Cambridge.

Participants should be in the early to middle phases of their careers in management roles, with around three to 10 years' experience in an entry to middle-management role.

The programme takes an uplifting approach to the opportunities which are there to be seized for women.


Non-Executive Director of: TSB (2014-); Winton Capital Management (2013-); Institute for Government (2012-); Social Science Research Council USA (2009-, Chair of Executive Committee 2014-); Trustee, American University of Sharjah (2014-); Member of the UK-India Round Table (2006-). DRS (Data Res...
Sinyi Professor of Chinese Management Director of the Wo+Men''s Leadership Centre Head of the Strategy & International Business subject group Professorial Fellow of Newnham College PhD (University of Kansas) Research interests Sucheta''s research interests lie in two broad areas: Strat...
For more than 15 years, she has been advising and coaching senior professionals with a combination of deep psychological expertise as well as business and consulting experience. Before joining McKinsey, Smaranda worked in consumer/retail and as a specialised consultant for change management and c...


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