Women’s Leadership Profile: Emerging managers in science, technology, and engineering

From Specialist to Strategist

Women working in science, technology, and engineering are nearly 50% more likely than their male counterparts to drop out of the industry in their first year. Women face real barriers getting to the top, including isolation, bias, work-life integration, and a shortage of sponsors. Organizations that support emerging women leaders during this critical period of career growth understand the competitive value of investing in the development of this rich resource.

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 true peers, other women at the same career-level in STEM fields, that helps to conquer feelings of isolation and provides access to career-spanning relationships with other emerging women leaders.

This program is built in collaboration with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the world’s leading professional organization for women engineers.

The Value

For the Organization

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

For the Participant

Women who attend From Specialist to Strategist:

  • Build the confidence to lead strategy and innovation
  • Elevate their negotiation skills to create and claim value
  • Understand the Impostor Syndrome and how to neutralize it
  • Experience working outside of and expanding their comfort zone
  • Learn techniques to increase physical and mental energy and stamina
  • Participate in team building experiences in a high-stakes business simulation
  • Gain access to powerful executive leaders and their career advice
  • Develop career-sustaining networks of peers

Smith’s ecosystem approach to women’s leadership focuses on building sustainable, systematic change at the organizational level, to support the development, advancement, and retention of high-potential women.

Curriculum

Curriculum

From Specialist to Strategist is a game changer. It’s where emerging managers in science, technology, and engineering come together to learn cross-functional business skills, enhance their leadership competency, and gain a broad management perspective.

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.

Typical Curriculum Elements

  • 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

360-Degree Leadership

Additional leadership benefits for the program include:

  • Daily wellness programs that model how to increase energy, well-being, and stress-resilience
  • One-year membership to the Society of Women Engineers
  • Post-program access to networking and continuing learning opportunities

Why a Women-Only Classroom?

Smith’s signature all-women classroom model supports women’s natural collaborative and participatory learning style, creating an environment where women can take full advantage of their learning experience. Research shows that all-women learning environments inspire increased risk-taking and greater confidence both in and outside the classroom – especially for women working in male-dominated fields.

Who Should Attend?

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.

Past participant titles have included:

  • Project Manager
  • Senior Research Scientist
  • Engineering Team Lead
  • Technical Leader

A Network for Life

By uniting women with similar backgrounds in science, technology, and engineering, women who attend From Specialist to Strategist build a global network of true peers – other businesswomen striving to advance their careers and companies in the face of isolation, subtle bias, and ongoing challenges with work-life integration.

Participants also receive a one-year membership in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and are encouraged to join the wider SWE network.

Testimonials

  • “This program is not about just listening to presentations. It’s about learning and practicing techniques to help you succeed as a leader. In addition, the relationships that are formed through natural networking are stronger than from other leadership programs I have attended. This is a key experience that any woman leader should attend.”

    Sarah M.
    Sarah M. IT ARCHITECT, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND SERVICES
  • “I gained the tools to develop myself as a leader and to deliver a broader and larger impact to my company. Upon returning, I began to lead with purpose. My increased confidence and delegation allowed me to take on more responsibilities and even landed me a job promotion.”

    Iris S.
    Iris S. CUSTOMER SOLUTIONS ASSOCIATE MARKETING MANAGER, CONSUMER GOODS
  • “Smith College made me see that I am good enough, and I need to step up and take my seat at the table. The course itself had an immediate impact on my work. The first thing that changed for me was how I network. I now know I need to network more. This is a very valuable program and we should be looking at sending someone every year.”

    Julie M.
    Julie M. PROJECT MANAGER, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND SERVICES
  • “I feel much more confident about strategy — including creating a strategy and my ability to be strategic in general. I no longer focus solely on tactical issues and can be a better leader for my team.”

    Erin C.
    Erin C. SENIOR DESIGN ENGINEER & ENGINEERING MANAGER, SEMICONDUCTORS
  • "Specialist to Strategist exceeded all of my expectations. By piecing together all the different pieces of my life, the program brought new reflections on things I had learned but had forgotten to apply in real life. The faculty was so knowledgeable and collaborative, both the Smith as well as the external speakers. There are many words that describe Smith College Executive Education: collaborative, forward thinking, passionate, practical, strong, smart, compassionate, trustworthy, innovative, different, visionary, creative, and dynamic… I don’t know where to stop!”

    Janine E.
    Janine E. SENIOR BUSINESS ARCHITECT, PHARMACEUTICALS
  • “I entered the program with expectations to broaden and sharpen my business acumen, but left with a new lens on my professional and personal world. This new lens enables me to see what has been in front of me for years, but blind to my mind.”

    Paula W.
    Paula W. PROJECT CONTROLS MANAGER, CONSTRUCTION
  • “After attending the Smith program, I took a more active role in my organization. My more fully developed leadership skills have allowed me to feel more confident and have moved me from being the Product Engineering Supervisor to being a leader within my organization. “

    Mariela M.
    Mariela M. PRODUCT ENGINEERING SUPERVISOR, MACHINERY
Faculty

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.

The Experience

Learn more about From Specialist to Strategist from women who attended the program.

Real Women, Real Stories

  • “After attending the Smith program, I took a more active role in my organization. My more fully developed leadership skills have allowed me to feel more confident and have moved me from being the Product Engineering Supervisor to being a leader within my organization. “

    Mariela M.
    Mariela M. PRODUCT ENGINEERING SUPERVISOR, MACHINERY
  • “Smith College made me see that I am good enough, and I need to step up and take my seat at the table. The course itself had an immediate impact on my work. The first thing that changed for me was how I network. I now know I need to network more. This is a very valuable program and we should be looking at sending someone every year.”

    Julie M.
    Julie M. PROJECT MANAGER, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND SERVICES
  • “I feel much more confident about strategy — including creating a strategy and my ability to be strategic in general. I no longer focus solely on tactical issues and can be a better leader for my team.”

    Erin C.
    Erin C. SENIOR DESIGN ENGINEER & ENGINEERING MANAGER, SEMICONDUCTORS
  • “This program is not about just listening to presentations. It’s about learning and practicing techniques to help you succeed as a leader. In addition, the relationships that are formed through natural networking are stronger than from other leadership programs I have attended. This is a key experience that any woman leader should attend.”

    Sarah M.
    Sarah M. IT ARCHITECT, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND SERVICES
  • “I gained the tools to develop myself as a leader and to deliver a broader and larger impact to my company. Upon returning, I began to lead with purpose. My increased confidence and delegation allowed me to take on more responsibilities and even landed me a job promotion.”

    Iris S.
    Iris S. CUSTOMER SOLUTIONS ASSOCIATE MARKETING MANAGER, CONSUMER GOODS
  • “I entered the program with expectations to broaden and sharpen my business acumen, but left with a new lens on my professional and personal world. This new lens enables me to see what has been in front of me for years, but blind to my mind.”

    Paula W.
    Paula W. PROJECT CONTROLS MANAGER, CONSTRUCTION
  • "Specialist to Strategist exceeded all of my expectations. By piecing together all the different pieces of my life, the program brought new reflections on things I had learned but had forgotten to apply in real life. The faculty was so knowledgeable and collaborative, both the Smith as well as the external speakers. There are many words that describe Smith College Executive Education: collaborative, forward thinking, passionate, practical, strong, smart, compassionate, trustworthy, innovative, different, visionary, creative, and dynamic… I don’t know where to stop!”

    Janine E.
    Janine E. SENIOR BUSINESS ARCHITECT, PHARMACEUTICALS
Enrollment

Program Dates

June 3 – 8, 2018

Program Fee

$8,500 USD, includes all materials, accommodations at the historic Hotel Northampton, and most meals; does not include travel

Location

Smith College Campus
Northampton, MA, U.S.

Language

Proficiency in spoken and written English is required.

Deadline

Space is limited; reserve seats now.

Program Contact

Registration Services Team
Executive Education for Women
Smith College
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063
U.S.
Phone Number: +1-413-585-2642
Email: leadership@smith.edu