Developing strong female leaders within organizations is the key objective of the Carnegie Mellon Leadership and Negotiation Academy for Women. The program, which consists of six two-day modules, is now enrolling students for its fall cohort, which will begin study in September 2014 and complete the program in March 2015.
"Companies and institutions that are interested in developing their competitive advantage through investing in diverse talent will find this program immeasurably valuable,” said Linda Babcock, academy co-founder and faculty director. “Our goal is to help women embrace opportunities to negotiate successful strategic initiatives and deals on behalf of their organizations and stakeholders—and for themselves.”
The academy—the first program of its kind to look at critical leadership skills through a negotiation lens—is now offered through Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business Executive Education program in partnership with the H. John Heinz III College.
Babcock, the James Mellon Walton Professor of Economics at the Heinz College, co-wrote two influential books with fellow academy instructor Sara Laschever: “Women Don’t Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation—and Positive Strategies for Change” and “Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want.”
Their research found men are four times more likely than women to initiate negotiations, and those women who do negotiate often experience negative social consequences.
“Women face many obstacles that men don’t face, which makes closing the gender gap an important retention issue,” Babcock said.
Academy participants will gain greater expertise in networking, communications and authority, while improving their ability to recognize negotiable opportunities, develop strategies of influence, create mutually beneficial agreements, navigate power imbalances and optimize group performance through diversity.
Alumnae from the academy’s first cohort of 25 corporate, nonprofit and government leaders report the program has helped them to positively influence organizational culture and clarify their personal brands.
“An incredibly impressive part of the academy experience is the group of experts who speak to us on leadership and negotiation. In each week of information exchange, I’ve been able to explore ways to leverage their collective expertise and bring that back to PNC to benefit a much broader group of people,” said Connie Cessaro, managing director of Debt Capital Markets at PNC Bank.
In addition to more than 100 hours of in-class instruction at CMU’s Pittsburgh campus, participants receive six one-on-one executive coaching sessions.