New Cornell Certificate Provides Women Essential Framework and Negotiation Tools to Break Through Barriers to Leadership Success

Groundbreaking online program combats unconscious bias with a new approach to help women advance and organizations address gender dynamics —

January 18, 2017 (Ithaca, NY) – Women today are half of the workforce at the beginning of the corporate talent pipeline, yet barely 19 percent at the CEO level—and underrepresented everywhere in between. To help organizations everywhere close this gap, eCornell is now offering a unique online program that provides women with a highly personalized approach to achieving their leadership goals. Designed by award-winning Cornell University professor Deborah Streeter, the new Women in Leadership certificate gives professional women in every industry and function actionable tools and influencing tactics to transform unseen barriers to success into open doors.

“Professional women today have access to lots of leadership materials, but few consider how gender interacts with organizational culture to block advancement. This certificate is a rare resource for women, giving them a private space for self-reflection paired with research and real-world insights. And, it can also help all organizational leaders, including men, better understand the gender dimensions of leadership,” said Deborah Streeter, Ph.D., faculty author and the Bruce F. Failing, Sr. Professor of Personal Enterprise and Small Business Management at Cornell’s Dyson School.

The five courses comprising the Women in Leadership certificate examine the core determinants of leadership success in the context of “the double bind”, a pervasive cultural bias involving assumptions about how women should look, think, and act. Streeter starts by exploring research on how women are often penalized for using stereotypically masculine leadership behaviors but seen as weak if their behavior is deemed too feminine.  For example, according to and McKinsey, women today are “leaning in” more—by negotiating for raises, promotions, and challenging assignments nearly as much as men—but are 30 percent more likely to get negative feedback that they’re “bossy” or “too aggressive,” and still lag men in promotion rates.[1]

The remaining courses cover essential negotiation skills, emotional intelligence, performance feedback, and work/life balance—all giving women tactics they can quickly apply to influence positive outcomes in conversations at work. Throughout, students use self-assessments and targeted activities to build confidence, become more aware of their individual tendencies, and gain new perspectives through video interviews with women leaders from a cross-section of industries—a small sampling of the thousands of interviews Professor Streeter has collected to bring authentic voices from the workforce to her classrooms.

Designed to be completed in 3 months, eCornell’s Women in Leadership program is relevant to women at any career level, but especially valuable for those in early management roles—where studies show the greatest gender disparity in promotion rates—as well as those who aspire to leadership positions and have at least three to five years of professional experience. The program also offers organizations an applied, personalized learning and development option to fill a gap in gender diversity efforts at a price point usually seen for generic one-day programs.

Students who successfully complete this certificate program receive a Women in Leadership Certificate from Cornell University’s College of Business, one of 11 Leadership and Strategic Management certificates offered by Cornell Universityin partnership with eCornell.


About Cornell College of Business
Cornell University has created a reimagined model for business education that reflects the future of business itself: flexible, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary. The Cornell College of Business unites the strengths of three business schools—The Hotel School, Dyson, and Johnson—so that every student can benefit from the combined power of business at Cornell: more degrees, faculty, resources, and expertise. Whether your focus is creating great customer experiences, solving real-world challenges, or deeply immersing yourself in a particular industry, each of Cornell College of Business’ schools offers something unique and meaningful to help you achieve greater impact sooner in your career.

About eCornell
As Cornell University’s online learning platform, eCornell delivers online professional certificate courses to individuals and organizations around the world. Courses are personally developed by Cornell faculty with expertise in a wide range of topics, including hospitality, management, marketing, human resources and leadership.  Students learn in an interactive, small cohort format to gain skills they can immediately apply in their organizations, ultimately earning a professional certificate from Cornell University. eCornell has offered online learning courses and certificate programs for 15 years to over 130,000 students at more than 2,000 companies.

[1]  2016 Women in the Workplace survey