Women in Leadership


Certificate Overview

  • 3 month duration
  • 5 two-week courses
  • 3-5 hours per week

This five-course certificate program examines the issues facing women in leadership positions and offers strategies for handling them. Professor Deborah Streeter balances academic research regarding social norms and expectations with practical strategies for operating effectively within the workplace. She discusses how to outmaneuver the “double bind” dilemma, showing strong leadership qualities without being penalized for it. Professor Streeter discusses how women can best negotiate in the workplace, ways to effectively provide both positive and negative feedback and how they can strengthen their emotional intelligence to stand out as a leader among both men and women.

This certificate positions women who are in leadership positions to recognize when there is a gender dimension at work and how they can outstrategize gender bias and their own habits to achieve better results.

  • Navigate the “double bind” dilemma facing women in leadership; that is, women are both penalized for using leadership behaviors associated with masculinity and penalized as being weak if their behavior is seen as too feminine
  • Outmaneuver typical negotiation traps that women leaders fall into
  • Develop emotional intelligence so that women can lead others with greater empathy, self-awareness, and social management
  • Give feedback effectively, putting their team in a position to succeed
  • Identify what an optimal work/life balance looks like and give women leaders the tools needed to craft this balance for themselves, allowing for both professional and personal success

Women who are mid- to-senior level managers, regardless of whether they have a formal team to lead. This course is also meant for women who aspire to move into leadership roles and have a minimum 3-5 years professional experience. It is applicable to a global audience from developed countries.

Faculty Author

Dr. Deborah Streeter

Certificate Courses

Course Description

Most women in leadership roles face a very common dilemma: If they’re strong, assertive leaders, they’re viewed as domineering and abrasive, encountering resistance as a result; if they aren’t assertive enough, they’re viewed as weak and a pushover, making it hard to get support within the organization. In this course, you will examine that very common “double bind” and identify strategies to deal with it. 

All leaders, regardless of gender, face conflict and resistance and have to work with with people who think, act and communicate differently from themselves. In this course, Deborah Streeter, the Bruce F. Failing, Sr., Professor of Personal Enterprise at Cornell, will show you how to recognize when there's gender bias at play and when there isn't and how to address any issues that arise. 

Course Description

Many women say they would rather go to the dentist than to negotiate for themselves. Why? Women are taught early to create equity in relationships. When you negotiate with someone and you feel that you're taking something away from them, that feels like a violation of the social contract you were raised with. There's little wonder, then, that negotiation feels deeply uncomfortable for many women.

And yet negotiating is a critical skill that everyone, especially women, has to practice and master in order to be an effective leader. In this course from Cornell Professor Deborah Streeter, you will practice key behaviors that help negotiations, including asking for what you want—something most women are not taught to do. The course emphasizes the gender dimension of negotiation strategies and the critical skills that women leaders, in particular, typically need to focus on. This course will be most helpful for women leaders who are not already practiced and comfortable in negotiation settings, but those who find negotiating stressful, uncomfortable, and difficult. Negotiating is a routine part of daily life and leadership, and approaching it with confidence and skill continually signals that you know your worth.

Course Description

Research shows that emotional intelligence is a critical predictor of performance and a very strong driver of leadership and personal excellence. Those with high emotional intelligence can typically read a room quickly, clue into subterfuge and more easily show respect and empathy. While soft skills such as those may not sound impressive, they can be imperative for a woman in a leadership role. You can be a top performer without any emotional intelligence, but the numbers are against you. 
In this course from Professor Deborah Streeter, women leaders can develop their emotional intelligence and learn how to use it to their advantage to manage their team to greater success.

Course Description

Research shows that feedback is critical for leaders and that creating a culture of feedback is key to a team’s success. The more successful a team is, the better an organization’s bottom line. However, there is an art to giving and receiving feedback and if not done properly, feedback can have a negative impact to morale. Conversely, teams who receive feedback in a positive, supportive way will strive to continue to do well.

There can be a gender dimension to giving and receiving feedback that is critical for women in leadership roles to understand, as men and women react differently. In this course, Professor Deborah Streeter will examine the gender dimensions of giving and receiving feedback and will explore strategies for working as effectively as possible to lead a high-performing team. 

Course Description

To maintain energy and positive focus, it’s critical for women in leadership roles to maintain a healthy and productive balance between their professional and personal lives. In this course, Professor Deborah Streeter examines the typical work-life balance conflicts that interfere with productivity and happiness. Students will also examine ways to create various checks to ensure they stay in balance, allowing them to move forward effectively, focusing energy on the tasks that will have the greatest positive impact.