Women’s Leadership Program in Brazil Yields High Impact

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Registration is now open for the 2015 FDC-Smith Women’s Global Leaders Program

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The FDC-Smith Women’s Global Leaders program covers business competencies like negotiation, innovation and strategic thinking to prepare women for the unique challenges they face doing business in Latin America and beyond.

Last year, Smith College Executive Education for Women and Fundação Dom Cabral (FDC), Brazil’s leading business school, partnered to unite 35 of Brazil and Latin America’s top female executives in the first women’s executive leadership program of its kind in South America.

In April, key findings drawn from last year’s pilot program and other Smith women-only executive development programs were the topic of a speaking tour across Brazil. Making stops at FDC campus locations in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Belo Horizonte, Iris Newalu, executive director of Smith College Executive Education, met with business leaders to share Smith’s research on the status of global women’s leadership development and to talk about how organizations can support the advancement of women in the workplace.

“Businesses worldwide are realizing that they need to leverage the talent of women, but there is still a large gender-gap in executive suites across the Latin American region,” said Newalu. “The FDC-Smith Women’s Global Leaders program covers business competencies like negotiation, innovation and strategic thinking to prepare women for the unique challenges they face doing business in Latin America and beyond.”

Making a Measurable Impact

Although studies prove that companies with more women in senior leadership roles are stronger competitors in the global economy, less than 4 percent of board chairs in Brazil belong to women, according to research from Catalyst.

In a study conducted by Smith College Executive Education, longtime cultural constructs emerged as the greatest barrier to career advancement for women in Brazil. In general, women face a lack of sponsors, confidence, and exposure to business training, e.g. negotiation, when climbing the corporate ladder.

When provided with leadership education, women can more easily maneuver beyond these constraints and succeed. Employers consistently see an increase in participants’ ability in key business competencies as a result of attending a women’s leadership program, including:

  •     Leadership
  •     Negotiation
  •     Strategic thinking
  •     Initiative
  •     Innovation

Women who attend women-only leadership programs also benefit from access to a global network of true peers – other women executives striving to advance their careers in the face of isolation, subtle bias, and ongoing struggles with work-life integration.

“After my week at FDC I came to appreciate that women are indeed different from men in work environments and that there is nothing wrong with that,” said Cláudia Vassallo, chief executive at CDI and 2014 FDC-Smith participant. “The biggest revelation was that I would be a more complete, productive, secure, and admired professional if I embraced my femininity and my roles as mother and wife.”

Building a Curriculum to Battle Biases

Addressing obstacles head-on, the FDC-Smith Women’s Global Leaders program covers topics to prepare women for the unique challenges they face doing business in the global marketplace. World-class faculty from top institutions and consultancies around the globe deliver presentations on the following topics:

  •     Applying concrete tools and approaches for decision-making and strategic agility
  •     Building and communicating a compelling leadership vision
  •     Honing presentation techniques to deliver messages with maximum impact
  •     Learning principles of neuroscience to enhance strategic thinking for exceptional outcomes
  •     Improving leadership fitness for high-performance by managing health and wellness
  •     Learning the science behind developing a strategic professional network
  •     Creating an action plan to take the learnings forward

In addition to the curriculum, Smith’s signature all-women classroom model supports women’s natural collaborative and participatory learning style, creating an environment that inspires increased risk-taking and greater confidence.

2015 Program Date Announced

The 2015 FDC-Smith Women’s Global Leaders Program will be held from August 30 to September 4, 2015, at the Aloysio Faria, Nova Lima campus of Fundação Dom Cabral. Registration is now open.

Learn more about the 2015 FDC-Smith Women’s Global Leaders Program on our website (http://bit.ly/1Q1kvDM) or by emailing leadership(at)smith(dot)edu before July 31, 2015.

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About Smith College Executive Education for Women

Smith College Executive Education for Women prepares organizations to compete in a highly competitive global economy. Smith’s leadership programs for women enable forward-thinking organizations to build a pipeline of high-performing women leaders at all levels of the company. Established in 1977, long before other leadership programs were open to women, Smith remains the leader in women-only executive leadership development.

Smith's approach to executive education blends academic rigor with a dialogue centered on real-world business issues. Smith’s signature all-women classroom model supports women's natural collaborative and participatory learning style, and creates an environment where women can build bonds of trust, common experience, and a global network for life-long learning. For more information, please visit http://www.smith.edu/execed.

About Fundação Dom Cabral (FDC)

Ranked the best business school in Latin America by Financial Times for the 10th year in a row, FDC has a world-class reputation for excellence. FDC builds the analytical decision-making and leadership skills of executives, entrepreneurs, and public managers. Through its strong ties to international institutions, FDC provides access to cutting-edge management technology centers and thought-leadership streams.

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Ashli Stempel
@SmithExecEd
since: 05/2010
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Smith College Executive Education for Women
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