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, virtual group sessions. Cohort members explore leadership frameworks, research & tools in highly interactive learning touchpoints and workshop-style sessions focused on dynamic practice. The touchpoints focus on personal & professional growth, current events in the global health sector, as well as their Leadership Projects. These sessions allow the cohort to share with and learn from each other. 

A sample of topics include: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Building Confidence and Taking Risks; Leadership Presence; Change and Transition; Deepening Your Global Mindset; and Paying it Forward. 

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

WomenLift Health identifies senior-level leaders from different backgrounds, health sectors, and disciplines to serve as mentors to the cohort. Mentoring groups, comprised of several cohort members and one mentor, are grouped based on 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 is critical in helping navigate change and adapting to new challenges on the path towards leadership roles.

As a part of the Journey, cohort members are paired with an executive coach who works one-on-one with them to build on their strengths and address areas for growth. Leadership style assessments, including a “360-degree evaluation,” will inform these conversations and enhance each participant’s understanding of their own leadership skills. With this gift of feedback and support from their coach, participants can decide which leadership competencies to focus on, 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 3-day experiential convening that takes place a few months into the Journey, where through dynamic discussions, presentations, and hands-on exercises, cohort members enhance their skills, apply them to real-world examples, and reflect on lessons learned. A series of powerful conversations will complement the instruction, featuring eminent figures in global health who have led transformational change, and who are able to impart practical knowledge that can be immediately applied to varied career and life situations.

At the end of the year-long Journey, the 2-day ‘Leadership Lift-Off’ event celebrates the cohort’s growth as they ‘lift off’ to a new phase of their 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 global health audiences.

*Covid Caveats: Please note that due to uncertainties caused by Covid-19, the programming and calendar, including the in-person events, may need to be converted to an all-virtual format.

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

Participants enter the Journey with a project idea and 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 the project begins in the latter half of the Journey. Finally at the Leadership Lift-Off event, each cohort member presents a summary of their project’s development and early outcomes. 

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 outcomes at the intersection of health and gender equality, or take a gendered lens on a global health issue
  • It should leverage your leadership skills
  • It should be within your scope of control or influence, but also stretch you beyond your day-to-day work requirements
  • You should be passionate about it

Your Leadership Project could accomplish one or more of the following, but is not limited to:

  • Answering a research question  
  • Promoting health or gender education in a particular group 
  • Developing a new or better technology
  • Innovating a better way to collect/analyze/use health/gender data
  • Improving a gender or health-related process/system in your organization
  • Empowering or enabling women in your community or organization to be successful
  • Incorporating a gendered lens into a policy, practice or research project where it was absent

See examples of Leadership Projects from the 2020 Cohort here.