July 16, 2018
Women in leadership positions or just about to step up to one will now have the powerful backing of AMA’s Women’s Leadership Certificate, earned upon completion of a new course designed for women leaders. Registration is open, and classes start in October for the 2-day Women’s Leadership Certificate Program.
This in-depth leadership training has become important to women in the workforce over the last several years, says Ann M. Evanston, an international speaker, coach, and author who created the course with AMA and will be one of the facilitators teaching it. “Women are choosing to use their voices and step up and be in power.”
“I think it’s going to be a great class. I’m very excited and passionate about it,” she says.
Women with some management or leadership experience will probably benefit the most from the course, she says, because it explores higher-level concepts such as:
“Women are saying, ‘What do I need to do to be good at leadership?’” she adds. “It’s not enough to be promoted—they have to be ready.”
Evanston believes that courage and conviction are two attitudes that women leaders need more of, and building those mindsets will be a primary focus of the course.
“It’s not just going to be the skill set. It’s going to be the courage to speak up, to create value based on the skill set,” Evanston explains. These are the values that female leaders want to embody.
She intends for women to gain the courage and conviction to advocate for their teams, and to be able to say, “‘Here’s why this is the best directional approach for us to take; here’s why I want to innovate this change,’ and do that with great courage and conviction, because of this course.”
“Women in the workforce believe if I put my head down and do a good job, I’ll be noticed, and somebody will give me a better project or promote me…. No, they won’t!” Evanston states. “As a woman, do you understand organizational politics? You have to. They exist.” She said the class teaches how to build a strategic network, be more visible, and nurture key relationships that will benefit you, because leadership is about great interactions and relationships.
“A promotion doesn’t come just because you are good at your job,” she says. “The people that get promoted spend 20% of their time in relationships. That means networking, that means office politics, that means strategic meetings,” Evanston says. “They’re developing relationships and being visible.” She believes these are the hallmarks of a leader in any organization.
As Evanston notes, this isn’t just another leadership course. “It’s all women in the room…. This will be designed uniquely in a way that women learn best, getting real feedback in a safe environment. It is at its very core a leadership course designed for and by women. I think the model is going to be very supportive of women, and that’s the key,” she says.
But earning the Women’s Leadership Certificate is only the first step on the leadership journey, she adds. Women make a choice at the end of the class that they want to build their career in leadership—they have their eye on being a director, a senior vice president, or a chief operating officer, she says. If they’re interested in continuing to build their skill sets through these specially designed seminars and courses, a membership with AMA’s Women’s Leadership Center would be a terrific way to do so. And, they are given an action plan to continue to learn and build their skills and attitude.
“They walk out knowing that that is the career path that they want,” Evanston says. “Then they feel empowered.”