Whereas women have made great strides in corporate careers, their rise up the corporate ladder is still not easy. Apart from more systemic factors such as real or perceived glass ceilings, unconscious biases and leaky pipelines that women need to overcome to reach the top successfully, women also often lack the belief or confidence that they can reach the top. Although most organisations have put initiatives in place to help women leaders succeed and grow, progress in real numbers and cases is still slow with the average percentage of women on the boards of the 1,000 largest global companies' boards in 2014 stands at only 16.8 percent. The percentage of women in executive positions was even lower globally, at only 11.7 per cent.
However, the future outlook is promising with projected females rising to executive positions globally set to rise significantly (36 per cent) in the next decade. Programmes are being put into place to subsequently help women grow through the career ranks. To seize these opportunities, women need to proactively prepare themselves for the opportunities and challenges of executive positions through building confidence and personal power and leadership skills as part of clearly planned long-term career strategies.
This unique two-day open enrolment programme has been designed specifically for high potential women in junior and mid-level managerial positions aspiring to reach the top, or senior positions, within their organisations. It offers the opportunity for them to convene in Cambridge for the start of a learning journey which will enable them to formulate their individual strategies, interact with senior Cambridge Faculty, exchange and debate with their peers, and hear personal leadership stories from a distinguished panel of guest speakers who are top executives in leading corporate and public sector organisations. The programme content is evidence-based and has evolved from senior Cambridge faculty who have been conducting award-winning and highly impactful research in the area of women in business as well as seasoned business executives who contribute with a wealth of experience in the area of women leadership and advancement. The programme bridges and balances this evidence-based approach with best practice lessons from professionals who are present during the programme and able to discuss and debate with participants.
The programme will take place in a historic Cambridge college; there will be a prestigious dinner at the end of the first day with a distinguished guest speaker. Cambridge is a conducive place for learning, and the participants will be able to immerse themselves in this unique city, where the walls breathe knowledge, with no distractions.