Program Structure

Program Structure

Columbia Women's Leadership Network Cohort 3

Participants are expected to conceive and develop a group project throughout the year.

The project is developed in phases:

1. Participants identify a problem they face in their workplace connected with one of the four core topics of the program.

2. Before the international module, participants will divide in groups and organize ideas for a project.

3. Groups submit a 1-page outline with the basic ideas of the project before the international module.

4. On the last day of the NY module, the groups will share the findings of the visits and lectures in an internal seminar, present their outline and exchange ideas with advisors and the rest of the cohort. 

5. In September, each group will submit the first draft of the final project for feedback.

6. Each group will be paired with one advisor to better develop their projects.

7. On October each group will submit the final version of the project after the orientation of the advisors.

Course evaluation will be based on the following formula:

1. Class Participation – 50%

Attendance and individual participation, as well as engagement in the group project will be evaluated.

2. Final Group Project – 50%

The evaluation of the project will be based on:

a. Merit and relevance of the project;

b. Innovative approach to the subject;

c. How the ideas are presented; the structure of the text and the consistency of the proposed solution.


Attendance is not an option--it is a requirement.

Punctuality, alertness, and participation in class discussions and exercises will be taken into consideration.

Absences will need to be communicated with at least 1 week in advance. For each absence after 2, the final grade may be lowered by one letter. Any student who misses 3 or more modules is subject to failure, unless justified as excused absences.

Following the approval of the academic committee, participants who successfully complete the requirements will receive a formal certificate of completion issued by the Columbia Global Centers | Rio de Janeiro. The minimum requirement to receive the certificate of completion of the course is an average of B, or 80%.


Photo by: Maria Eduarda Vaz

Women and Power

March 19 (Thursday)

09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Rio de Janeiro


Instructor: Débora Thome (Visting Scholar at Institute of Latin American Studies, Columbia University)


Welcome Session and lecture

Introduction of the Program, Syllabus

Group Dynamic

Networking lunch with participants, sponsors and members of the board of advisors


In the morning, participants will attend a class in which they will be presented, firstly, to topics that involve the current situation of women in the world and in Brazil, among them data on economics, education, politics, demography. In the second part, we will discuss issues related to women and power, with historical and conjunctural data, as well as discussions about the role of women in leadership and how it is understood by society.

In the afternoon, there will be a small briefing followed by a momentum to delve deeper into the challenging issues of women in the workplace.




  • Sexist attitudes: Most of us are biased

Jennifer Raymond


  • Why women aren't CEOs according to women who almost were

Susan Chira


  • The world’s most powerful woman won’t call herself a feminist

Susan Chira


  • Why women's voices are scarce in economics

Justin Wolfers


  • Why Women Still Can’t Have It All

Anne-Marie Slaughter


  • How the 'Shalane Flanagan Effect' works

Lindsay Crouse


  • Lin Bian, Sarah-Jane Leslie, Andrei Cimpian. “Gender stereotypes about intellectual ability emerge early and influence children’s interests”. Science, 2017; 355 (6323): 389 DOI: 10.1126/science.aah6524


  • Duerst-Lahti, Georgia and Rita Mae Kelly, eds. 1995. Gender Power, Leadership, and Governance. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. (todo o pdf)


  • Puwar, Nirmal. 2004. Space Invaders: Race, Gender and Bodies Out of Place. New York: Berg. (Introdução e cap.5)


  • Smith, Amy E. “On the edge of a glass cliff: women in leadership in public organizations.” Public Administration Quarterly, vol. 39, no. 3, 2015, pp. 484–517:
Photo by: Maria Eduarda Vaz

Strengths Assessment and workshop

May 29 (Friday)

09:00 AM- 5:00 PM

Rio de Janeiro


Instructor: Dr Brian Perkins (Senior Lecturer – Teachers College, Director of the Urban Education Leaders Program at Teachers College, Columbia University in the Department of Organization and Leadership)


The participants will take an online survey that uncovers the strengths of your team of leaders along 34 empirically-validated themes. It enables your leaders to discover their top five Strengths Insights and build their daily activities and long-term strategies around them. Along with the Strengths Discovery report, your leaders receive an Action-Planning Guide which helps in releasing the power within and transforming your educational organization along the way.

During the workshop, the instructor will convene the group by administering the different instruments, analyzing the resultant reports, tracking the organization’s progress, building an improvement plan customizable to the organization’s needs and aspirations, and transforming the plan into actions and strategies. Our goal is to work with the participants to unlock the full potential of our leaders and nurture the organization’s growth in a measurable and sustainable manner.




  • Signature Theme Report

International Module

July 27-31 (Monday-Friday

09:00 AM- 5:00 PM

New York (Columbia Campus)


Classroom sessions, group visits and activities, along the lines of traditional executive education programs. The themes selected for the international module are in synergy with the training that will be offered in Brazil. The module will consist of academic sessions in the morning, with afternoon visits, with a total of 6-8 hours daily for 5 days.


Site Visits:

  • NYC 311
  • City Hall + Lecture with Loree Sutton, Commissioner for New York City Department of Veterans Services (DVS)
  • UNDP / UN Women


    Internal Seminar and Roundtable:

    On the last day in NY, participants will present the problem that they have identified on their workplace and start to discuss possible solutions. The groups will share the findings of the visits and lectures in an internal seminar

    A roundtable with Members of the Board of Advisors will bring closer the group of professionals that will be part of the program and connect with the group as well as discuss relevant themes related to the group projects and strategies of advancing the theme of women leadership in the public and private sector.

    Human Capital Management in the Public Sector

    September 19 (Friday)

    09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

    Rio de Janeiro


    Instructor: Cindy Pace (Assistant Vice President, Global Diversity and Inclusion, at MetLife. Lecturer in professional development and executive education and adjunct professor of organizational leadership)


    Since the 1990s, there have been hundreds of conceptual and empirical articles investigating the relationship between Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) and performance. This workshop will debate how contemporary HRM can be articulated to transform the public sector. It will note the differences between the traditional bureaucratic model and the new management approaches of public sector operation and activity. The instructor will explore how the institutional, policy and organizational changes delivered a new paradigm of managing members of public service organizations.


    Through case studies, this session will discuss the role of human resource management policies and practices in increasing service quality, efficiency and organizational effectiveness in the public sector.

    Technology’s Impact on Communications

    November 27 (Friday)

    09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

    Rio de Janeiro


    Instructor: Alexis Wichowski (Adjunct Associate Professor, Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs)


    In this module Professor Wichowsky will discuss technology’s impact on communications. First, we will provide common understanding of current technological developments impacting government, society and citizens. Afterwards, Alexis will explore intended and unintended consequences of technological advancements for good and ill on institutions and the regulatory relationship between fast-developing technology and slow-moving bureaucracies.

    The goal is to explore the importance of data for the public sector and its influence on decision making.