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Online Learning

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Advance your career with the latest leadership and management strategies. Join top faculty and peer women leaders for online programs and courses. Learn at your convenience, from wherever you are in the world. Smith Executive Education's elegant interactive online platform makes it easy to connect with faculty and a cohort of talented peers to help you deepen your expertise and confidence.  

Learn more about our offerings below.





Explore three types of online offerings:


Online Courses

Modeled after our in-person programs, Smith Executive Education’s summer online courses offer busy women opportunities to develop cutting-edge leadership skills. Each course provides:

  • Eight hours of content over three days (daily two-hour live sessions plus two hours of self-paced learning)
  • Access to world-class thought leaders who guide discussions, case studies, and exercises in an engaging blended-learning environment
  • Powerful networking opportunities during and after each course

Group discounts and course bundles are available. For more information about online learning opportunities please contact Meredith Courtney.

  • June 23-25; Strategic Leadership

    Success as a leader requires agility in making strategic decisions, negotiating with critical stakeholders, and developing influence to drive outcomes. This course provides women in middle to senior leadership roles with strategies and skills to thrive in today’s increasingly complex global work environments.

    Time to complete: 8 hours
    Live sessions: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET on June 23, 24 and 25
    Access to content: June 9 to Aug 7, 2020
    Content includes: Activities, community discussion and learning resources
    This program is for women in middle to senior leadership roles


    Strategic Thinking and Decision Making

    The increased speed of change in business has caused a movement from discrete-event strategic planning to more dynamic planning. However, many organizations struggle to stay nimble amidst rapid market changes. This session presents this challenge in the context of balancing short-term versus long-term objectives. We discuss common barriers to effective decision making in times of uncertainty and provide concrete steps to become more adaptable. You will learn how to:

    • Adopt behaviors to mitigate cognitive biases, which raises the probability of good decision outcomes 
    • Develop a discipline for making choices in an environment of uncertainty 
    • Expand your ability to continuously scan for leading indicators in rapidly changing environments

    Mindset Leadership

    Mindset Leadership begins with the question, “How do people experience you?” It ends with increased self-awareness, compelling executive presence, and behaviors that distinguish leaders and teams in positive ways. In this session, you will be guided through introspective and practical exercises in which you will learn how to magnify your authenticity, increase your resilience in the face of challenges, and build strong relationships to elevate your leadership and career. You will walk away with insights and tools to:

    • Identify the values that guide you as a leader and learn how they inform your leadership narrative
    • Strengthen your interpersonal and performance visibility through the development of relationships that matter
    • Assess and enhance your effectiveness in the four elements of resilience

    Increasing Your Negotiation Agility

    Negotiating can be challenging as a leader, especially when you care about the outcomes and the other party. Although you want to “win,” you want to be careful to not damage your working relationship. Add to all of this the complexity of negotiating in multiple directions: up the ladder to those whom you report to; down the ladder to your direct reports; and across to your colleagues and peers. How can you prepare to negotiate with all of these different stakeholder groups, while considering emotions, power dynamics, and the culture that influences relationships? In this session, you will:

    • Learn and practice strategies to negotiate more effectively
    • Enhance your communication skills and approach
    • Prepare for your negotiation considering different possible scenarios
    • Integrate concepts of gender and culture into your negotiation preparation



    Bundle of three Summer Online courses (this course, along with Leading Through Uncertainty, and Leadership Communication Skills): $3,000 

    Group discounts are available. Contact Meredith Courtney to learn more.

  • July 14-16; Leading Through Uncertainty

    During times of uncertainty, leaders at all levels need to manage rapid change while demonstrating resilience and managing team morale. In this course, you’ll dive deeply into change leadership, learn how to overcome barriers for taking action and practice skills for interacting in high stake interactions.

    Time to complete: 8 hours
    Live sessions: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET on July 14, 15 and 16
    Access to content: June 30 to August 28, 2020
    Content includes: Activities, community discussion and learning resources
    This program is for leaders at all levels


    Overcoming Barriers to Change

    Change is an inherently uncertain process. Leaders who bring structure, support, and coherence to this process are invaluable. In this session, we will use the Immunity to Change (ITC) framework to learn an actionable model for growth and development – one that transforms lives, teams, and even organizations. ITC was designed to bring clarity to that personal and collective growth by:

    • Identifying areas that are due for a positive change
    • Setting actionable goals to achieve that change
    • Uncovering hidden, limiting assumptions
    • Applying this learning in an individual and team context

    Fear as Fuel

    Fear is an untapped resource and the foundational element of bravery. It is also one of the most compressing emotions, creating internal barriers that block us off from confidence, growth, and joy. In this session, we share compelling data on fear and bravery and guide you on how to use fear as fuel for action. Through guided exercises and interactions, you will:

    • Reflect on the personal fear and failure triggers that hold you back
    • Set concrete goals using a growth mindset framework
    • Learn how to build a sustainable internal system of fear management
    • Build and amplify confidence in order to effectively collaborate, motivate, and influence 

    Handling Difficult Situations

    Given the current business climate, leaders have been thrust into an uncertain environment where they need to handle multiple difficult situations daily. This session prepares leaders for high stake interactions when they need to handle objections and resistance to their ideas.  Participants will learn and practice the top nine influencing skills along with ways to disagree with diplomacy, manage a room with dissenting viewpoints, and handle surprises.  Participants will:

    • Practice positive framing and assess individual triggers
    • Learn techniques for staying calm and controlled in difficult moments
    • Create an action plan for remaining resilient in difficult situations




    Bundle of three Summer Online courses (this course, along with Emerging Leader Survival Skills or Strategic Leadership and Leadership Communication Skills): $3,000 

    Group discounts are available. Contact Meredith Courtney to learn more.

  • July 28-30; Emerging Leader Survival Skills

    Emerging leaders moving up in the organization must quickly learn and apply strong management, communication and strategic skills. In this course, you will learn to problem solve and collaborate in complex work environments, create a culture of open and candid communication, and understand how to leverage emotional intelligence to build great teams.


    Time to complete: 8 hours
    Live sessions: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET on July 28, 29 and 30
    Access to content: July 14 to September 11, 2020
    Content includes: Activities, community discussion and learning resources
    This program is for Emerging Leaders


    Elevating Your Problem-Solving Leadership

    Would you like to feel more confident leading projects and tackling problems that are ambiguous or new to you? Do you aspire to contribute more substantively in meetings with executives and cross-functional peers? Have you experienced analysis paralysis and/or challenges distilling insights from complex analysis in a simple way? In this interactive session, you'll be introduced to frameworks and approaches effective business leaders use to:

    • Identify ambiguous problems, issues, and opportunities from a strategic business perspective 
    • Prioritize and focus limited resources on the most critical issues  
    • Facilitate quick decision making in a multi-stakeholder environment and communicate recommendations effectively

    Radical Candor

    This immersive session will introduce the concepts of Radical Candor for soliciting, giving, and receiving feedback using the principles of Caring Personally and Challenging Directly. We will then dive into real-life scenarios, providing opportunities to practice Radical Candor in a safe and supportive environment so you can apply your learnings immediately at work and in your personal life. Learn to: 

    • Create a culture of guidance and feedback 
    • Move from command-and-control to collaboration 
    • Learn to offer both praise and criticism helpfully and humbly 

    Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

    Emotions are data!  Emotionally intelligent leaders - those who can identify, understand and regulate their own emotional data - positively impact the emotions and experience of others. Research shows that these leaders have a happier, more creative, and innovative workforce.  In this interactive session, you will learn the core skills of emotional intelligence and practices that will help you cultivate and deepen these skills. This includes:

    • Identifying what emotions (it is never just one!) you are experiencing
    • Understanding what emotions support and hinder your tasks as leaders
    • Learning ways to increase emotional agility
    • Supporting those you lead in learning all of these practices




    Bundle of three Summer Online courses (this course, along with Leading Through Uncertainty, and Leadership Communication Skills): $3,000

    Group discounts available. Contact Meredith Courtney to learn more.

  • Aug 4, 6, 11; Leadership Communication Skills

    Strong communication skills are critical for driving strategic initiatives. In this course, leaders at all levels will learn strategies for communicating successfully with important stakeholders. Explore fundamental elements of communication, practice frameworks for developing powerful messaging in every type of presentation, and learn how to make an impact through your personal brand.


    Time to complete: 8 hours
    Live sessions: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET on August 4, 6 and 11
    Access to content: July 21 to September 23, 2020
    Content includes: Activities, community discussion and learning resources
    This program is for leaders at all levels


    Effective Leadership Communication 

    Effective communication is fundamental to effective leadership. Our most impactful leaders communicate in ways that others can hear it and hear what others say in order to cultivate mutual understanding. With attention and practice, that impact is accessible to all of us.  Together we will explore key elements of effective communication and integrate frameworks to build these capacities. In this interactive session, you will come away with the concepts and practices to help you:

    • Identify and close communication gaps
    • Use “clean” talk to express and understand important messages
    • Promote productive conversations by using methods to better explain our own thinking and get others to explain their perspectives

    Powerful Presentations

    Our work lives are filled with presentations. From meetings with senior leaders to quarterly financial recaps, pitch decks, team updates, project proposals and debriefs, training webinars, and customer presentations, we often find ourselves contributing to and/or delivering presentations. Being able to convey your key messages in a way that resonates with your audience is a critical business competency, but choosing what to share and how is often challenging (and time-intensive)! In this interactive session, we will provide actionable advice and opportunities to practice key skills for more powerful presentations, including:

    • Organizing your message – storylining and storytelling
    • Using charts and visuals to make your message “pop” and other best practices
    • Adapting your presentation approach to fit the audience, meeting format, and meeting objectives

    Personal Impact

    How do you establish instant credibility and connect easily with others? This interactive workshop focuses on the principles of personal style, helping you further define your professional style while capitalizing on your uniqueness. You will practice elements of presence in role plays with a special focus on authenticity in vocal presence, visual leadership, and attitude. Learn how to: 

    • Leverage your unique style to establish a differentiated personal brand 
    • Develop a set of personal goals and tools for establishing a strong presence




    Bundle of three Summer Online courses (this course, along with Emerging Leader Survival Skills or Strategic Leadership and Leading Through Uncertainty): $3,000

    Group discounts are available. Contact Meredith Courtney to learn more. 

Online Programs

These self-paced offerings provide access, at your convenience, to important business concepts for women executives. Each course provides: 

  • Four weeks of self-paced content (eight hours total)
  • One live session (recorded version will also be available)
  • Access to content and ideas of world-class thought leaders 
  • Rich online discussions and networking opportunities 

Group discounts and course bundles are available. For more information about online learning opportunities please contact Meredith Courtney.



  • May 29-July 3; Powerful Words for Women Leaders

    Time to complete: 8 hours
    Live session: June 30, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET
    Access to content: May 29 to August 14, 2020
    Content includes: Lesson videos, activities, community discussion and learning resources
    This program is for leaders at all levels

    What can we learn from great women leaders throughout history and literature? How can yesterday’s female thought leaders and activists, including Queen Elizabeth I, Margaret Thatcher, and Sojourner Truth, illuminate the challenges and prejudices that women leaders must overcome today? In this four-week online program, we will analyze speeches to glean lessons relevant to women leaders today. Participants will:

    • Discuss women's leadership dilemmas in history and literature.
    • Analyze communication techniques of women leaders in history and the modern era.
    • Develop strategies for employing language as a powerful tool.

    About the Faculty:

    "Joseph Luzzi is the founder and director of DeepRead, a professional development program rethinking corporate education through engagement with the transformative ideas of literature, history, and philosophy. A frequent contributor to publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Chronicle of Higher Education, he is the author of five books. Luzzi’s work has been translated into German, Italian, Korean, and Portuguese, and his media appearances include a profile in the Guardian and interview with National Public Radio. His honors include a Dante Society of America essay prize, Yale College teaching prize, NEH Fellowship from the National Humanities Center, and Wallace Fellowship at Villa I Tatti, Harvard University’s Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence.


    Introductory Price: $349 

  • Jul 24-Aug 28; Resolving Conflict Through Clear Communication

    Time to complete: 8 hours
    Live session: August 26, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET
    Access to content: July 24 to October 9, 2020
    Content includes: Lesson videos, activities, community discussion and learning resources
    This program is for leaders at all levels

    Our word choices can lead to communication traps and misunderstandings, leaving us feeling frustrated, confused, or defeated. How can we identify these pitfalls, in ourselves and others, to communicate more effectively? In this four-week online course, you will learn to identify common communication gaps and how they occur, then practice communicating through conflict. You will: 

    • Practice clean talk to close harmful communication gaps.
    • Identify limiting assumptions and beliefs that cause misunderstanding.
    • Identify your default destructive approach to conflict and find constructive solutions.
    • Develop personal strategies for overcoming the triggers that provoke and escalate conflict.


    About the Faculty

    Sarah smiling

    Sarah Biggerstaff specializes in leadership development for individuals and organizations. Since 2012, she has been on the faculty at the Yale School of Management where her work focuses on increasing capacity to lead through the practical, hands-on application of leadership concepts.  She holds an MS in Organization Development from George Mason University and a BA in Literature from the United States Military Academy at West Point.





    Introductory Price: $349 

    Three-Course Discount: register for our next three online programs for only $726!

  • Sep 25-Oct 30; Financial Statements for Non-Finance Professionals

    Time to complete: 8 hours
    Live session: October 28, 2020, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET
    Access to content: September 25 to December 11, 2020
    Content includes: Lesson videos, activities, community discussion and learning resources
    This program is for professional women with a limited knowledge of finance


    Is your lack of financial literacy limiting your professional objectives? Do financial statements seem to be written in a foreign language? The ability to navigate, interpret, understand and discuss a company’s financial picture has never been more critical. These skills, and an increased comfort level with the language of financial statements, are essential, whether you want to join a board, elevate your specialty into a broader context, participate in strategic discussions or start a new venture.

    This four-week online course will orient you to the world of financial statements and introduce some of the most important basics. You will learn how to:

    • Navigate, read and interpret key financial statements prepared by public companies
    • Examine the inner workings of an income statement, balance sheet and cash flows
    • Understand what salient information really matters to a company’s financial health
    • Know where to look and what questions to ask to uncover valuable data
    • Learn tools for analyzing, interpreting and communicating essential information.

    FSP is designed for professional women with a limited knowledge of finance who want to gain a greater familiarity with financial statement analysis through the eyes of a real-world practitioner. Although some relevant concepts will be touched upon as they pertain to the preparation of financial statements, this is not a course on financial theory or accounting. 


    About the Faculty

    Gail smiling

    Gail Zauder, Smith ’79, has spent her career as an investment banker, strategic advisor, board member and operating executive specializing in the luxury goods, beauty, retail, apparel and consumer products sectors. When she graduated from Smith with a self-designed major in Urban Environmental Studies, she didn’t even know the difference between debt and equity or an income statement and balance sheet. A career in investment banking hadn’t even entered her mind. 

    Over the years, she has gained an exceptional amount of financial literacy on the job and during her time at Yale’s School of Management. Today, she is the Audit Committee Chair at Allurion Technologies and a qualified financial expert. 

    Ms. Zauder serves as the Managing Partner of Elixir Advisors, an advisory firm she founded in 2002 following sixteen years at Credit Suisse First Boston., Ms. Zauder was the first woman promoted to Managing Director in the history of Credit Suisse’s M&A Group and created and ran its Luxury Goods Investment Banking Group. At Elixir, she has advised companies and individuals such as Bono, Burt’s Bees, Donna Karan, Harry Winston, LVMH, Neiman Marcus, Oscar de la Renta, Soap & Glory and Versace. She also served as CEO for Soap & Glory, the UK beauty company founded by Marcia Kilgore, the serial entrepreneur behind Bliss, FitFlop and Beauty Pie. 



    Introductory Price: $349 

    Three-Course Discount: register for our next three online programs for only $726!


These free one-hour sessions introduce professional women to a variety of topics. 



  • Jul 22; Empathy in Times of Suffering

    Lately, it can feel as though all we do is face challenging decisions and conversations. You find out your organization is about to announce layoffs or a furlough, a colleague is ill, and friend is dealing with more than they can handle. Your gut tightens. Your pulse quickens. You wish it was easier to figure out what to say and do. 

    Kelsey Crowe, Ph.D., and co-author of There Is No Good Card for This: What to Do and Say When Life is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to the People You Love, will share well-researched information to help you feel confident in connecting with anyone experiencing grief, loss, illness, or any other difficult situation. 

    You will leave this webinar with actionable advice for responding in a helpful way that will also add to your own wellbeing. 

    Learning Objectives:

    • Learn a few simple replies for when someone you know is facing a difficult situation
    • Gain the confidence to overcome your fear and discomfort 
    • Join a community of others trying to navigate today’s challenges

    About the Presenter:

    Kelsey smiling outside

    Kelsey Crowe, PhD is the founder of Empathy Intelligence, which makes human connection in times of suffering easier for patients, their loved ones, and professionals via workshops, interactive games, and talks. She co-authored There Is No Good Card for This: What to Do and Say When Life is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to the People You Love. She teaches social work at California State University. Her work has been featured on several media outlets like NPR, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed,, and others. She hopes for a day when no one has to suffer a personal trial alone because the people around them just didn’t know what to do or say.



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