Centre for Continuing Education

Women in Leadership Course: Advanced Skills

Leadership. Inspiring and enabling organisations to create and realise optimal value.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.

Women with vision and purpose are stepping into leadership roles at unprecedented rates. Thriving in this space requires political acumen, resilience and the ability to drive change despite systemic pushback.

In this course, you will learn to lead with impact and confidence, and review your assumptions about what it takes to succeed as a female leader. We will discuss how to beat habits that spark burnout, such as overworking or getting stuck in crisis management mode. You will also learn how to build a dynamic business culture, hone your negotiation skills and speak to be heard. Take charge of your own destiny, as well as the future of your team or business.

This course is for women already in leadership roles who would like to further develop their leadership skills, and challenge assumptions they have about women in leadership. This course complements our Women in Leadership Course: Foundation Skills.


This course aims to empower female leaders to identify their unique leadership attributes and to use these to negotiate, lead and mentor with confidence.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • challenge stereotypes about gender and leadership, so you can accelerate your success as a leader
  • maintain your focus, clarity and resilience under pressure
  • eliminate habits which lead to burnout, so you can work strategically and lead with intention
  • drive positive culture change in your business
  • act as a role model for emerging female leaders
  • use your improved powers of influence to better negotiate
  • find solutions to real-life problems and challenges as a female leader in the age of ‘supposed equality’.


In this course, you’ll learn practical skills for addressing the issues which emerge for women as they advance into senior leadership roles. Each session will cover research findings that have implications for women in leadership. You will then explore specific steps you can take to address common challenges and thrive as a savvy business leader.

Challenging myths about women in leadership

Research on the issues impacting professional women and female leaders is disrupting conventional wisdom about how to succeed in your leadership role.

We will discuss:

  • current findings on gender and brain function
  • differences between male and female communication styles
  • what it takes to succeed as a female leader.

Handling ‘glass ceiling’ issues

As you progress in your leadership role, you may face a number of challenges. Common issues include finding yourself in constant ‘reaction’ mode, feeling overloaded, overworking because of a perfectionist mindset, or facing pressure because you’re part of a ‘dual career couple’.

This session provides a toolkit for addressing these issues. Learn how to:

  • clear your schedule of low-impact activities or meetings
  • overcome imposter syndrome
  • get results through other people and manage tandem careers.

There will also be an open frame discussion in which you can identify additional issues holding you back and receive tips on how to address them.

Shaping organisational culture

Culture-building is a core responsibility of leaders. Your culture-building efforts can significantly impact the ladder of participation for professional women. Workplace culture also impacts motivation, engagement and productivity throughout the business. How do you create a dynamic, positive culture that capitalises on diversity and builds ‘positive deviance’? Get answers to this question, drawing on positive leadership theory. During this session, you will develop a personal action plan for standing out as a leader who drives change.

Becoming a savvy negotiator

74% of women feel uncomfortable negotiating in business contexts. What causes this? More importantly, what can we do about it? Power up your negotiation skills so that you will feel, look and sound confident at the negotiating table. This session will show you how to:

  • take on a success mindset so you can spot opportunities to negotiate (which many women fail to see)
  • prepare a backup plan, so you never say ‘yes’ to a bad deal
  • keep your negotiation on track by leading a conversation through four key stages
  • eliminate five habits that limit the success of female negotiators – so you can become a savvy woman of influence.

Intended audience

This is an advanced level course for women who have been in senior management or leadership roles for over two years. It is also suitable for men who wish to support diversity agendas in their organisations.

Delivery style

The workshop is a highly interactive program for experienced leaders and senior managers. You will get the most from this course if you are:

  • an experienced leader, who has spent two or more years working at a senior level
  • willing to contribute to group discussions about your success mindset
  • confident communicating verbally in English
  • comfortable participating in role-play style activities.

Delivery options:

  • presenter-taught workshop on University premises
  • online workshop via the platform Zoom.

You’ll learn through a variety of methods including:

  • mini lectures
  • video presentations
  • Q & A sessions
  • demonstrations by the facilitator
  • practical group activities
  • individual planning activities.

Recommended reading

Appelbaum, SH, Audet, L & Miller, JC 2003, ‘Gender and leadership? Leadership and gender? A journey through the landscape of theories’, Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 43-51, DOI 10.1108/01437730310457320.

Babcock, L & Laschever, S 2009, Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

Being a Two-Career Couple Requires a Long-Term Plan, 2018, February 26, retrieved from hbr.org

Boyes, C 2005, Body Language, HarperCollins, London, UK.

Clarke, C & Shister, N 2010, Dare to Ask! The Woman’s Guidebook to Successful Negotiating, LLC, Mulberry Street Press.

Coates, J 2015, Women, Men and Language: A Sociolinguistic Account of Gender Differences in Language, Routledge, London, England.

Cole, K 2002, Crystal Clear Communication: Skills for Understanding and Being Understood (2nd ed.), Pearson Education, Australia.

Condliffe, P 2012, Conflict Management: A Practical Guide, LexisNexis Butterworths.

Cornelius, H, Faire, S & Cornelius, E 2007, Everyone Can Win: Responding to Conflict Constructively Simon & Schuster; reprint, revised and updated 2nd edition.

Davidds, Y & Bidou, A 2015, Your Own Terms: A Woman’s Guide to Taking Charge of Any Negotiation, AMACOM.

Eagly, AH & Carli, LL 2003, ‘The female leadership advantage: An evaluation of the evidence’, The Leadership Quarterly, vol. 4, no. 6, pp. 807-834, DOI 10.1016/j.leaqua.2003.09.004.

Elgin, SH 2000, The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Ely, R & Padavic, I 2007, ‘A feminist analysis of organizational research on sex differences’, Academy of Management Review, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 1121-114, DOI 10.5465/amr.2007.26585842.

Frank Talk, and True Stories for the Successful Entrepreneur, HarperCollins, NY.

Frankel, L, 2004, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers, Business Plus.

Frankel, LP 2014, See Jane Lead: 99 Ways for Women to Take Charge at Work.

Friedman, C & Yorio, K 2003, The Girl’s Guide to Starting Your Own Business, Candid Advice.

Hollands, J 2002, Same Game Different Rules, McGraw-Hill Companies, NY.

Hollier, F, Cornelius, H & Murray, K 1993, Conflict Resolution Trainers' Manual: 12 Skills, Conflict Resolution Network.

Holmes, J & Meyerhoff, M 2008, The Handbook of Language and Gender, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.

Kalev, A, Dobbin, F & Kelly, E 2006, ‘Best Practices or Best Guesses? Assessing the Efficacy of Corporate Affirmative Action and Diversity Policies’, American Sociological Review, vol. 71, no. 4, pp. 589-617, DOI 10.1177/000312240607100404.

Kalev, A, Dobbin, F & Kelly, E 2006, ‘Best Practices or Best Guesses? Assessing the Efficacy of Corporate Affirmative Action and Diversity Policies’, American Sociological Review, vol. 71, no. 4, pp. 589-617, DOI 10.1177/000312240607100404.

Kolb, DM, Williams, J & Frohlinger, C 2010, Her Place at the Table: A Woman’s Guide to Negotiating Five Key Challenges to Leadership Success, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.

Kolb, D & Williams, J 2001, The Shadow Negotiation: How Women Can Master the Hidden Agendas That Determine Bargaining Success, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY.

Laborde, GZ 2004, Influencing with Integrity: Management Skills for Communication and Negotiation, Crown House Publishing.

Lloyd, K 2005, ‘Jerks At Work’, Revised Edition: How to Deal with People Problems and Problem People, Red Wheel/Weiser.

Magowan, KE 2015, The Busy Women’s Guide To... Salary Negotiation: How to Successfully Negotiate Your Next Salary Raise!, Magowan Nominees.

Malhotra, D 2004, ‘Risky Business: Trust in Negotiations’, Negotiation Journal, vol. 7, no. 2.

Martell, R, Parker, C, Emrich, C & Crawford, M 1998, ‘Sex stereotyping in the executive suite: "Much ado about something."’, Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 127-138.

McGinn, KL., Pradel, DW & Bowles, HR (2005 November), ‘When Does Gender Matter in Negotiation?’, Negotiation, vol. 8, no. 11.

McHugh, MC & Hambaugh, J 2009, ‘She Said, He Said: Gender, Language, and Power’, Handbook of Gender Research in Psychology, pp. 379-410, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4419-1465-1_19.

Miller, LE & Miller, J 2002, A Woman’s Guide to Successful Negotiating: How to Convince, Collaborate, & Create Your Way to Agreement, McGraw Hill Professional, New York.

Patterson, K, Grenny, J, McMillan, R & Switzler, A 2004, Crucial Confrontations: Tools for talking about broken promises, violated expectations, and bad behavior, McGraw Hill Professional, New York.

Petriglieri, J 2019, Couples That Work: How Dual-Career Couples Can Thrive in Love and Work, Harvard Business Press, Brighton, MA.

Power Couples (2019, September 1), retrieved from hbr.org

Ridgeway, CL 2011, Framed by Gender: How Gender Inequality Persists in the Modern World, Oxford University Press, New York.

Roseberry, L & Roos, J 2014, Bridging the Gender Gap: Seven Principles for Achieving Gender Balance, Oxford University Press, New York.

Ryan, MK & Haslam, SA 2007, ‘The Glass Cliff: Exploring the Dynamics Surrounding the Appointment of Women to Precarious Leadership Positions’, Academy of Management Review, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 549-572, DOI 10.5465/amr.2007.24351856.

Tannen, D & Tannen, PO 2013, Talking from 9 to 5: How Women’s and Men’s Conversational Styles Affect who Gets Heard, who Gets Credit, and what Gets Done at Work, William Morrow & Company.

Tillett, G & French, B 2006, Resolving Conflict: A Practical Approach, Oxford University Press, New York.

Weatherall, A 2002, Gender, Language and Discourse, Psychology Press, London, England.

Wellington, S, Brumit Kropf, M & Gerkovich, P (2003, June), 'What’s Holding Women Back?', Harvard Business Review, pp. 18-19.

What Work Looks Like for Women in Their 50s (2016, April 22), retrieved from hbr.org

White, K 2008, Why Good Girls Don’t Get Ahead... But Gutsy Girls Do: Nine Secrets Every Working Woman Must Know, Grand Central Publishing, New York.

Women in leadership: Lessons from Australian companies leading the way (n.d.), retrieved from mckinsey.com

Wright, M & Gray, T 2013, ‘The hidden turmoil: Females achieving longevity in the outdoor learning profession’, Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 12-23, DOI 10.1007/bf03400942.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

Women in Leadership Course: Advanced Skills

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Women in Leadership Course: Advanced Skills

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