Cornell University was ranked #10 on the Wall Street Journal’s 2018 college rankings.

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Cornell University was ranked #10 on the Wall Street Journal’s 2018 college rankings.

January 26, 2017

eCornell Introduces Women in Leadership Program to Address Workplace Biases

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eCornell is offering a new program for women to further advance their careers in a predominantly gender-biased workforce.

The Women in Leadership certificate online program — created by Prof. Deborah Streeter, applied economics and management — offers strategies for recognizing and addressing gender issues in the workplace, according to the website.

The program website provides courses that navigate the “double bind” — the dilemma regarding assumptions of a woman’s masculinity or femininity by their leadership actions. It offers courses that explore the application of negotiating skills, emotional intelligence and cultivating a work/life balance.

Streeter explained that she designed the program to be online in order to provide a “private space” for leaders to reflect on their business goals.

“Given the lack of women in many industries, an aspiring leader does not always have the right person inside her own company to be a private channel of communication,” Streeter said. “Since applying the lessons meaningfully is heavily dependent on the context of the person’s situation, the combination of listening/learning and personal reflection makes the courses powerful.”

Streeter emphasized that although the program is designed for women, anyone can take the online courses.

“Every man has women in his life, of one kind or another, and understanding the world of stereotypes and gender issues is relevant,” Streeter said. “Every gender is impacted by these aspects of the workplace.”

According to eCornell’s website, the program — which is largely tailored to women who are mid to senior-level managers or who pursue leadership roles — spans the course of three months.

Lisa Hatfield, vice president of Individual Student Enrollment at eCornell, said that there are no prerequisites for the program and that its five two-week courses offer numerous tools for women in the workplace.

The program also advertises that “all courses are led by industry-expert instructors who will guide, challenge and help apply the course concepts to real-world, on-the-job circumstances,” according to the website.

Upon completion of the program, participants are awarded a Women in Leadership Certificate from Cornell University’s College of Business.

Megan Burke, chief marketing officer at eCornell, emphasized the importance of having such a program at the University.

“[These courses] give women leaders actionable tools to advance their careers,” she said. “Cornell is uniquely positioning itself as a leader and expert in the many pervasive issues related to diversity and unconscious bias in organizational culture today.”