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 March 3 – April 28, 2023 and features a combination of biweekly, live online sessions and self-paced learning modules:

  • One 1-hour live online kickoff session (Friday, March 3, 9-10 a.m. ET)
  • Four 2-hour live online sessions (Fridays, March 17 & 31 and April 14 & 28, 9-11 a.m. ET)
  • 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; Lead Research Scholar at Krannert School of Management at Purdue University

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. In addition to her role at Pink Cornrows, Tarani is a lead research scholar in management and organization sciences at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University and co-chair for their Dismantling Bias Conference. 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.


Shelly Clay-Robison, M.S.

Lead Facilitator; 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.

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.

Sarah Baker Andrus

Assistant Director of Lerner Career Services, University of Delaware

Sarah Baker Andrus is assistant director of Lerner Career Services. She began her career in academia, helping students pursuing cooperative education and internship credit. Then she transferred those skills to the corporate world, serving as director of campus recruiting and then director of external relations and academic programs for Vector Marketing Corporation, the distributor of Cutco Cutlery. She also worked as director of marketing for Dove Chocolate Discoveries, the direct selling division of Mars Chocolate. Prior to joining the University of Delaware, Sarah started Avarah Careers, a consulting and coaching company dedicated to helping people find a great career fit and helping businesses build great teams. In addition to her current role, which focuses on students in the MBA program, Sarah teaches two undergraduate courses: Introduction to Business and Executive Presence and Problem Solving.

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.

Lynn Evans

Director, Women’s Leadership Initiative, Lerner College

Lynn Evans brings over 35 years of experience working for top-tier global financial organizations to the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI deleted) team. Her expertise includes business strategy, client experience, talent management, and institutional sales. Prior to joining the University of Delaware, Lynn was Managing Director and Head of Americas Institutional and Global Liquidity Client Service for J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, she spent 20 years with BlackRock. As a Managing Director and member of BlackRock’s Global Liquidity Management Team, Lynn served in senior roles including Head of U.S. Sales and Product Strategy and Chief Operating Officer. She also spent many years as both a portfolio manager and client strategist for short fixed income strategies.

Lynn is a graduate of the University of Delaware and holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science. She is currently a member of the investment committee for the Delaware Community Foundation and served as past Treasurer on the Board of Trustees for the Fund for Women.

Zovig Garboushian, CPC, ACC, ELI-MP, Certified Change Expert

Founder, Boldness Ablaze Coaching

Zovig spent 15 years in media heading up marketing for national magazines in New York City. In 2015, she made a pivot into career development and training out of her commitment to bringing awareness and visibility to professional and personal development – she wanted to help others find professional passion, joy and their leaders within. In 2019 she founded Boldness Ablaze Coaching, career and leadership coaching for high-performing women who are leaders in their lives and want more out of their work. She uses a combined 20+ years of multi-disciplinary training and experience in coaching, leadership, communication, personal development, organizational change and yoga to help her clients flip the script, use their voice and choose their choice. She has a BA in psychology, is a Certified Professional Coach (iPEC, ICF), a Prosci Certified Change Expert, trainer, speaker and workshop leader.

Alison Greenhouse

Executive Business Coach, Founder & CEO Turn Right Strategies, LLC; Vice President, Board Strategy, Women in the Boardroom, LLC

Alison Greenhouse is an international executive business coach who is recognized for the advancement and sustainability of innovative leadership development solutions. As a certified executive business coach, Alison has earned the trusted advisor’s title by providing the c-suite, senior executives and emerging leaders a safe environment to explore and address formidable challenges and transitions they face in business. Ms. Greenhouse serves as the CEO & founder of Turn Right Strategies, a business consulting firm helping organizations’ leadership navigate the execution of an inclusive talent strategy that develops elite leaders to drive successful business growth. Additionally, she is vice president, board strategy, partnering with Women in the Boardroom, preparing women leaders to obtain a corporate board seat and successfully perform board service.

Jo Ilfeld, Ph.D.

Executive Leadership Consultant

Jo Ilfeld, Ph.D. is an executive leadership consultant who works with c-suite leaders, executives and high potential managers to create more impact and influence in their organizations. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on 4 core areas of leadership development: leading with clarity of vision, mastering the art of results, developing influence and deepening your executive presence. Jo’s clients have come from leading Bay Area companies including eBay, Genentech, The SF Giants, Zymergen, PayPal and Blue Shield of California as well as many small- to medium-sized companies and non-profit organizations. Jo is also a professor of leadership intelligence in the executive MBA program at Sonoma State. Prior to founding Incite To Leadership, Jo grew her first company into a million dollar business. She is a graduate of Yale College and holds a Ph.D. in business from UC Berkeley.

Julie Ketover, JD, PCC

Founder, Julie Ketover Coaching LLC

Julie is an executive, leadership and life coach, as well as a trainer, writer and speaker, with nearly two decades of experience in the legal industry. She coaches C-suite and other senior law firm executives, in-house counsel and General Counsels of public and private companies and senior leaders in other industry sectors, including media, technology, financial services and healthcare. Julie brings to bear keen understanding, relatability, and humor that facilitate trust and effective collaboration. In her practice, Julie works with high performing, goal-oriented professionals in demanding environments. Her clients learn to challenge and trust themselves, to up-level their leadership, to more effectively manage their teams and to achieve their goals with purpose and commitment. She completed coach and leadership training at Accomplishment Coaching and studied at NYU School of Law and Yale as an undergraduate.

Melissa Kellogg Lueck, MBA

Founder and CEO, Avanti Business Academy for Women

Melissa is a marketing and business coach for women as well as the founder and CEO of Avanti Business Academy for Women. She has been an entrepreneur for over 20 years after working in the technology and media industries. Since 2005 her business has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and small business owners build and grow successful businesses that use great marketing strategy, communication and a courageous, confident mindset. She serves her clients through private and group coaching. She’s also the creator of a Top 20 Podcast for Women in Business & Leadership. Melissa is a speaker and writer passionate about helping as many women as possible to build and scale successful, sustainable and joyful businesses. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Vanguard University and an MBA in marketing from Hofstra University in New York.

Daphne M. McRae, CSM, MBA

Founder and CEO, SheThrives LLC

Daphne is the inaugural DEI Director for the National Board of Medical Directors (NBME), where she plays a key role in developing the strategic plan around advancing DEI at NBME and the surrounding communities. Alongside an extensive career as a senior leader in Information Technology, most recently as the Vice President of IT Portfolio Management at JPMorgan Chase, Daphne brings with her a wealth of expertise and experience to advance underrepresented and marginalized populations. As the JPMorgan Chase Global DEI Leader for the Black Technology Community across nine technology centers and the Workforce Equality Committee Lead, she amplified her impact during the social unrest after George Floyd’s death by designing and instituting a series of organization-wide initiatives to create racial equity awareness, build community, and promote candid conversations.

Daphne is also CEO and founder of SheThrives LLC, where she is an empowerment coach and motivational speaker, who inspires women by igniting their personal passion, discovering hidden potential and helping them to find their courageous voice.

Daphne is a 2021 graduate of JPMC Global Technology VP Academy which targets top performing talent and high impact leaders. She is also the recipient of the 2020 Technology All-Star Women of Color in STEM Award for her dedication, passion and commitment to community. Daphne holds an undergraduate degree in Marketing from Hampton University, a MBA in Business Management and Technology from the University of Delaware, along with various industry-recognized professional certifications.

Henna Pryor, PCC, 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 keynote speaking, executive coaching and professional 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 Professional Certified Coach (PCC). In addition to her work with UD’s WLI, she is an Executive Coach with Chief (a private network focused on connecting and supporting women executive leaders) and the Women’s Business Enterprise Center East (WBEC East).

Brenda Soto, MBA, SHRM-CP

International Human Resource & Career Development Consultant, Brenda Soto Associates, LLC

Brenda is a dynamic bilingual human resources consultant with outstanding interpersonal skills and a sound record of accomplishments within diverse business scenarios. Brenda is the principal of Brenda Soto Associates, LLC, a human resources consulting firm specializing in Spanish & English talent development solutions. She is the founder of “From Job 2 Joy,” a faith-based career coaching group that supports the community in their work-life journey. During her career, she has participated in the development and implementation of restructuring projects for Fortune 500 in Latin America, North America, Puerto Rico and Denmark. Brenda is an adjunct instructor in the College of Business for Wilmington University’s graduate programs, facilitating courses in her specialty area of human resources management and organizational development. She is a certified professional in human resources (PHR & SHRM-CP), Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and certified Career Direct Consultant with a master’s degree in human resources management from the University of Phoenix.

Refund Policy

A refund, less $150 processing fee, will be given to anyone who withdraws from the program if written notice is received by the Women’s Leadership Initiative five full business days prior to the program start date. In lieu of a refund full credit may be applied to the next scheduled cohort. The University of Delaware is not responsible for costs incurred as a result of program cancellation or schedule changes.


For more information, please contact:

Lynn Evans
Director, Women’s Leadership Initiative