Women's Director Development Program

Kellogg School of Management

How long?

  • 3 days
  • in person

What are the topics?

Kellogg School of Management


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Women's Leadership course will help women in leadership positions or seeking high career goals move beyond gender biases and understand how to respond...


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Who should attend

  • Senior women executives seeking directorships
  • Women directors seeking opportunities on Fortune 1000 boards
  • Women with the financial literacy, business acumen, perspective and experience necessary to perform well in a governance role
  • This program is limited to women with specific business experience. You must receive approval from Kellogg to participate. This will require a completed Kellogg application and a recommendation from either your CEO or a sitting board member of your choice endorsing you as qualified for board opportunities.

About the course

The Journey to the Boardroom

This highly-customized program from the Kellogg Center for Executive Women provides a rigorous approach to corporate director training. You’ll gain the skills you need to be an effective board member and practical tools for landing a seat at the table. In a collaborative atmosphere, you’ll learn alongside other rising executive women.

Through one-on-one interactions with experienced directors, board advisors, senior Kellogg professors, and alums of this program currently sitting on corporate boards, you will discover how to make the leap onto nominating committees’ radar screens, gain insight into choosing the right board opportunities for you and understand how to contribute meaningfully as a director.

Key Benefits

  • Broaden your understanding of the role of the board
  • Hone your skills crafting and delivering your value proposition for a board seat
  • Increase your visibility with executive search firms and nominating committees
  • Analyze opportunities to harness your network to identify and create board opportunities
  • Learn to detect red flags and read between the lines in financial statements

Program Content

Characteristics of the Most Effective Boards and Board Members

  • Explore critical roles of directors in strategy and change
  • Examine emerging governance challenges and trends

Your Value Proposition

  • Develop a compelling board profile highlighting governance competencies
  • Hone a concise value proposition to use within your network and with other influencers
  • Practice delivering your value proposition to people in your network, search firm executives, your CEO, and directors

Board Interview

  • Prepare yourself for an interview that is unlike other interviews; get ready to answer questions about your role in governance
  • Practice in a setting with experienced directors so you are prepared for the interviews to come

Earning the Nomination

  • Build credibility, evaluate board opportunities, and conduct the due diligence to select the right boards to join

Be an Effective Director

  • Gather and analyze information to maximize your contributions in meetings and ask the right questions
  • Identify red flags in financial statements with a careful analysis of balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow


Listing In Database Of Women Directors

As a participant in this program, you can create an individual profile in the Kellogg Center for Executive Women’s Database of Women Directors, an extensive repository of information on exceptionally well-qualified female board candidates. The Kellogg Center for Executive Women uses this database to provide information on qualified directors to search firms, nominating committees and CEOs free of charge. The Kellogg Center for Executive Women also proactively reaches out to companies to encourage them to consider qualified women for their boards.

Below are examples of boards on which former participants of the Women’s Director Development Program currently hold seats:

  • Apogee Enterprises, Inc.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • CDW Computer Centers
  • CIGNA Corporation
  • Honeywell International
  • Ingredion Incorporated
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Optima Bank and Trust Co.
  • Oshkosh Corporation
  • Salesforce.com
  • Sargento
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Weyerhaeuser
  • Whirlpool
  • Xcel Energ


Victoria Medvec

Dr. Victoria Medvec is the Adeline Barry Davee Professor of Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.  In addition, Dr. Medvec is a co-founder and the Executive Director of the Center for Executive Women at the Kellogg School and the CEO of Medve...

Edward Zajac

Ed Zajac joined the faculty of the Kellogg School of Management after completing his Ph.D. in organization and strategy at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. At Kellogg, he received the James F. Bere Chair and the Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the Unive...

Marian Powers

Marian Powers earned her Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana. She has served on the accounting faculty of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and The Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. Since 1987, sh...

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Women's Director Development Program at Kellogg School of Management

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Women Leadership

Participants of Women Leadership courses will get acquainted with intriguing theoretical material, popular ideas, as well as get a lot of practice, implementation of the acquired skills. Thanks to the training format, you can always discuss topics th...

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