The Future is Female: 8 Trends in Women’s Leadership Programs and Their Global Impact

traffic sign "the future is female" for women's leadership programs

Trends in Women's Leadership Programs and Their Global Impact

With recent research showing that only one in four C-suite executives are women, it seems clear that there is a desperate need for more women in leadership positions. Encouragingly, an increasing amount of focus is being given on women’s leadership programs and the empowerment of female leaders, ensuring that women interested in stepping up into the C-suite have access to the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to excel. It’s like they say: the future is female.


Here are some of the recent trends that have been seen in women’s leadership programs:


1. Growing workplace engagement: More and more workplaces are investing in women’s leadership development programs that have been specifically designed with the unique needs, goals, and workplace dynamics faced by women in mind. In today’s corporate world, these programs empower women with the resources they need to become effective leaders.

2. Increased focus on diversity: The experiences of women in the workplace are shaped by a range of different factors, ranging from gender to factors like race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, and economic status. Diversity continues to be a growing focus for many workplaces, with many prioritising the attraction and retention of diverse team members who can enrich the team with the unique perspectives that they bring to the table. As of 2023, women of colour represented just one in 16 of leaders, which is why it is important that women’s leadership programs engage with and foster the talents of female leaders from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

3. Taking a more global view: The shortage of female leaders is a worldwide issue, which is why it is important that women’s leadership programs take a global view in connecting with and empowering female leaders from all over the world. A recent report into the global state of female leadership found that only 11% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, compared to 89% men. Women also represented the minority in CEO roles across the energy, icon, finance, fintech, health, and startup/unicorn industries, highlighting the need to make the empowerment of women CEOs and leaders a global focus.

4. More focus on cross-cultural competency: We are living in an increasingly digital and globalised age, which means that the world has never been more connected. The ability to connect and engage with fellow leaders, staff, and stakeholders from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds is essential for any modern CEO. For this reason, many women’s leadership programs are now placing a greater degree of emphasis on things like cultural sensitivity and cross-cultural communication.

5. A shift to online: If there’s one good thing that came out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the shift to online and remote work and learning – something that has made leadership training much more accessible to women, wherever they are located in the world. With a range of online leadership training options available, there are no shortage of opportunities available to women who are wanting to take the first steps on their leadership journey.

6. Diverse skill development: To be an effective leader, you need to possess a number of skills and competencies to be able to motivate, inspire, and get the best out of your people. For this reason, many modern women’s leadership training programs focus on supporting participants to develop a diverse range of important skills – for example, emotional intelligence, influence, communication, interpersonal skills, resilience, decision making, empathy, and authenticity.

7. More focus on networking: The value of peer support cannot be underestimated in any field or industry, and leadership is no exception. Today, up and coming female leaders can take advantage of the numerous networking and peer learning opportunities available to them – ranging from online communities and networking groups on platforms such as LinkedIn to more formal sponsorship or mentoring programs.

8. Only a piece in the bigger puzzle: Over recent years, it has been exciting to see that women’s leadership programs represent only one small piece within the broader female empowerment and workplace equity and inclusion puzzle. Many workplaces have been pairing workplace women’s leadership training with policies and procedures and hiring practices that are designed to promote equity and inclusivity within the workplace – both of which play a role in ensuring women feel supported to achieve their personal growth and career ambitions.

As you can see, recent trends definitely show a growing trend towards the empowerment of women leaders – a trend that is only expected to continue into the future, as a growing number of women pursue their corporate dreams and take the first steps to joining the C-suite.


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 au/women-leadership-program/.

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