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From Specialist to Strategist

For emerging managers in science, technology, and engineering

Women working in science, technology, and engineering are nearly 50 percent more likely than their male counterparts to drop out of the industry in their first year. Women who attend the Specialist to Strategist build powerful management competencies and career sustaining networks, resulting in improved job satisfaction and career advancement.

  • The Program

    About the Program

    From Specialist to Strategist is a learning experience designed to equip emerging women leaders in science, technology, and engineering with the skills and confidence critical for future success in management roles. Sessions on strategy and innovation, negotiation, and self- and team-management unlock the skills women in STEM fields need to overcome obstacles, build successful careers, and advance to higher levels in the workplace.

    Participants gain a network of women peers at the same career-level in STEM fields, that helps to conquer feelings of isolation and provides access to career-spanning relationships.

    The Society of Women Engineers logo
    This program is a collaboration with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the world’s leading professional organization for women engineers. Learn more about SWE on their website.


    The Value


    We work alongside global organizations to assess the growth of each participant in the program. Managers report that women who attend From Specialist to Strategist:

    • Stay with the company
    • Expand responsibility and roles
    • Exhibit greater confidence
    • Contribute to strategy and innovation on their teams
    • Communicate more clearly and effectively
    • Negotiate for better outcomes
    • Better manage work-life integration
    • Return to work re-inspired and ready to lead


    Smith’s signature all-women programs create an environment where women can take full advantage of their learning experience. Research shows that all-women learning environments inspire greater confidence both in and outside the classroom – especially for women working in male-dominated fields.

    Women who attend From Specialist to Strategist:

    • Problem-solve and collaborate more effectively

    • Develop and build on personal leadership narrative

    • Apply critical inquiry skills to decision making and communication

    • Negotiate, build trust and win buy-in to drive optimal results

    • Step outside their comfort zone and take brave action

    • Invest in personal health and well-being for sustainable career success

    • Receive a one-year membership to the Society of Women Engineers

    • Obtain post-program access to networking and continuing learning opportunities
  • Curriculum


    Participants are challenged to shift their mindset from individual contributor and team member to strategic leader and innovator. Each session delivers key knowledge and skill practice leading to fundamental shifts in both self and organization awareness, the kind of transformational experience that propels careers and corporate business outcomes.


    • Strategic Leadership
      – Develop your creative capacity to analyze and respond to complex situations
    • Negotiation for Leaders
      – Learn and apply tools to plan and prepare for complex negotiations and achieve excellent outcomes
    • Communicating with Maximum Impact
      – Develop effective strategies and techniques to humanize complicated information, bring your story to life, and tailor your message to your audience
    • Application Experience
      – Employ tools and skills to improve productivity
      – Build a customer-centric high performing team
      – Practice intentional leadership to leverage your strengths
    • Action Planning
      – Bring the future to the present and conquer uncertainty
      – Inspire people and evoke passion with a compelling noble purpose
      – Create an environment for collaborative value innovation
    • Executive Panel: Architecture of a Successful Career
      – Hear from diverse senior executives about their career journeys
      – Get advice from and network with successful women in the field
    • Leadership Narrative
      – Integrate knowledge with personal insights and wisdom for greater clarity and purpose
      – Return to work prepared to share your vision and inspire your team
    • Daily wellness programs that model how to increase energy, well-being, and stress-resilience
  • Who Attends

    Who Should Attend?

    From Specialist to Strategist is for emerging managers in science, technology, and engineering fields who are poised to lead work teams or critical projects, or are managers ready for larger responsibilities in technical environments.

    Sample Participant Titles:

    • Project Manager

    • Senior Researcher 

    • Team Lead

    • Technical Lead

  • Faculty

    A World-Class Faculty

    Smith College Executive Education draws its world-class faculty from top institutions, businesses, and consultancies around the globe. The result is a team of educators dedicated to developing the whole leader, covering topics like strategy, innovation, confidence, negotiation, leadership behaviors, health and well-being for leaders, hands-on business simulations, and more.

  • Accommodations/What to Bring


    • All participants are hosted in Hotel Northamptoncheck-in is on Sunday, June 7 and check-out is on Friday, June 11
    • The campus is a short walk from downtown Northampton with access to numerous restaurants, boutiques, a pharmacy, and other services
    • If you need to arrive a day early or leave a day late you will need to arrange to stay at one of the local hotels in the area:

      The Hotel Northampton
      The Fairfield Inn
      The Autumn Inn
      The Quality Inn

    What to Bring

    • Business casual wear is appropriate for all sessions
    • Comfortable shoes
    • Layered clothing to adjust to changing temperatures both inside and outside
    • Workout clothes; we have a gym and numerous running routes
    • Medications
    • Laptop and other electronic devices
    • No need to bring an umbrella, we will provide you with one
  • Enrollment


    Proficiency in spoken and written English is required.


    Space is limited; reserve seats now.

    Program Contact

    Have a question? Contact Meredith Courtney at 
    Phone: +1-413-585-2586