Women’s Leadership Programs: Advancing Collaborations and Partnerships

women's leadership programs collaboration and partnership

Building Bridges: Collaborations and Partnerships in Advancing Women's Leadership Programs

A lot of the time, female leaders can find themselves comparing themselves to and competing with other female leaders. However, women’s leadership programs suggest that women can achieve much more as leaders by working together, and supporting and empowering other women rather than competing them.

Women’s leadership programs can take a number of different forms, from more formal and structured training to sponsorships, mentorships, and networking both in and outside of the workplace. Whatever form women’s leadership programs take, they can play an instrumental role in promoting collaborations and partnerships between women, and advancing women’s leadership within the workplace.

Here are some of the reasons why fostering this sense of collaboration and partnership plays such a critical role in advancing women’s leadership:

  • Research shows that women who compete against women could actually be their own worst enemies, as not only does this competitive mindset hurt someone’s own chances of success, but it can also impede the success of other women. This is because women in competitive situations often tend to experience negative impacts, such as high levels of personal stress and strained work relationships with other women in the workplace. This can impact the career progression of both parties involved.
  • This culture of collaboration and partnership allows women to open themselves up to feedback. Particularly in sponsorship or mentoring style programs, up and coming female leaders can open themselves up to feedback and constructive criticism from other women in the same or a similar position. It can sometimes be hard for us to self-reflect on our own actions or recognise our own thoughts, so seeking input from other women – be they colleagues, mentors, or fellow female leaders – so this kind of partnership and support network with other women can help us to gain an outside perspective.
  • It can help women to develop nurturing relationships with other women. These kinds of nurturing relationships are important, as they allow women to give to other women, whilst also receiving the same back in kind. Whether you’re already a woman in a leadership position or you’re an up and coming female leader who is looking to take the first steps on the leadership ladder, supporting other women is so fulfilling and rewarding – and what better way to do this than by giving to and receiving from other women who are in the same position as you? With the right network around you who loves, cares about, and supports you, you will always have your own cheer squad of fellow women leaders on the sidelines cheering you on!
  • When it comes to female leadership, more means more. This plays a big role in the broader diversity and inclusion piece, particularly for women who are championing for more female-friendly workplaces and advocating for more support for women leaders in the workplace more broadly. When women decide to stop competing against one another and instead decide to support each other, this makes them more powerful. When we stand together as women, we become a real force to be reckoned with.
  • Finally, having a circle of female friends around you can help you to live a longer, happier life. It’s true! Research shows that women with a strong group of friends around them were happier and lived longer lives – and who better to include in your circle than fellow female leaders who are in the same position as you? Another study by the Harvard Business Review also found that in addition to being happier than living longer, women with a female-dominated circle of friends tended to land leadership positions that were twice as high in authority, and which paid more than other female leaders who did not have this circle of female friends around them.

As you can see, women’s leadership programs can go a long way when it comes to advancing women’s leadership in a corporate context. However, it is also important that workplaces do the work to create a collaborative workplace in which this sense of supportiveness and partnership is valued, rather than encouraging competition between women in the workplace.

For too long, women have been taught that in order to succeed, they need to compete with or be better than other women. The truth is though that female leaders are stronger together than they are apart, which is why women’s leadership programs play an important role in fostering this powerful sense of collaboration and partnership amongst women leaders.


Caroline Kennedy is an award-winning CEO with a track record of leading multinational companies with up to $250 million in revenue. She is also the founder of Empowering Women Leaders: Awaken the Powerful Leader Within – a transformative eight-week program designed to help women master the art of leadership. If you’re ready to unleash your hidden potential and become the leader that you were always meant to be, find out more at https://www.carolinekennedy.com.

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