2021 US Leadership Journey Application

The deadline for applications has passed.

Thank you to all those who applied. We will notify applicants about their acceptance, waitlist, or rejection status in late January 2021.

The fully-funded, 12-month WomenLift Health Leadership Journey imparts contextualized leadership skills to address the individual, organizational, and societal challenges that women leaders in global health face. The Journey will be buttressed by virtual learning, mentoring, coaching touchpoints, week-long learning residencies*, as well as a Leadership Project. 

This Journey is designed for the working woman leader. We realize that work-life harmony is a key challenge holding many women back from climbing up the ladder of success, and we do not want to add further burden to their personal and professional life.

As a result of participating in the Leadership Journey, women leaders will be better able to: 

  • Build confidence and take more risks
  • Improve their executive presence
  • Leverage power and collective leadership for professional development 
  • Take their global mindset to a deeper level
  • Use the relationship with a mentor as a career catalyst 
  • Develop an influence strategy for addressing structural and institutional barriers
  • Understand the value of social network analysis
  • Share in the collective wisdom of work-life integration

The 2021-2022 Leadership Journey will take place from March 2021 – March 2022 in an all-virtual format*. The full calendar can be found in the Timeline section below. 

There is NO cost to participate if you are selected.


*Covid Caveats: Due to uncertainties caused by Covid-19, the programming and calendar are subject to change in order to be compliant with public health recommendations. At this point in time, we plan to deliver all touchpoints and residencies virtually as travel is not recommended. This means spreading out the programming originally intended for the week-long residencies as additional, in-depth virtual touchpoints through the year. If travel opens up, we will pivot towards re-incorporating the in-person elements. 

You are eligible for consideration if you meet all of the following criteria: 

  • Identify as a woman
  • Possess sufficient, relevant experience in global health (10+ years)
  • Live in the United States (any nationality is welcome)

Twenty-four applicants will be selected for participation in the cohort. WomenLift Health is committed to selecting diverse cohort members, representing different sectors (public, private, academia, NGO, philanthropy), disciplines, cultural backgrounds, and regions. 

There is NO cost to participate if you are selected.

If accepted, you will be required to attend each virtual and in-person learning residency* as detailed in the 2021 Leadership Journey Calendar and to complete the deliverables associated with the Leadership Project.

  • The time commitment for the required Leadership Journey activities (all virtual touchpoints and video assignments) will not exceed 2 hours any given week. This estimate does not include the time required for the design, planning, and implementation phases of your Leadership Project, so please consider that as well.
  • You will also be asked to complete a “360-evaluation” and Personality Assessments, which will enrich your conversations with your mentor and coach. The 360-evaluation will involve soliciting feedback from your superior, boss, peers, direct reports, and others. 

Please ensure you have access to a computer and internet in order to attend the virtual touchpoints. 

While the following are not technical requirements, our hope is that you will bring your drive, passion, and commitment to this journey, engage actively with your peers, mentors, and coaches, and take full advantage of the resources that we provide. As our approach involves human-centered design, we will ask you to evaluate the experience and contribute ideas for how to enhance the Leadership Journey for the cohorts that follow. 

Open Application Period: The deadline for applications has passed. Thank you to all those who applied.

Notification Period: We will notify applicants about their acceptance, waitlist, or rejection status in late January 2021.

Acceptance & Pre-Orientation Period: Accepted candidates will be asked to confirm their participation by mid February 2021, after which we will begin pre-Journey onboarding. 

2021 Program Calendar: Below is a general calendar for the 2021 Leadership Journey (exact dates are subject to change). Download the calendar here

Apply by December 14, 2020, close of business. 

Within the application, you will be asked to describe your Leadership Project idea and to submit a resume & letter of recommendation.

The Leadership Project, required of each woman leader in the cohort, is an opportunity for her to design and lead an effort that taps into her passion, expertise, and network. Implementation of the project does not have to be fully complete by the end of the Journey and will likely continue beyond it. There are only 4 rules for the Leadership Project: 

  • It should focus on improving health and/or gender equality; 
  • It should leverage your leadership skills; 
  • It should be in your scope of control or influence; 
  • You should be passionate about it

The Leadership Project could accomplish one or more of the following:

  • answer a research question;
  • promote health or gender education in a particular group;
  • develop a new or better technology;
  • innovate a better way to collect/analyze/use health/gender data;
  • improve a gender or health-related process/system in your organization;
  • empower or enable women in your community or organization to be successful;
  • incorporate a gender lens into a policy, practice or research project where it was absent

Please include a letter of recommendation from your supervisor. If unable to obtain a letter of recommendation from your direct supervisor, you may submit a letter written by a senior leader at your current organization or a leader in the global health community who has experience working with you.

The letter of recommendation may speak to:

  • The significant contributions you have made to your professional field that demonstrate leadership capacity
  • Your strongest personal quality which distinguishes and qualifies you for selection to participate in this Leadership Journey
  • How this Leadership Journey will help you enhance your leadership knowledge and skills

Download our Application FAQ here

This program brings the considerable resources of Stanford Global Health at Stanford University where WomenLift Health is based; our sponsor, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has provided the funds to enable this movement; and our Leadership Journey curriculum design partner, the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). Since 1970, CCL’s mission is to improve the understanding, practice, and development of leadership at all levels for the benefit of society worldwide.