Phases of the Leadership Journey

In this fully-funded 12-month Leadership Journey for mid-career women, participants 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 coaches, mentors, facilitators, peers, and eminent figures in the global health sector. 

Our aim is to create a network of talented women leaders and provide them with a safe space for independent and collaborative learning to deepen and elevate their leadership impact. 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 Zoom. Cohort members will explore best practices and leadership frameworks through highly interactive learning touchpoints and 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: Women’s Leadership and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Building Confidence and Taking Risks, Executive Presence, Power and Inclusive Leadership, Your Voice, Change and Transition, Deepening your Global Mindset, Paying it Forward. 

Effective women leaders are championed by a network of mentors and mentees. This aspect of the Leadership Journey will allow participants to recognize and avail of the power of the mentor and mentee relationship.  

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 several 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 critical in helping navigate change and adapting to new challenges.

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

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 year-long 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 year 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, for which they will develop a Theory of Change, stakeholder analysis, 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. Finally at the Leadership Launch event, each cohort member presents a summary of their project’s development and early outcomes. 

Leadership Projects from the 2020 cohort include: 

  • “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”