Gain leadership skills with our
unique & powerful programs

Women on Boards offers limited places on its two signature leadership programs each year.  Carefully designed to complement each other in both focus and content, the programs run for six months in Sydney.

Next Generation of Corporate Female Leaders

Our high level leadership program Next Generation of Corporate Female Leaders is a powerful and unique offering that will challenge, inspire, engage and stretch you to achieve influential and strategic leadership and board roles, now and in the future.

"True leadership is about making other people better as a result of your presence - and making sure your impact endures in your absence.” Harvard Business School; Leadership definition. 

The 2017 program applications open on Tuesday October 4th, 2016 and close Tuesday January 31st, 2017.

The purpose of the 'Next Gen' program is to increase the visibility of high potential women within their organisations and industries and provide them with the confidence and capacity to successfully engage with senior leadership and boards. Specific objectives are to enable participants to achieve an executive or C-Suite role; gain a seat at the board table, now or as part of a future career plan; to be successful and have impact once they are in a leadership role.  

Watch these short videos to learn more about the program from graduates of our 2016 program.


Click here for Next Gen program reflections

Program outline

The program runs in Sydney annually from March to September with a maximum of 40 participants as follows:
  • 30 by application and competitive selection (including places reserved for women at the earlier stage of their career who have been identified as high potential)
  • 2 scholarships places
  • 5 CBA employees
Two scholarship places are offered for women at management level or above employed by a Local, State or Federal Government Department and a Not-For-Profit. Preference is given to women residing in non-metropolitan areas.  Strict selection criteria applies for scholarship applications - click here for details.

Scholarship applications are now closed

The program is hosted by Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney and managed by Women on Boards with the support of experienced directors, executives and external expert presenters.

CLICK HERE to find out how to apply 

Program Benefits

  • Improve confidence, presence, visibility, resilience and sense of belonging
  • Increase your chances of success when presenting to boards and senior leaders within your organisation or externally
  • Become more effective as a leader in your workplace
  • Develop an understanding of how to manage gender issues in your career
  • Increase collegiality with decision makers and key company personnel
  • Know how to approach potential advocates, mentor and sponsors
  • Challenge yourself

Three coaching sessions per participant are embedded within the program to reinforce and support learning and actions.

Our certified coaches will offer the first session between workshops 1-2, the second session between workshops 2-3 and the final session after the last session. We ask participants to make scheduling these valuable sessions an absolute priority.

Time Committment

‚ÄčIt is important that you understand the time commitment when applying. 

Aside from the six workshop days, participants need to commit between 50 and 80 hours to working on a project that runs for the duration of the program. The project is a group (syndicate) based activity. The majority of the plannning and interviews for the project are conducted out of session with the suport of an external syndicate advisor (mentor) who is appointed to assist each syndicate.

Key Dates for 2017

Session 1:  Thursday 2nd March & Friday 3rd March
Session 2:  Thursday 22nd June & Friday 23rd June
Session 3:   Thursday 7th September & Friday 8th September


  • $6,000 (ex GST) for six days including all course elements, networking events, three individual coaching sessions and dinner in Sydney during the March and September sessions. To be paid in two instalments ($3,000 by February 2017 and $3,000 by July 2017.)  
The 2017 program applications open on Tuesday October 4th, 2016 and closes Tuesday January 31st, 2017.



“The course provided extensive exposure to leadership theory, the opportunity to hear from leaders across a range of industries and opened many doors to thought leaders across the broader business community which we interviewed as part of the syndicate project work. The combination of the course work, one-on-one coaching sessions, plus the insights gained from the leaders I interviewed and guest speakers who spoke during the program, enabled me to reflect on my own leadership journey to date and the type of leader I want to be. I have used these insights to focus on my strengths and build a roadmap for the next chapter of my career.” Jacinta Barnes, Strategy Manager, Castrol Australia Pty Ltd

“‘Next Gen’ has kick started a career repositioning process and much more for me. The WOB combination of powerful workshop sessions coupled with the opportunity to access some amazing senior leaders for interview and fact finding has been extraordinary. The group work was highly challenging, these sessions provided opportunities to argue ideas, share the latest theories and opinions.
I was challenged from the outset and have left inspired and with the access to great career coaches and the wider network, this inspiration is fast turning into action. ‘Next Gen’ has been amazing, exhausting and a real opportunity for career and personal growth!” Di Beauchamp, Chair of the Governance & Risk committee of our board (Good Grief), Non-Executive Director Good Grief Pty Ltd, Marketing and Management Consultant

Click here to read more


Getting to the C Suite

A practical, leading edge program for women seeking senior and executive roles

In partnership with: UGM-logo and 

Designed for senior executives around the must-have C-suite skills that research shows top recruiters are looking for, this revolutionary, state-of-the-art programme will help women step forward with confidence to make the transition into the executive suite.

As business models become obsolete more rapidly, the war for talent intensifies and change becomes a constant, C-suite executives need new frameworks and competencies to chart a path through this change and to lead in a purposeful and collaborative way that brings the whole organisation with them.

For his 2014 article, The Seven Skills you need to Thrive in the C-Suite, Professor Boris Groysberg of Harvard Business School surveyed top search consultants around the world and concluded that recruiters for C-suite roles are looking for:

  • Results orientation
  • Strategic thinking and implementation
  • Professional competence coupled with an understanding of technology trends
  • Inclusive leadership
  • Influencing skills
  • Change management skills

A revolutionary program

 Getting to the C-Suite is unique in its grounding in leading-edge research coupled with a strong focus on action and results.

It was crafted by UGM Consulting from decades of experience working with senior executives and encompasses the latest research into the “skills gaps” that prevent more women from reaching the very top of corporations. Whilst none of the content is gender specific, the current dearth of women in the top executive ranks of organisations in all sectors was the inspiration to bring this powerful, results-oriented programme into WOB. 

Getting to the C-Suite helps you curate and frame the experience, knowledge and skills that you will need to showcase in your bid for a top level role. Specifically, you will gain knowledge on how to lead strategically, collaboratively, transformationally, effectively, purposefully and in the final module, your C-Suite readiness will be challenged.

Designed for women currently operating in "the marzipan layer" one or two levels below the exeuctive suite, benefits include:

  • A highly practical and evidence-based program that enhances the critical skills and competencies demanded at the C-suite level.
  • A range of practical tools, tips and techniques that can be applied immediately in the workplace.
  • Follow-up monthly briefings and learning alerts as part of a global alumni network.
  • Understand what it means to “be strategic”.
  • Acquire new change-leadership competencies that you can implement immediately.

Click here for the program flyer


2017 Dates and Times

The program will run for six half-days in Sydney between May and November and feature three webinars in between sessions on the following dates:

Session One

Wednesday 24th May 1pm - 5pm: Leading Strategically
Thursday 25th May 9am - 1pm: Leading Transformationally
Wednesday 12th July 12 - 1pm: Webinar 1

Session Two

Wednesday 23rd August 1pm - 5pm: Leading Effectively
Thursday 24th August 9am - 1pm: Leading Purposefully 
 Wednesday 4th October 12 - 1pm: Webinar 2

Session Three

Wednesday 15th November 1pm - 5pm: Leading Collaboratively
Thursday 16th November 9am - 1pm: C-Suite readiness challenge
TBC: Webinar 3

Research shows us that well-crafted post-training follow up increases the chance of skills transfer. It also improves the likelihood that a larger percentage of your learning will be retained into the future. So Getting to the C-Suite is not a once-and-done approach. In addition to the three webinars, you will be supported after each module in the following ways: 

  • monthly emails stimulating thoughts and ideas, and
  • e-learning alerts for help with mental storage and easy retrieval of the concepts learned.

Program fees

  • $4,400 individual and global subscribers, corporate subscribers
  • $5,700 non-subscribers 

What the WOB UK Program Leaders had to say...

WOB runs the GICS program in the UK in partnership with UGM Consulting and Broadreach. Dr Malcolm McGregor, an expert in the field of leadership development, and Julie Ashworth, CEO of Broadreach and Chair of Clear Returns (one of the UK’s most exciting technology start-ups) had this to say in a recent email to UGM principals, Dr Margaret Bryne and Dr Grant Robertson.

May I just take this opportunity to thank you both for your terrific support and good wishes to us as we continue to get to grips with the truly excellent GTTCS modules.  They are a joy to deliver, brilliantly crafted and we acknowledge their total quality.  Bravo to you both!”
This is another high quality module. It’s all nectar! It’s so distilled, with the research base and your years of experience brought to bear. It is immediately useful, pragmatic and incredibly interesting. Julie and I are learning a huge amount and, in the process, clarifying for ourselves many things about leadership along the way. We are truly grateful for the opportunity Fiona and Rowena have put our way by involving us in this project with you.”

About the global GICS program designers

Dr Margaret Byrne
Margaret is a highly regarded international expert in the fields of leadership and diversity. She is an experienced executive coach and has held senior positions in several Australian organisations. Margaret has a BA and MA from Oxford, and postgraduate qualifications in adult learning from Bristol University. She holds three awards for innovation in the design of executive development and change management programs. Margaret is known for the way she balances intellectual rigour with a passion for practical outcomes that make a measurable difference to leaders and their organisations.  She has published widely and her latest book is ‘Business Success in the Asian Century’. 

Dr Grant Robertson
Grant has a PhD in leadership and also holds an MBA and Master of Electronic Commerce, a Bachelor of Social Science, as well as an Honours Degree in Psychology. Grant has held a wide range of positions in the corporate, public and education sectors and his special interests include leadership, strategy, culture and change. Grant has extensive experience in designing and delivering development programs for executives and high potential leaders. He is known for his energetic and engaging presentation style. He is an experienced executive coach.