Take your next leadership leap with RISE UP – the executive education forum for women sponsored by the Women’s Leadership Initiative.

Make it to the C-suite. Start your own venture. Get a job where you can really thrive. You know you’re ready. RISE UP will help you achieve your goals.

Informed by the latest research on gender, leadership and learning, RISE UP addresses the specific challenges and opportunities facing women in organizations. In three intensive days, you’ll prepare to move to senior-level leadership roles or the next phase in your career.  Over 30% of past participants moved into new roles within 1 year of the forum.


Spring 2022: May 4-6, 2022


Delaware Art MuseumWilmington, DE


Registration, materials & meals:
$3,750 – Corporate
$3,400 – Government/Nonprofit

10% Early bird discount  |  Early bird deadline April 6
Contact us if you require hotel accommodations – we may be able to arrange discounted rates.

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for mid-career people who identify as female and are looking to advance in their leadership journey. We welcome participants from all sectors (for-profit, nonprofit, government) and industries who want to move into more senior leadership in a company or start an entrepreneurial venture.

The value of the RISE UP Program

In this video, Wendy Smith, Faculty Director, and two program alumnae explain how the program has helped over 30% of participants advance to a new position or role.
Watch the video

What You Will Gain

The forum is centered around our 3C Model of Leadership:

  • Clarity: Develop a leadership vision for the next 5-10 years based on your unique values, goals and strengths
  • Competence: Build skills that will allow you to be more powerful in your current role and ready to move into a new role
  • Community: Connect to a powerful regional network of women leaders from a variety of industries

You will join unique conversations in women-only space, giving you the opportunity to address gender-based issues that may not emerge in other programs. You will also earn a Lerner College of Business executive education certificate to build your formal leadership credentials.

During the three-day forum, we address the following topics.
  • Values clarification
  • Strength assessment
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Assertive communication
  • Executive presence
  • Leadership mindsets
  • “Both/and” thinking
  • Networking skills
Organizational Benefits
Organizations benefit when women succeed. Our program:
  • Prepares women for new leadership roles in their organization. 30% of past participants were promoted or changed roles.
  • Helps organizations improve the diversity of their mid and senior-level leadership teams. Studies show that when women join leadership teams, public companies perform better in terms of shareholder value.
  • Graduates champion the creation and expansion of Women’s Affinity Networks where they work.
  • Provides organizations with a research-based women’s executive education program that complements in-house leadership development programs.
Tara Simpson, Beebe Healthcare:
“The Lerner College facilitators have been a tremendous influence on me and my leadership role. I was able to learn so much about myself and develop the skills necessary to be an effective leader.”

Teaching Team

Wendy Smith, Ph.D.

Professor of Management, Co-founder – Women’s Leadership Initiative
Lerner College

Wendy believes that leadership success comes from living in the AND. She works to help leaders be compassionate and competent, assertive and engaging, committed to family and committed to work. Her work has been featured in Harvard Business Review and in prominent academic journals. Her book Embracing AND: How to Tap the Power of Paradox for Growth will be published by Harvard Business Review Press in 2021. She earned her Ph.D. at Harvard Business School.

Amanda Bullough, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Management, Co-founder – Women’s Leadership Initiative
Lerner College

Mandi’s research and teaching span organizational behavior and leadership, cross-cultural and international management, and entrepreneurship, all with a strong focus on women. She publishes in top journals and serves on the editorial review board for Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice. With experience in approximately 40 countries, she presents at numerous academic conferences, conducts research around the world, and consults for high-profile global businesses and organizations.

Barbara Roche, M.S.

Managing Partner, Barbara Roche & Associates

After many years as a consultant helping organizations advance their employee engagement efforts, Barbara launched her own company in 2005 to combine her three favorite jobs: workplace learning, organizational development, and coaching. She is a certified facilitator with the NeuroLeadership Institute, and author of Commit to Confidence: 30 Strategies to Help Women Step Up and Stand Out.

Kei-Shanda D. Saddler, Department of Veteran Affairs:
“At some point in our lives each of us will be in need of an advisor, a coach, a friend, a mentor or a sister. All were found within the Women’s Leadership Forum.”

Cancellation Policy

We will provide a full refund for cancellations received in writing by April 29, 2022. After this date, you can transfer your registration to the next scheduled forum or to another individual. Transfer registrations are valid for the next scheduled forum only.


For more information, please contact:

Lynn Evans
Managing Director, Women’s Leadership Initiative