Prepare for new leadership opportunities with this dynamic online program that provides focused resources, mentorship and support.

Are you ready for the next step in your leadership journey? Organizations benefit from diverse leadership, but many women continue to face a variety of challenges on their path to executive roles and responsibilities. This timely, interactive program provides resources, mentorship and a dynamic forum where participants can develop clarity, competence and community to support their leadership goals.

Expert facilitators lead focused cohorts of 10 women or fewer through the program to enable deeper learning and to build strong professional networks through small group settings. Key topics include leadership vision, executive communication skills, emotional intelligence and building organizational culture for diversity and inclusion.

Course Format & Schedule

The next program offering takes place October 8-December 3, 2021 and features a combination of biweekly live-online sessions and self-paced learning modules:

  • One 1-hour live-online kickoff session (Friday, October 8, 9-10 a.m.)
  • Four 2-hour live-online sessions (Fridays, October 22, November 5 and 19, and December 3, 9-11 a.m.)
  • Four 3-hour, self-paced modules


The open enrollment registration fee is $1,495 per person, or $1,200 nonprofit rate. Organizations can enroll dedicated cohorts of up to 10 participants for a group rate of $10,000. Economic Incentive Scholarships available to qualified individuals.

Who Should Attend

The Women’s Leadership Online Certificate Program is designed for people who identify as female and are looking to advance their careers. These people typically:

  • Have at least 5-10 years of workplace experience
  • Are currently serving in leadership roles, including possibly managing people
  • Seek more significant leadership roles in their company and/or have a goal of moving into new entrepreneurial roles
  • Work in a wide range of industries
  • Seek to build skills and networks to advance their professional influence
  • Want to align their work with their passions
The value of the 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

  • Increased clarity in pursuing leadership opportunities
  • Tools and frameworks to be more powerful and influential
  • Focused coaching and mentoring to advance your leadership potential
  • Enhanced skills that allow you to more powerfully contribute to your organization
  • Networking opportunities in a community of diverse colleagues to support your continued growth
  • 2.1 CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
  • Clarifying Your Leadership Vision – Defining leadership, finding your ‘why’ and telling your story
  • Communicating with Power – Conveying an executive presence, asserting confidence, navigating difficult conversations, speaking in public and networking
  • Leading with Emotional Intelligence – Advancing your self-confidence, self-management, social awareness, social engagement and shared points of view
  • Enabling Diversity and Inclusion – Building organizational culture for diversity and inclusion, understanding implicit biases and developing allies and mentors
Organizational Benefits
  • Focused, expert content in a cost-effective format to advance women’s leadership
  • A pathway to increased diversity in leadership resulting in more long-term sustainable organizations
  • Opportunity to continue investment in and commitment to diversity and inclusion efforts, even in a difficult market
  • Potential severance offering to replace generic placement programs for women

Teaching Faculty

Wendy Smith, Ph.D.

Lead Faculty; 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.

Tarani Merriweather, Ph.D.

Senior Researcher, Pink Cornrows

As the Senior Researcher for Pink Cornrows, a women of color led social equity impact firm, Tarani’s research and teaching applies an intersectional lens to the study of gender and leadership. Having lived in Paris for the better part of the last decade, she has a range of international experience facilitating conversations around racial justice and equity. She earned her Ph.D. in social-organizational psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University.

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.


Amy Stengel, J.D.

Lead Facilitator; Program Director, Women’s Leadership Initiative, Lerner College

Amy brings years of experience in education, law and financial services, most recently leading the Institutional Administrative Services business at Wilmington Trust, a division of M&T Bank. In 2015 she was honored by Delaware Today magazine as a Delaware Woman in Business. At M&T, she served on the Diversity and Inclusion Council, launched the Intergenerational (iGen) Diversity Resource Group and worked with the Women in Networking Resource Group. Amy serves on the planning committee for the Millennial Summit and consults with companies on their diversity, equity and inclusion strategy.

Jane Abitanta, MBA, M.A.

Founder & CEO, Perceval Associates, Inc.

Jane Abitanta is a leadership and communications coach who brings over 25 years’ experience working with financial services executives and their portfolio companies. In 1996, she founded Perceval Associates, a consultancy focused on helping asset managers deliver more compelling messages to their investors and shareholders.

Jane is a director of Invest in Girls, a former director of 100 Women in Finance, served as Charter Faculty for the Institute for Private Investors, a member of the Investment Committee of Women’s World Banking, and director of the Association for Investment Management Sales Executives. She is a former director of Green Cay Asset Management and of Shaking the Tree, a nonprofit organization.

Elaine Bittner, MBA

Founder, President and CEO, EB Strategy Partners

Elaine Bittner is a leading business strategist and executive coach who brings over 30-years of experience taking on companies’ toughest operational and strategic challenges. Her work has helped organizations transform performance to top-performance – producing outstanding results in leadership, culture, strategy development, business optimization, strategic planning and human capital strategy, including extraordinary improvement in quality of hire, building high performance teams, coaching and talent management.

Elaine has served in business executive roles including Chief Strategy Officer, President and Chief Operating Officer. Elaine is nationally and internationally recognized as a top executive with numerous awards, including “Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Oil and Gas”, “Female Executive of the Year,” “Top Women in Business”, “American Business Stevie Awards Top Women in Business Award,” and the “Passion and Leadership Award.”

Monica Eboda, MBA, CSP

President and CEO, ImagineX International LLC and Owner, PrideStaff Wilmington, DE

Monica Eboda is an international executive coach and leadership consultant who brings over 25 years of business leadership experience. Her focus is helping executives, women in business and emerging leaders unlock their potential, discover their true passion and ascend to extraordinary levels of performance. In 2011, she was named a Woman of Influence by the National Association of Women’s Business Owners (NAWBO). In 2019, Monica was named a “Talent Person of the Year” finalist by Delaware Business Times (DBT) in partnership with Delaware Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Monica has numerous certifications and training including Coach Master ToolKit (CMT-WBECS 15 months), GAP International: Executive Challenge Course, and Executive Mastery.

Daphne M. McRae, MBA

Founder and CEO, SheThrives LLC

As a vice president and enterprise agility lead for a Fortune 500 financial services organization, Daphne is responsible for a multimillion book of work spanning 30-plus feature teams across the U.S. and India. She drives the product optimization at large scale agile principles and advancement of product management disciplines in agility. She is also CEO and founder of SheThrives LLC, where she is an empowerment coach and motivational speaker. Daphne is passionate about diversity and inclusion, where she has demonstrated exceptional leadership and execution of multiple global and local diversity initiatives. A 2021 Global Technology All Star Award Recipient for STEM and Women of Color recognized for her leadership contributions, professional development activities and community engagement, Daphne holds an MBA in business management and technology from the University of Delaware, along with various industry-recognized professional certifications.

Henna Pryor, ACC, MSA

Founder, Pryority Group

Henna brings a unique combination of expertise and experience to help businesses and leaders achieve next-level results. After a 14-year recruitment career working with top performers, growing managers, and C-suite leaders, Henna founded Pryority Group to provide executive coaching and development services with an empathetic but no-nonsense approach for companies ranging from fast-growing startups to Fortune 500. She completed her coaching certification in Leadership Coaching for Organizational Performance from American University and is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC).

Shelly Clay-Robison, M.S.

Consultant, Educate Innovate Inspire, LLC

Shelly brings years of experience in education, international human rights policy, inclusive peacebuilding, and war victim advocacy. Her research and teaching combines training in anthropology, peace and conflict resolution, and the arts. Shelly is also an executive leadership and conflict resolution coach and is a certified MBTI practitioner. She is completing doctoral work at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University where she researches social movements, nonviolent resistance, and the arts in Indonesia.

Cancellation Policy

A refund, less a $75 processing fee, will be given to anyone who withdraws from this program if written notice is received by UD Professional and Continuing Studies two full business days prior to the program start date. The University of Delaware is not responsible for costs incurred as a result of program scheduling changes.


For more information, please contact:

Lynn Evans
Managing Director, Women’s Leadership Initiative