skip to navigation skip to content
 

Cambridge Rising Women Leaders Programme

Overview

Whereas women have made great strides in corporate careers, their rise up the corporate ladder is still not easy. Apart from more systemic factors such as real or perceived glass ceilings, unconscious biases and leaky pipelines that women need to overcome to reach the top successfully, women also often lack the belief or confidence that they can reach the top. Although most organisations have put initiatives in place to help women leaders succeed and grow, progress in real numbers and cases is still slow with the average percentage of women on the boards of the 1,000 largest global companies' boards in 2014 stands at only 16.8 percent. The percentage of women in executive positions was even lower globally, at only 11.7 per cent.

However, the future outlook is promising with projected females rising to executive positions globally set to rise significantly (36 per cent) in the next decade. Programmes are being put into place to subsequently help women grow through the career ranks. To seize these opportunities, women need to proactively prepare themselves for the opportunities and challenges of executive positions through building confidence and personal power and leadership skills as part of clearly planned long-term career strategies.

This unique two-day open enrolment programme has been designed specifically for high potential women in junior and mid-level managerial positions aspiring to reach the top, or senior positions, within their organisations. It offers the opportunity for them to convene in Cambridge for the start of a learning journey which will enable them to formulate their individual strategies, interact with senior Cambridge Faculty, exchange and debate with their peers, and hear personal leadership stories from a distinguished panel of guest speakers who are top executives in leading corporate and public sector organisations. The programme content is evidence-based and has evolved from senior Cambridge faculty who have been conducting award-winning and highly impactful research in the area of women in business as well as seasoned business executives who contribute with a wealth of experience in the area of women leadership and advancement. The programme bridges and balances this evidence-based approach with best practice lessons from professionals who are present during the programme and able to discuss and debate with participants.

The programme will take place in a historic Cambridge college; there will be a prestigious dinner at the end of the first day with a distinguished guest speaker. Cambridge is a conducive place for learning, and the participants will be able to immerse themselves in this unique city, where the walls breathe knowledge, with no distractions.

the four pillars of leadership: self-awareness, strength building, shared experiences and continued learning

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

Self-awareness

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 Wo+Men'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.

Topics

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

Programme information subject to change.

Benefits

  • 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
  • A positive, strength based approach to building on leadership skills
  • Historic Cambridge college dinner at the end of the first day, with a distinguished speaker
  • Membership of Cambridge Judge Business School's Wo+Men's Leadership Initiative that includes:

    • Invitation to yearly networking events and skill-building workshops such as the Wo+Men'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

This programme counts as one course for those completing the Cambridge Judge Business School General Management Certificate of Achievement. On completing the GMCA you will be eligible to become an associate member of Cambridge Judge Business School's global network of graduates and business-focused University of Cambridge alumni, faculty and staff.

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 strength based approach to the opportunities which are there to be seized for women.

This is a programme every woman leader should consider. It is packed full of important insights, thought provoking case studies, challenging debates and, very importantly, a lot of fun. It's an invaluable programme for women so don't miss the opportunity to book.
Gillian Beasley, Speaker on the Cambridge Rising Women Leaders Programme

Faculty & speakers

Academic Programme Director

Sucheta Nadkarni

Sucheta Nadkarni

Sucheta Nadkarni is the Sinyi Chaired Professor of Chinese Management and Head of the Strategy & International Business group at Cambridge Judge Business School. Professor Nadkarni is also a Professorial Fellow at Newnham College. 

Read more

Sucheta is also the faculty lead of the Women's Leadership Initiative at Cambridge Judge. She served as the associate editor of the Journal of Management (2011-2016) and is the incoming associate editor of the Academy of Management Journal (2016-2019). She sits on the editorial of four other leading academic journals.

Her primary research interests include strategic leadership with a special focus on female rise to corporate boards and to executive leadership positions. She has published extensively in leading academic journals in management. Her research on female rise to boardrooms has been featured in global media outlets including New York Times, Forbes, CNBC, Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Reuters, Economic Times, Times of India, Herald Tribune, Borsen, O Globo, The Times (Kuwait), Business Standard and Folha De Sao Paulo. Her recent research on "The rise of women in society: enablers and inhibitors, a global study" won the Highly Commended Award for "Thought Leadership" at the Investment Week Marketing & Innovation Awards, 2015 and was cited in the 2016 Lord Davies Women on Boards report commissioned by the UK government. She has worked on research projects and grants with companies such as Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton, Newton Asset Management and BNY Mellon and the 30% Club. She worked closely with two MBA students (Rena Zuabi and Siobhan Sweeney) to initiate the 30% Club Scholarships at CJBS.

Watch an interview with Sucheta at the distinguished panel at the Women Changing Europe Symposium organised by Columbia University, Barnard College.

Instructors

Smaranda Gosa-Mensing

Smaranda Gosa-Mensing

Smaranda is the European Head of Talent for McKinsey's New Ventures, based in London.

Read more

For more than 15 years, she has been advising and coaching senior professionals with a combination of deep psychological understanding as well as business and consulting experience. She is a caring and passionate driver of initiatives and programs to help advance women leaders. 

Smaranda is a psychologist and holds an Executive Masters in Coaching and Consulting for Change from INSEAD. Before joining McKinsey, Smaranda worked in consumer/retail and as a specialised consultant for change management and coaching, advising senior executives on leadership issues. As much as she cares about women leadership, she is also a passionate mother of three and enjoys spending her free time with her two-year-old son and her twin baby daughters.

Cath Bishop

Cath Bishop

As Chair of Cambridge University's Women's Boat Club, Cath enthuses students to wave their training oars defiantly in the face of a challenge. Fluent in five languages, few people are as well-equipped to inspire others all over the world and influence them to pursue higher goals.

Read more

Cath has a BA in modern languages from Pembroke College, Cambridge, a masters in international politics from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and a PhD in contemporary German literature from the University of Reading. Cath won medals at the World Championships twice, a silver in 1998 in the women's pair with Dot Blackie, and gold in 2003, again in the pair, with Katherine Grainger. She won silver in the 2004 Olympic Games in the women's pair with Grainger. In 1999 she was the World Indoor Rowing Champion. From 2001 through 2014 Bishop forged a career with the Foreign Office, for whom she worked in London; Sarajevo, Bosnia; and Basra Iraq. Her roles included: Politica, Projects and Press Officer at British Embassy, Sarajevo, from 2004; Political Adviser to the High Representative to Bosnia & Herzegovina from 2006; Head of the Political Section at the British Consulate in Basra from 2007; and Deputy Director of the Stabilisation Unit in London from 2009-2011.

Cath Bishop is a versatile speaker with key lessons for companies floundering in the rocky waters of business. Sharing practical strategies to help teams make a splash with exceptional results, Cath relays the need for clarity and honesty to achieve success. Delivering outstanding performance under extreme circumstances is Cath's lifeblood - both from her gruelling Olympic training regime and through her struggle for survival as she sheltered from shelling on her diplomatic mission to Basra.

Cath returned from two Olympic games without a medal and decided that, after rigorous physical and psychological training, she had to unlock the secret to her non-success. In her search for new tactics, she ultimately adopted the well-documented 'marginal gains' attitude that saw her sail smoothly onto the podium. No stranger to tough situations, the decade Cath spent as a British diplomat in Bosnia and Iraq has equipped her with the highest level of strategy-building, resilience, and a determination to do her job in the face of danger and adversity. Both rowing and international diplomacy are effective analogies for interdependency and collaboration in business. In a unique amalgamation of her diverse experiences, Cath deftly relates genuine insights into setbacks and how to respond to them.

Guest speakers invited to contribute in either March or September

Michael Cole-Fontayn

Michael Cole-Fontayn

Michael Cole-Fontayn, Executive Vice President of BNY Mellon, is Chairman of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Michael is a Member of the Corporate Executive and Operating Committees.

Read more

As Chairman of EMEA, Michael is responsible for governance culture and leads regional strategy development, execution and the delivery of enterprise initiatives in the region. BNY Mellon is an investments company focused on investment management and investment services. BNY Mellon employs more than 9,000 people in EMEA.

Michael has been with the Bank since 1984 starting as a Credit and Risk Analyst. He attended the BNY Mellon New York training programme from 1985 to 1986. Michael worked on and took responsibility for a variety of special industry banking groups between 1986 and 1992. Michael joined the DR Division in 1992, and has worked on many DR equity capital raising transactions, including numerous privatizations and equity offerings around the world. Michael has previously served as CEO of Depositary Receipts and ran The Bank of New York Mellon's Issuer Services Group in Hong Kong for seven years from 1993-2000.

Previously chair of The EMEA Issuer and Treasury Services Committee, he is currently chair of the European Executive Management Committee and the BNYM Charity/Community Affairs Programme.

A graduate of Westminster University (PCL), Michael received a BA (Hons.) in Business Management. He is a board member of the Association of Financial Markets in Europe (AFME), and is a member of the Advisory Boards of TheCityUK and British American Business and attends the All Party Parliamentary Corporate Governance Group.

 

Gillian Beasley

Gillian is the Chief Executive at Peterborough and Cambridgeshire County Council and is the principal policy adviser to the 69 County Councillors and the statutory Head of Paid Service.

Read more

She is accountable for the Council's half a billion pound budget as well as the work of around 10,000 employees across the Council and Cambridgeshire schools who deliver a wide range of services to the community.

Gillian is a solicitor by profession and quickly moved from the private to the public sector after qualifying in 1983 and beginning her career in local government as a trainee lawyer with Leeds City Council. It is for services to local government that Gillian was awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours, 2008.

Dame Sandra Dawson

Dame Sandra Dawson

Dame Sandra is KPMG Professor Emeritus at Cambridge Judge Business School. She was Director of the School from 1995 to 2006, Master of Sidney Sussex College from 1999-2009 and one of the Deputy Vice Chancellors of the University 2008-2012. She writes and consults on organisational behaviour, leadership and innovation.

Read more

In 2004 Dame Sandra was invested as a Dame Commander of the British Empire as part of the UK national honours system in recognition of her contribution to higher education and management research. In 2006 she was inducted into the International Women's Forum's International Hall of Fame in recognition of her achievements in business education and leadership development including being an outstanding role model for women who aspire to lead in the commercial, educational and not-for-profit sectors.

Dame Sandra has wide experience in the commercial, public and charitable sectors, both in leading executive development and through serving on Boards. She is a Non-Executive Director of DRS (Data Research Services), TSB bank and Winton Capital Management and a Trustee and Non-Executive Director of the Institute of Government, the Social Science Research Council in the USA and the American University of Sharjah. She is a member of the UK India Round Table and has previously been a member of the Prime Minister's Council on Science and Technology, an ICAEW Regulatory Governance review and an Advisory Board for the Aga Khan University on building a business School to meet the needs of emerging economies. Previously she has been Chairman of Riverside Mental Health NHS Trust; Vice Chair of Oxfam and served as a Non-Executive Director of Barclays plc, JPMorgan Claverhouse Investment Trust, the Financial Services Authority, the Public Health Laboratory Service and Cambridge Econometrics and a member of the UK's Senior Salaries Review Body and the DTI Task Force 'Accounting for People'.

Watch an interview with Dame Sandra on the importance of celebrating women across the world.

Jyoti Chopra

Jyoti Chopra is Head of Global Citizenship and Sustainability at BNY Mellon. She joined the company in 2012 and is based in New York City. 

Read more

Her areas of responsibility include Corporate Social Responsibility, Philanthropy, Social Finance, Diversity and Inclusion and the Corporate Art Collection. She serves on the company’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Council. She is a member of BNY Mellon’s Senior Leadership Team and is the company’s representative to the Global Talent and Diversity Council of the Asia Society.  

Martha S. Wikstrom

Martha (Marty) S. Wikstrom is a seasoned brand and retail executive with over 30 years’ experience in global executive roles. She is a founding partner of Atelier Fund, specialising in the acquisition and development of luxury brands.  

Read more

Ms Wikstrom currently sits as a Board Director of Fortnum & Mason, the 300-year-old quintessential English purveyor of food, drinks and gifts, Johnstons of Elgin, which has been making Scottish cashmere, tweed and woollens since 1797 and Farrow & Ball, a global leader in high quality paint and wallpaper. She is also a Board Director of The Rug Company, purveyors of handmade, designer rugs and Cath Kidston, the home of modern vintage. She was formerly a Non-Executive Director of Bally International Ltd. and Space.NK.

As Chief Executive Officer, Ms Wikstrom led the Fashion and Accessories brands of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA. She also served as both a Non-Executive and then Executive Director of the Board, sitting on the Nominations Committee, the Group’s Management Committee, the Chairman’s Committee and the Strategic Product and Communications Committee. 

Ms Wikstrom served as the Deputy Managing Director and then Managing Director of Harrods. She was a Board Director of Harrods Holdings, Harrods Estates and Kurt Geiger where she was also the interim Chief Executive Officer.

Prior to joining Harrods, Ms Wikstrom spent 19 years at Nordstrom where she rose from a part-time sales assistant to President of the Full Line Stores Group. 

In 2017, Ms Wikstrom was inducted into the World Retail Congress Hall of Fame.

30% Club scholarship available for the Cambridge Rising Women Leaders Programme

Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education are excited to be collaborating with the 30% Club to offer a scholarship for the Cambridge …

Read more

The top five lessons from female leaders

Women in leadership: let’s focus on how women succeed, not on why they fail. Why do women ‘fail’ to make it to …

Read more

Are you a female millennial with ambition? Start planning for the top job now.

A lot has been written about women on boards, with many seeing them as a reflection of the wider role of women …

Read more

Reuters Breakingviews: Boardroom gender quotas have hidden value

Term limits for directors and gender diversity rules in corporate governance codes help improve female representation in top executive roles, but quotas …

Read more

City AM: International Women’s Day 2016: Sorry, but quotas aren’t the way to get more women into executive roles

Term limits for directors and gender diversity rules in corporate governance codes help improve female representation in top executive roles, but quotas …

Read more

The Huffington Post: Paid maternity leave could be the key to making more women leaders

“Getting women on the board is very different from keeping them there,” said Sucheta Nadkarni, presenting a new research on women in …

Read more

Forbes: Quotas aren’t a great way to get more women on boards, new study says

Are quotas a good way to boost those numbers, asks Susan Adams in Forbes. A new study commissioned by BNY Mellon and …

Read more

The Guardian: Greater economic and political power gives women more seats in boardroom

A new research found that powers outside the boardroom are more important for gender equality in business than quotas. The study, led …

Read more

The New York Times: Quotas not the best way to add and retain women for corporate boards, study finds

Empowering all women in society helps women reach and stay on corporate boards, says study headed by Professor Sucheta Nadkarni of Cambridge …

Read more

Dates & fees

Dates Duration Fees *
14-15 September 2017 2 days £2,300 + VAT
22-23 March 2018 2 days £2,300 + VAT
13-14 September 2018 2 days £2,300 + VAT

VAT is charged at the prevailing rate, which is 20%; e.g. £2,300 + 20% = £2,760.

* Fees (which are exclusive of VAT and accommodation) include instruction, materials, lunch, breaks and a college dinner. Preferential rates may be available for groups, University of Cambridge alumni and members of the School's Alumni Association. Please note prices pre-registration are subject to change.

For information regarding payment terms, cancellation rights, transfer policies and fees, please see our terms & conditions documents:

Terms & Conditions for Self-funded Applicants (pdf, 226KB) (updated 27 October 2015)
Terms & Conditions for Organisation-funded Applicants (pdf, 243KB) (updated 27 October 2015)

Registration closes at midday two working days before the programme start date.

Participants are expected to attend the full programme.

What a fantastic couple of days. I had high expectations and was thrilled that these expectations were significantly surpassed. The diversity of first-class speakers and facilitators and variety of topics addressed in the two days meant this was a huge privilege to be a part of. Brilliantly organised and facilitated, the programme was a perfect mix for me of theory, practice and insights from a variety of experts. I'm really looking forward to continuing my development on the back of what I learnt and catching up with the programme alumni at future CJBS Wo+Men's Leadership Initiative events.
Belinda Benton, IT Senior Manager, ARM
I attended this programme because I am ready for the next level in my career and needed a confidence boost. This programme was all so relevant and useful and has given me a different perspective. This is probably one of the best leadership courses I have attended and all the speakers were authentic and an inspiration.
Michelle Forward, Head of European Money Transfer, BNY Mellon
The two day programme was an excellent immersion into fostering confidence building and leadership skills for women managers. The exercises made me reflect on my psychometric profile, leadership style and self-efficacy. The strength building component of the course, confidence-building/improving executive-centered skills and how to build and grow high-performing teams, including techniques for improving communication were particularly relevant to me. I found the course had a good balance between theory and research based approach with concrete data and the exercises we did allowing to put into practice what was discussed. I would definitely recommend it to anyone for whom the development of a career plan and leadership skills for future roles of responsibility are relevant.
Sofia Moreira De Sousa, Deputy Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union to South Africa

The 30% Club was established in the UK in 2010, with a goal of achieving 30 per cent women on FTSE 100 boards by the end of 2015 in order to create a more balanced and diverse workforce. When the initiative was first launched the figure stood at just 12.5 per cent. Today it stands at 25.4 per cent. These significant results have been achieved by encouraging chairmen to appoint more women to boards, and by supporting businesses in implementing schemes to improve diversity at all levels within their organisation. But there is still work to be done. 

Cambridge Judge Business School is collaborating with the 30% Club to address the imbalance and to provide opportunities for talented women to access the benefits of a world-class business education.

Cambridge Judge Business School and the 30% Club are committed to addressing gender imbalance and to helping more women reach influential positions. 

The Cambridge Rising Women Leaders Programme 30% Club Scholarship has been established to encourage and support ambitious women who are aspiring towards senior leadership roles. For the programme which takes place on 14-15 September 2017, one 30% Club Scholarship is open to an exceptional female candidate who is currently in a junior or middle management positions within her organisation. Scholars need to be nominated by their organisation, and will receive a fully funded place on the two-day non-residential programme.

For details of how to apply please get in touch with the programme advisor, Claire Wright at execopeninfo@jbs.cam.ac.uk or call +44 (0)1223 330741.

Please note: the application deadline is Sunday 18 June 2017 and the successful scholar will be announced by 30 June 2017. The deciding panel will consist of Allison Wheeler-Heau, Director of Open Programmes, and Professor Sucheta Nadkarni, the Academic Programme Director.

We are delighted about the partnership on this programme. The scholarships aim to help junior and middle level women realise their aspirations of rising to top positions and to help companies improve the pipeline of female executives.
Brenda Trenowden, Global Chair, 30% Club

If you have any questions or would like to have a chat about this programme and how it could benefit you or your organisation, please get in touch with the programme advisor:

Claire Wright

Senior Open Programme Advisor
Tel: +44 (0)1223 330741

execopeninfo@jbs.cam.ac.uk

Connect with Claire on LinkedIn

Access Claire's profile

Claire Wright

Version 3.4 (11 April 2017)

Book a place

You can register for this programme via our online system. Please note the registration form will open in a new tab/window.

When you register for this programme, please let us know if your organisation is paying for your placement or if you are applying as an individual.

Organisation

Select your chosen date:


Individual

Select your chosen date:

Identify the right open programme for you or your organisation.

Explore our programmes