About the Program

Program participants participate in synchronous and asynchronous activities to complete six modules.

Mechanisms for Interaction and Learning

Threaded Discussions: 

Online threaded discussions occur here in Canvas and allow you to engage and interact with peers in your cohort to share experiences, debrief activities, support each other, and/or work on group activities. The threaded discussion occurs asynchronously so please periodically check on the discussion to contribute to the expanding conversation. To make it easy to follow, click the “subscribe” button in the discussion so you receive email updates when new comments have been posted. Please continue to utilize this space as a way to connect with others in the program, sharing insights as you see fit.

Experience has taught us that there is an “optimal window” of time for interaction. We recommend posting a comment within the first few days of the discussion and then revisiting others’ comments a few days later. This will help you stay within the time frame for each module (two weeks). A great benefit of online threaded discussions is they are a way to build relationships with others who can provide additional support and perspective on topics that can be challenging.


Throughout this course you are asked to spend time reflecting on activities and experiences, and then to capture your thoughts in writing. We provide electronic and printable versions of the reflection activity questions for your convenience. You may respond to the prompt in any way that you wish (i.e. list points, full sentences, phrases, etc.). No matter how you choose to capture your responses, it is important that you actually type/write your answers instead of simply thinking about them so you have a record of your own growth and development.


One of the most powerful ways to learn is through action and application. Throughout the course you are asked to take concepts you are learning about and apply them in your own life. We provide learning exercises for you to engage with as you work through the material in each module. These include activities exploring your values, understanding aspects of your personality, assessing your conflict management style, etc. 

Synchronous Meetings:

Synchronous meetings are a key component of this leadership training and provide real-time opportunities for the cohort to share perspectives and knowledge, understanding and challenges, and for deeper dives into topics of importance. In each module (completed over a two-week period), you will meet synchronously either with the whole cohort or in peer mentoring groups.

Overview of Modules

Module 1: Leadership as Women in STEM

This module is designed to provide the participants with context for the course by covering common issues women in STEM face and must address as leaders. The module explores the topics of gender inequity, implicit bias, diversity, intersectionality, and leadership within academic structures. The module also focuses heavily on exercises that guide participants in reflecting upon their own leadership philosophy and values. Throughout the rest of the course, participants will draw upon the framework of their leadership philosophy and values-based leadership that they establish within Module 1. 

Module 2: Leadership and Your Personal Values Platform 

This module is designed to continue the explorations we began in Module 1 about what “leader” and “leadership” mean based on current social constructs as well as your own personal experiences. By the end of this module, you will identify your leadership strengths and weaknesses by exploring personal values, personal reflections, online discussions, and a Personal Leadership Component Assessment.

Module 3: Mindful Leadership 

This module is designed to introduce participants to the practice of mindfulness, which can be highly valuable in navigating the inherent stressors faced by women in STEM. The module explores the connections between mindfulness and leadership in an applied context. Participants are guided through activities and practices in present moment awareness, the cornerstone of mindfulness practice. Mindfulness is a practice that helps the woman leader in STEM build resilience to inherent pressures of the workplace by learning specific skills for navigating internal landscapes of unhelpful thoughts and emotions. 

Module 4: Behavior Tendencies and Intentional Responses

This module presents content that invites the participants to explore and consider their own and others’ behaviors and responses in navigating choices, decisions, and difficult circumstances that arise in the workplace. Mental models, such as personality and identity matrices, and step-wise assessment tools for effecting change and navigating challenges are introduced and practiced. Throughout the module, participants will be guided through opportunities to practice skills introduced in Module 1 and 2, such as neutral noticing, and to continue to develop their leadership philosophy. Participants are encouraged to cultivate and practice awareness of their own and others’ behaviors, understand common challenges for women in leadership roles and common responses, and to use this knowledge to begin practicing how to respond adaptively to elicit positive outcomes and change. 

Module 5: Systemic Barriers and Taking Committed Action

This module provides the participants with information to assist them in assessing and navigating risks and taking committed action guided by their values. The module builds upon participants’ understanding and identification of their core values from Module 2 and upon skills in awareness and conflict navigation addressed, respectively, in Modules 3 and 4. Variability in risk space based on personality traits as well as intersectional identities and STEM-related contexts and situations are discussed. The module then guides the participants through a process to transform concerns into committed actions. The participants will practice these skills and discuss with the cohort, as well as have one-on-one partner discussion outside of their own institution to strengthen and build professional networks. Application of transforming concerns into committed action is addressed within the context of leadership within HE STEM.

Module 6: Leading Change in Community

This module explores approaches to change and how they can be applied to issues of gender equity in STEM. Participants will consider examples of change efforts in other institutions and draw insights from the results. They will also discuss ways to create supportive networks, some which have already begun to develop and identify a challenge or opportunity for change to focus on and identify specific action steps to promote the change they envision.