Oxford Women's Leadership Development Programme

Facilitate self-acceptance and self-development by acknowledging your own agency

Start date:


  • 6 weeks

Time commitment:

  • Short programme


  • Online


  • £2,300

About the programme

Increase your impact as a woman in a leadership position.

Developed from a study of women CEOs by Oxford Saïd academics, the Oxford Women’s Leadership Development Programme helps to address many of the barriers that women must overcome in order to pursue their ambitions in leadership and management roles.

The programme is guided by three overarching themes:

  • Self-acceptance
  • Self-management
  • Self-development

The learning has been designed to better equip women with the tools to navigate challenges and gender biases within the workplace, and develop the critical leadership skills to effectively guide, influence, and mentor others.

Examine your role as a female leader as you gain skills to facilitate self-acceptance and self-development by acknowledging your own agency. Aided by tools and resources for self-management, you’ll learn to effectively navigate negotiation scenarios using your strengths and influence.

Delivered in collaboration with digital education provider GetSmarter, a 2U, Inc. brand, you will be part of a community learning together through a dedicated Online Campus.

Introduction to the programme


What our alumni say

This is my first online course, and it far exceeded my expectations...The programme not only enhanced my understanding, it also gave me the confidence and framework to bring it into action in my job.

Stella YY Lee

Global Business Director, Omnicom Media Group


  • Create a personal development plan so that you may move into the future with confidence as a female leader
  • Critically examine your own identity as a leader and recognise your leadership potential
  • Understand how to respond to culture and gender assumptions
  • Take ownership of your career and learn to leverage your strengths and identify limiting behaviours
  • Evaluate a range of methods and resources for developing as a woman in a leadership context
  • Join a global network of current and aspiring female leaders who are preparing to broaden their impact and influence
  • Benefit from guidance from leading industry experts and Oxford Saïd faculty 
  • Membership of the official Oxford Saïd elumni community
  • Access to the official Oxford Executive Education Elumni group on LinkedIn

Programme curriculum

Orientation module

Welcome to your Online Campus

Applications to join the programme will be accepted until the end of the orientation module. 

Module 1

Accepting yourself as a leader

Reflect on how you have led in the past and acknowledge your abilities as a leader.


Module 2

Understanding your context

Learn how to read and diagnose context and react appropriately.

Module 3

Negotiating as a leadership practice

Understand cultural dimensions in order to negotiate effectively.

Module 4

Becoming an influential leader

Recognise how to use your unique strengths to persuade and influence.


Module 5

Developing as a leader: What can help you?

Gain an appreciation for self-development as a lifelong activity.

Module 6

Imagining your future possibilities as a leader

Create a personal development plan for your future as a leader.


The thinking behind the programme

The programme plays its part in the extensive research, programmes, and activities across Oxford Saïd dedicated to female leadership development. With ongoing work into the critical area of increasing women’s impact and influence at leadership and management levels, Women at Oxford Saïd collates together the landscape of development that Oxford is helping to facilitate.

Participants will benefit from all that the Oxford community is sharing in this environment of women’s leadership development. Drawing on a learning approach that is rooted in an emphasis on reflection and sharing within a ‘safe space.’

The structure is influenced by extensive research, tools, and frameworks, including:  

  • Claiming the corner office (Anathasopolou, Smets, Moss-Cowan, Morris)
  • Critical, tame, and wicked problems framework (Keith Grint)
  • Strengths-based leadership model (David Pendleton)
  • Strategies for influencing (HAY’s taxonomy)
  • Six styles of leadership (Goleman)


Meet the faculty

The programme is led by Professor Sue Dopson and Kathryn Bishop. They will be joined by leading industry experts to share the depth of their knowledge and insight on female development throughout the programme. 

Experts and contributors

Programme impact

From 'aha' moments during journaling, enrichment activities, and discussion boards, to feeling a sense of belonging and the challenges of learning online during a house move, participants gain a shared positive impact.

Laila Valterio and Liliana Bermudes share their experiences of the programme, and helpful tips for those considering this for their personal development journey.  

Continuing your development

Women Transforming Leadership

Explore next steps or if you are looking to develop a more experienced career path.

Our Women Transforming Leadership Programme is designed for women who have had more than one influential leadership role.

Equip yourself with the career strategies to get where you want to go and develop your self-awareness to succeed on the way.



The CPD Certification Service

This programme is certified by The CPD Certification Service. It may be applicable to individuals who are members of, or are associated with, UK-based professional bodies.

Options for organisations

If you are looking to integrate Oxford online programmes with your organisation’s learning and development strategy, we have tailored solutions to help deliver an innovative learning experience across teams.