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Harvard Kennedy School

Women and Power: Leadership in a New World

Women and Power
May 17—22, 2020
6 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
USD 9100
USD 1516 per day

How it works


The rise of women into society's most powerful leadership roles—across sectors and around the globe—ranks among the most profound social transformations in recent decades.

Women and Power is a one-week executive program that focuses on teaching effective leadership strategies, with an emphasis on creating successful alliances and enduring partnerships. At its core, the program is an intense experience designed to help women advance to top positions of influence in public leadership.

Designed For Your Professional Development

During the program, you'll immerse yourself in a truly inspiring environment, learning from and interacting with esteemed Harvard faculty and other dynamic women leaders from around the world. A highly interactive classroom setting provides the opportunity to discuss strategies for enhancing your influence and authority in organizational and political contexts as well as examine today’s most pressing leadership challenges. You'll return home from this executive leadership program for women equipped to apply what you've learned to your current professional situation.

Women and Power will enable you to:

  • Gain new skills and frameworks for analyzing political and strategic management issues.
  • Examine recent research on women and leadership and its application in the workplace.
  • Strengthen your negotiation, coalition-building and communication capabilities.
  • Build a lasting network of women leaders from diverse professional backgrounds and similar levels of career achievement.


Women and Power is an intense one-week program designed to help women advance to top positions of influence. The curriculum builds upon the extraordinary experience of Faculty Chair Hannah Riley Bowles, fellow program participants and other leadership experts.

In-class exercises, case studies, simulations and small-group discussions create a highly engaging learning environment. This format gives you and your peers the opportunity to work through real-life challenges while honing your analysis, communications and negotiations skills.

A focal point for sharing in the program is the peer feedback forum, “Board of Directors.” Each morning you'll gather in small groups to meet with your board and focus on individual issues and challenges. Through this daily discussion, you'll gain insight and guidance from your classmates on an array of leadership and management issues. The relationships you make in these groups will continue to be valuable sources of guidance after you return to your organizational role.

The Women and Power curriculum explores the multi-dimensional issues faced by women executives, focusing on:

  • New conceptual frameworks for thinking about leadership across public, nonprofit and corporate sectors
  • Challenging political and strategic management issues
  • Communication and negotiation skills
  • How the political process can be influenced
  • The comparison of lessons learned with women from diverse professional backgrounds and similar levels of career achievement
  • The latest research on women and leadership

Who should attend

Women and Power is designed for senior executive women from public, nonprofit/NGO and corporate organizations.

Recommended applicants include:

  • Senior level public officials serving at the national, state or local level
  • C-level corporate executives, including presidents and vice presidents
  • Nonprofit/NGO board members and senior administrators
  • Senior posts in national and international civil service
  • Senior elected and appointed public officials
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Hannah Riley Bowles is a Senior Lecturer and chair of the Management, Leadership, and Decision Sciences Area. She is a leading expert on how gender influences pay negotiations and more broadly on negotiation as a micro-mechanism of inequality. Her current research focuses on women's leadership ad...


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