Women’s Leadership Initiative Webinars

Management Professor Wendy Smith

When other organizations began to cancel their spring programs and events due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, University of Delaware Management Professor Wendy Smith and the team from the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) at UD’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics chose to reframe their approach to WLI programming.

That quick thinking led to the creation of a free, six-part webinar series called “Leadership in Times of Crisis.” The webinars are scheduled to begin on Friday, April 3 and will be led by experts in their fields. You can register for the series or view past webinars here.

“The goal of the Women’s Leadership Initiative has been to enable a broad community of female students, faculty and professionals to develop leadership skills and be their best selves,” said Smith, who is also co-founder and academic director of the WLI. “Our audience needed something different from us now, in this new normal. So instead of thinking about how we could move our current content into a new format, we instead asked how we could best use our talent, skills and tools to address what women — and in fact, anyone — needed most to address this crisis and rise above it.”

These curated talks are designed to empower people at all levels to step up and lead in these challenging moments. The webinar series seeks to generate hope, advance connections and provide tools for making a difference personally, locally and globally.

“The core mission of the WLI is to advance gender equity in our world,” Smith said. “Research shows that women are often turned to as leaders in times of crises drawing on our stereotypical traits for advancing collaboration and building trust. Women led entrepreneurial ventures have been on the forefront of responding to the virus.

“At the same time, as we have all moved toward work at home, women are feeling the brunt of the ‘second shift’, the increased responsibilities for taking care of more of the work at home, with kids and with aging parents. Our goal is to provide tools to help women navigate these challenges and rise to provide leadership that is much needed in our world at the moment.”

Webinar schedule:

Friday, April 3, 9-10 a.m. Engaging AND! A Both/And Mindset in the Times of Crisis

  • Marianne Lewis, dean and professor of management, University of Cincinnati Lindner School of Business
  • Wendy Smith, professor of management, University of Delaware, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics

Friday, April 17, 9-10 a.m. Staying Grounded in the Chaos: Centering Yourself in Times of Crisis

  • Sarah Andrus, assistant director, University of Delaware, Lerner Career Services.
  • Golbie Kamarei, adviser and former chief people officer, Culture Amp

Friday, May 1, 9-10 a.m. You are Both Right: Managing Conflict in Times of Crisis

Friday, May 15, 9-10 a.m. It Matters What you Say: Communicating with Impact in Times of Crisis

Friday, May 29, 9-10 a.m. Necessity is the Mother of Invention: Innovation and Creativity in Times of Crisis

Friday, June 12, 9-10 a.m. Sticking with it: Cultivating Resilience in Times of Crisis

  • Mandi Bullough, associate professor, University of Delaware, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics
  • Brianna Caza, associate professor of business ethics, University of Manitoba
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