Phases of the Leadership Journey

Participants of this holistic, fully-funded 12-month Leadership Journey engage in in-person experiential learning residencies*, virtual learning touchpoints, virtual mentoring and coaching sessions, and importantly, a self-directed leadership project – all the while being supported by their peers, facilitators, mentors, and eminent figures in the global health sector. 

Our aim is to help participants fulfill their potential as a leader and change agent by deepening their leadership skills and increasing their visibility through our digital platform. Alumni will be part of a lifelong network of allies at local, regional, and global levels who continue to support each other and new cohort members (for example, as mentors) and to advocate for women’s leadership.

Click through the tabs below to learn more about each of the Leadership Journey elements. 

Learning Touchpoints are facilitated, online group conversations using virtual conference platforms like Skype or Zoom. Cohort members will be presented core frameworks and theories, including workshop-style sessions focused on dynamic practice. The touchpoints focus on personal & professional development as well as refinement, advancement, and completion of the cohort’s Leadership Projects. These sessions allow the cohort to share with and learn from each other. 

A sample of topics include: Boundary Spanning Leadership, Leading in Times of Crisis, Managing Obstacles to Confidence, Inclusive Leadership, Managing Stereotypes, Leadership and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Mentoring is an essential form of support for career advancement, especially in the transition to very senior positions. From our needs assessment, we discovered that many women leaders lack mentors, which we believe negatively impacts their careers. 

WomenLift Health identifies senior-level leaders, both women and men, from different countries, health sectors, and disciplines to serve as mentors to the cohort. Mentoring groups comprised of four cohort members and one mentor are formed, fitted for complementary backgrounds and professional trajectory. Cohort members will be able to rely on their mentor to serve as a technical and career resource during the Journey. 

Having a personal leadership coach during the journey towards becoming a senior leader is important in helping navigate change and adapting to new challenges.

As a part of the Journey, cohort members are paired with a Coach who work one-on-one with them to identify and build their leadership skills. The cohort’s work with them and understanding of their own leadership skills will be informed by a “360-evaluation” and personality assessments. 

The combination of mentors and coaches is powerful as women prepare for the next level of their career, providing both professional connections and transformational leadership guidance. With this gift of feedback and support from their coach, participants can decide which leadership competencies will most contribute to their transformation, paving the road for them to be a more powerful and effective leader. 

The ‘Leadership Immersion’ is a 5-day in-person, experiential learning event that takes place a few months into the Journey. The curriculum for this week focuses on provocative topics such as the unique value of women leaders, mobilizing social networks, managing change, strategic leadership, and more. 

At the end of the Leadership Journey, the in-person ‘Leadership Launch’ week celebrates the cohort’s ongoing personal journey and ‘launch’ to a new phase of leadership. This week provides time for the cohort to reflect on their leadership evolution through the course of the Journey and to present their leadership projects to their peers as well as other leaders in global health.

*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. 

The Leadership Project, required of every cohort member, is an opportunity for each member to design and lead an effort that taps into each woman’s expertise, network, passion, and creativity.

Participants enter the Journey with a project idea, around which they will develop a Theory of Change, stakeholder map, and implementation plan with the guidance of their mentor, coach, and global health experts. The implementation phase of their project begins in the latter half of the Journey. At the Leadership Launch event, each cohort member presents a summary of their project’s development and early outcomes. 

Examples of Leadership Project topics have included: 

  • Using best practices, lessons and tools from other organizations to develop and implement a leadership program for women at my organization
  • Creating a Story Bank of Women Leaders in Global Health to catalyze a viral movement of change in Global Health & Development
  • Creating and presenting to key stakeholders a policy integrating oral cholera vaccine (OCV) with safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions for cholera prevention and control
  • Taking a multi-sectoral approach to identify and address gender-based barriers that undermine health outcomes in [county], [country]