That’s the dream if you’re a working woman. For every woman who leans in, far more are left out. Often overlooked and underpaid, many women still tip-are tip-toeing a cultural minefield in their jobs.
Speak up and you get shot down. Do your job well and you get boxed in with no way out. Challenge and criticize and you’re saddled with the dreaded b-word. That’s just not “feminine,” the old guard reflexively thinks. As a result, women are pressed from both sides. Externally, they bump against a deeply rooted construct that their duty is to the greater good, to sacrifice, nurture, and serve. Internally, they wrestle with the “guilt trip” over being unable to make everyone happy and live life on their terms.
A MOOC TO HELP WOMEN EXCEL IN UNFRIENDLY TERRAIN
Indeed, women face a different set of rules at work. Step away or fail and you’ll rarely get back on the track. Hold back and you’ll never use your talent or be taken seriously. Such obstacles were the inspiration behind this month’s most intriguing MOOC: Case Western Reserve’s “Women In Leadership.”
Taught by Dr. Diana Bilimoria, a leading scholar and award-winning teacher in organizational behavior, this course explores the social inequities and business dynamics shaping the experience of women in the workforce. Over this five-week whistle-stop, Bilimoria starts by examining how women lead differently; namely, how their approach can change the formula for what’s considered important and how decisions are made. She also exposes the factors driving the “glass ceiling” phenomenon, along with self-imposed limits that women place on themselves. Even more, her course outlines strategies, such as win-win negotiating frameworks, that women can use to better present their ideas and get what they deserve.
Philosophically, Bilimoria doesn’t necessarily believe business success is tied to holding a corner office. Instead, it involves constantly working toward the larger goals. “Figure out your personal mission and strengths as a leader and team contributor,” she explains in a Financial Times interview. “What is the distinctive purpose of your contributions and what are the talents and qualifications you bring to the table? Create strategies and priorities to advance your purpose, through enhancement of both your human capital (education, work experience and skill development) and your social capital (networks, relationships and collaborations)…always be mindful of your ultimate mission, because this is where true fulfillment will come from.”
WHARTON FINANCIAL MODELING AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP COURSES HEADLINE APRIL
“Women In Leadership” is just one in an eclectic mix of over 40 MOOCs starting in April. Like numbers? You’ll want to check out Wharton’s “Modeling Risk and Realities,” a primer for designing more relevant, accurate and understandable models. For aspiring bankers the University of Geneva has partnered with UBS to offer “Portfolio and Risk Management,” a how-to for strategically allocating assets to maximize return and minimize risk. And Wharton returns with “Operations Analytics,” which focuses on integrating a variety of data streams to drive decision-making.
Entrepreneurship is another hot topic for April. Wharton, for example, is opening “Entrepreneurship 3: Growth Strategies,” which shares the best practices that startups are using to properly scale after launch. To get a taste of Silicon Valley, you won’t want to miss Stanford’s “Technology Entrepreneurship” MOOC, a long-time popular MOOC which examines the strategy and execution needed to launch a tech venture.
For more mature industries, this month boasts several management MOOCs. Notably, the University of Illinois is running both “Foundations of Everyday Leadership” and “Managing the Organization: From Organizational Design to Execution” to help aspiring leaders link management strategy to boosting performance, retention, profitability, and synergy. Northwestern brings a more micro approach to leadership with “High Performance Collaboration: Leadership, Teamwork and Negotiation,” to cover essentials ranging from managing conflict to building teams. And the University of Minnesota continues to roll out its “Human Resource Management” specialization, zeroing in this month on performance management.
To learn more about these courses – and register for them – click on the links below.