The Power of Women’s Only Leadership Programs

The results of our recent research are in; women’s only leadership programs are crucial for improving outcomes for all. Find out why.
Women in training together
Women & Leadership Australia
3 mins

Why do women’s only programs matter?

Despite strides toward equality, women continue to encounter barriers such as pay inequity, underrepresentation in senior positions, and pervasive discrimination and harassment. One strategy to improve gender equity and close the pay gap is to support more women to step into (and succeed in) leadership positions by delivering women’s only leadership development programs.

We’ve gathered the latest research findings and data to shine a light on the power of women’s only spaces and answer the question: why do women’s only leadership programs matter?

Download button

3 reasons we offer women’s only leadership programs

1. Women’s only programs create safe spaces for growth

Women’s only programs done well are a safe haven for women to explore their potential, receive feedback, coaching, and to develop the confidence and skills necessary for leadership roles.

A sense of psychological safety is important for facilitating peer-exchange, as it allows for exchange of experiences, challenges, and best practices to collaboratively work on solutions in a safe and stimulating environment. This does not necessarily happen in mixed gender training, where women feel less free to share concerns unique to them.

Through meaningful support, participants emerge with increased leadership aspirations, confidence, and expanded networks.


2. Women’s only programs challenge gendered norms around leadership

In many workplaces, leadership traits are still defined by stereotypically masculine leadership behaviour, such as authoritative decision making, control, and corrective action. This reinforces outdated biases that suggest that women are not naturally suited to leadership roles.

One of the key aspects of women’s only leadership programs is challenging traditional gender norms associated with leadership. By redefining leadership traits beyond stereotypical masculine behaviours, these programs empower women to embrace their unique leadership styles.


3. Women’s only programs deliver tangible action to improve gender equity

The benefits of well-facilitated women’s only leadership programs extend beyond individual growth. Businesses also reap rewards, including higher promotion and retention rates and a clear demonstration of commitment to gender equity. By investing in these programs, organisations not only foster a more inclusive workplace culture but also position themselves as leaders in diversity and inclusion efforts.


A holistic approach to gender equity

Gender equity in the workplace is a complex and systemic challenge. Offering women’s only leadership programs alone cannot deliver all the changes needed. There are a range of considerations that can help maximise the impact and ensure lasting positive change.

While investment in women’s only leadership programs play a vital role, achieving true gender equity requires a holistic approach. Organisations must also address unconscious bias, provide inclusive leadership training for male leaders, and hold managers accountable for supporting women’s development and advancement. Gender equity is everyone’s responsibility, and by working together, we can create workplaces where all individuals have an equal opportunity to thrive.

To learn more and delve into the research download the full whitepaper.

Download button

How we can support you

With significant evidence pointing to the tangible benefits of women’s only leadership programs, there is increasing demand for these programs.

By promoting women’s only leadership programs, workplaces can also publicly demonstrate their commitment to gender equity to employees, stakeholders and the public.

Discover our course offering