Take a seat at the table: Registration opens for Women’s Leadership Forum

  • November 8, 2021
  • By Jill Young Miller
  • 3 minute read

Katie Voss works in the traditionally male-dominated industry of engineering. Specifically, she works for Boeing and has risen to director of engineering for Boeing Global Services.

One of Olin’s certificate programs helped her get there, the Women’s Leadership Forum.

The program is designed to sharpen the skills women need to succeed in the C-suite or in other positions that require enterprise-wide management. Participants learn how to make decisions confidently, exert power and influence wisely, negotiate strategically and manage change effectively.

Voss enrolled to learn about strategies to help in her career, and the outcome impressed her. The program “provided me with the skills and foundation to give me the confidence to speak up, ask, negotiate and believe in myself.” Since she completed the program in May 2018, Voss has taken on three new roles, two of which were promotions.

‘You want people to see you as a leader’

In some cases, the program taught her some seemingly small but important lessons. “Always take a seat at the table,” she said as an example. Don’t sit to the side of it, along a wall. And please don’t volunteer to cut and serve a cake. “There were so many things I was doing that I didn’t realize how they could be perceived in my career,” Voss said. “You want people to see you as a leader.”

She also learned to negotiate—and to apply to new jobs. “Women often think they are underqualified for new roles when in reality they may be more qualified than others applying for the same role.”

With other like-minded leaders, women in the program expand their readiness for higher-level positions via leadership topics relating to their own career progression. They also develop the necessary skills to lead large teams.

The Women’s Leadership Forum is comprised of six modules held in the live-virtual classroom environment and supported by Olin’s Center for Digital Education. Registration is now open for this cohort-based program that runs January 12 through June 9, 2022. All sessions are held virtually from 8:30–11:30 a.m. CT. Once completed, the certificate counts as six units toward the Advanced Management Certificate.

Sessions will include a mix of lectures, case studies, break-out discussions, role-play exercises and guest speakers. In addition, class material is augmented by independent activities such as assessments, executive coaching and videos, all designed to enhance students’ integration and mastery of key learning points and skills application. Participants finish the program with a clear understanding of the unique value they add to an organization and a career strategy rooted in personal strengths and priorities.

These are the main topics: 

Power, Politics and Informal Leadership: Learn the unwritten rules of the organization by exploring three critical skills of informal leadership: Navigating politics, understanding power and exercising influence.

Cultivating Executive Presence: Learn and apply specific strategies to better use your personal attributes and values to cultivate a strong, authentic executive presence.

Effective Negotiation Strategies: Gain a better understanding of the basic theories of negotiation and improve your ability to maximize total value when negotiating.

Critical Conversations: Learn the underlying structure of critical conversations and hone your capacity to turn disagreement into productive discourse.

Advancing Your Career Path: Evaluate your past and future choices through a strategic framework that accounts for your unique values, priorities, goals and available opportunities. 

Leveraging your Strengths: Assess your personal strengths so you can create a plan to focus on these strengths and use them more often.

Pictured: Katie Voss is director of engineering for Boeing Global Services.

About the Author

Jill Young Miller

Jill Young Miller

As research translator for WashU Olin Business School, my job is to highlight professors’ research by “translating” their work into stories. Before coming to Olin, I was a communications specialist at WashU’s Brown School. My background is mostly in newspapers including as a journalist for Missouri Lawyers Media, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post and the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida.

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