The Center for Women and Business (CWB) Women’s Leadership Program empowers young women to lead. CWB Leaders gain essential skills and experiences that enhance their potential to advance into leadership roles across all areas of business.
The four-year Women’s Leadership Program exposes students to co-curricular, workplace, and academic learning. Each year of the program, CWB Leaders participate in program workshops and events that build awareness and foster confidence. CWB Leaders also receive a significant, annual financial award that is applied toward tuition at Bentley equal to $10,000 per year for a total of $40,000 during their 4-year undergraduate experience.
To apply, students complete a short supplemental application that is reviewed by Bentley’s Admissions Office as part of the undergraduate admissions process. Selection is based on leadership potential demonstrated in the student's Bentley application and is identified through essays, recommendations and/or extracurricular activities. This four-year program is open to first-year applicants only and decisions are announced as part of the regular decision process. View frequently asked questions.
Applications for the class of 2023 are now closed. Decisions will be posted in late March on your BentleyConnect account. If you have any questions about the status of your application, please contact Undergraduate Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-891-2244.
Exploring the Landscape
CWB Leaders begin the program by gaining awareness of current social and workplace diversity issues and developing a broader understanding of leadership. This provides a foundation, which students build upon over the course of the program. Students also begin to gain real-world perspectives and make meaningful connections through meetings with corporate mentors and corporate visits that continue throughout their experience.
Building Competence and Confidence
During each year of the program, CWB Leaders have the opportunity to participate in workshops, roundtables, and corporate events that explore critical gender and workplace equity issues on a deeper level and develop effective leadership communications skills. Students learn strategies to understand and address issues such as unconscious bias, the gender confidence gap, and the value of men allies. They work on developing effective negotiation and presentation skills, gain creative confidence, and learn how to foster mentors and sponsors. The result is a self-advocacy tool-kit that advances their leadership potential.
Developing Authentic Leadership
CWB Leaders focus on what it means to be authentic, inclusive, and informed leaders. They develop an understanding of authentic leadership and followership and explore their own personal values and authentic behaviors. Through a strengths-based assessment and other self-awareness tools, students gain insight and embrace their authentic selves. This provides the basis for each student to develop a unique value proposition as a leader and a personal vision for leadership. A leadership experience/case study enables students to deepen their understanding and confidence as authentic leaders.
Preparing to Launch
When they graduate, CWB Leaders are able to recognize, impact, and benefit from an inclusive workplace culture. Students will have a network of professionals, faculty, and peers who will be important resources in advancing the students’ professional and educational careers. The program culminates with CWB Leader presentations in which students synthesize their learning on workplace diversity and inclusive leadership and apply it to a leadership experience/case study.
Women’s Leadership Program Topics and Skills
CWB Leaders are collaborative relationship builders who can communicate with influence. Skills development focus is on:
- Authentic leadership
- Interpersonal communication
- Executive presence
- Speaking up and being heard
- Conflict management and negotiation
- Collaboration and teamwork
CWB Leaders understand and articulate strategies for self-advocacy that address bias, maximize opportunity, and advance leadership potential. Diversity and inclusion topics include:
- The status of gender equity in the workplace
- The effect of unconscious bias and micro-inequities
- Closing the gender confidence gap
- Self-advocacy tools to foster inclusion
- Men as allies in creating gender equity
- The importance of mentorship, sponsorship, and networking
- Addressing sexual harassment
- Managing work/life balance