Women Staff Leadership Development Institute

WSLDI group photo 2022

About the Institute

The Women Staff Leadership Development Institute (WSLDI) is a year-long eighty-hour program offering women-identified staff at CWRU an opportunity to enhance and energize leadership and career development skills through education, coaching, and the building of professional networks. 

WSLDI participants work to grow their confidence when making effective career decisions and generating positive outcomes in relation to career advancement goals through developing:

  • a deeper awareness of themselves as a leader; 
  • a deeper awareness of the diverse needs of others in leading;
  • a greater understanding of the impact of institutional context; and
  • an ethic of service as a change agent within higher education.

Program Outcomes

Develop a deeper awareness of self by learning to:

  • recognize patterns, attitudes, and values; 
  • identify career goals; 
  • articulate unique vision as a leader; and
  • choose and implement strategies to achieve their goals.

Develop a deeper awareness of others needs by learning to:

  • recognize the needs of constituents, supervisees, colleagues, and supervisors;
  • differentiate between the needs for diverse identities and groups;
  • assess their ability to meet those diverse needs; and
  • formulate solutions to increase diversity in their ideas and within teams.

Develop a greater understanding of institutional context by learning to:

  • articulate awareness of unique institutional contexts;
  • differentiate between roles, leadership strategies, and structural areas of their institution; and
  • analyze local, regional, and global issues as they relate to leading in higher education.

Develop an ethic of service as a change agent by:

  • articulating the purpose of higher education as a public good;
  • identifying their role as a leader in creating a culture of equity and inclusion; and 
  • designing strategies to advance their unique view as a leader for positive change.

Program Components

Participants will spend 32 hours working towards an executive education certificate from Weatherhead School of Management.

In addition, participants will also engage in a 43 and a half hours of workshops and networking sessions on:

  • career visioning,
  • communication and team building,
  • understanding your institutional context, and
  • diversity and equity in leadership. 

Finally, individual participants in WSLDI receive three 90-minute individual coaching sessions with a dedicated coach. 

Projects completed by the end of the program will include:

  • a 360 evaluation, 
  • a learning style assessment
  • a career development plan
  • updated professional documents, and
  • an executive leadership certificate.

Application Process

Click here to access the online application form. 

Your completed application will be reviewed by WSLDI board members who are alumna of the program and staff at the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women. 

A completed application includes:

1.  The submission of the online application form. All questions must be answered. Only applications utilizing this form will be considered.

2. Resume

3. A signed letter of support from your supervisor agreeing to the following:

  • A commitment to contribute $500 to the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women on your behalf.  This helps defray the expense of the program, and must be paid at the start of the 2023-2024 academic year begins.
  • Agreement that you may take the time off from your regular assignments to attend the mandatory classes and meetings. Your time in this program should be considered professional development and part of your job that uses your normal working hours.  Sick, vacation or any other leave time should not be used to participate in this program.

4. Finalists will be asked to meet with the members of the Mather Center Staff and/or the WSLDI Selection Committee. 

Click here to access the application form.


Letter of Intent Rubric

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Analysis of Current Position: 

Describe the core functions of your role; short and/or long-term goals this position may help you achieve; examples (or future opportunities) where you have been able to grow your skills, taken initiative, or shown leadership qualities; how you have built and/or managed relationships with others in this role and the importance of that work; any limitations or concerns you have about this role in relation to your career goals.

The applicant clearly analyzes their current position.

The applicant provides some information analyzing their current position. The applicant provides little to no analysis of their current position. 

Career Growth Vision and Action Plan: 

Describe the types of job(s) you would like to hold in the future considering skills, duties, and hierarchy level; types of skills you have and need; types of resources you have and need; any barriers you foresee to achieving your goal(s); what you intend to do to move your career in this direction. 

The applicant clearly describes their vision and action plan for career growth.  The applicant provides some description of their vision and action plan for career growth.  The applicant provides little to no description of their vision and action plan for career growth. 

WSLDI Interest:  

Share why you are interested in WSLDI; what you hope to gain from WSLDI; how you do/will take feedback and incorporate it into your action plan; a statement on your ability to commit the necessary time to complete the program meetings, assignments, and reflection; what you anticipate bringing to the WSLDI cohort.

The applicant clearly shares their WSLDI interest. The applicant shares some information about their WSLDI interest. The applicant shares little to no information about their WSLDI interest.


Important Dates 

  1. Applications are due by 11:59pm on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.
  2. Applicants will be notified of acceptance decisions by July 7, 2024. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Departments are expected to contribute $500 to the costs associate with WSLDI. 

WSLDI is a year-long eighty-hour program that is completed during your workday. A few hours of additional reading to prepare for workshops will need to be completed outside of program delivery. 

Supervisors need to support your application and approve 80 hours of work time be used for the professional development workshops, networking, and coaching that is part of WSLDI. Supervisors are also expected to participate in orientation and two annual meetings.

All members of the cohort will be given a copy of “Becoming a Resonant Leader: Develop Your Emotional Intelligence, Renew Your Relationships, Sustain Your Effectiveness” by Annie McKee, Richard E. Boyatzis, and Fran Johnston. Any additional materials or resources provided by workshop instructors will be provided to the cohort digitally.

Applicants must have been employed by CWRU for at least one year to apply.


Mather Center is excited to invite former WSLDI graduates to apply to WSLDI 2.0.

This opportunity will include:

  • 2 Weatherhead Executive Education Courses (*of your choosing w/ coach support)
  • 3 Coaching Sessions
  • 360 Assessment

Seven previous WSLDI graduates will be selected for the 2023-2024 academic year. The selection process will be based on submitted applications that will be reviewed by Mather Center staff.

Click here to access the online application form.

Please note that applicants must have graduated from WSLDI a full academic year prior to participating in WSLDI 2.0.

Applications are due by 11:59 pm on Tuesday, May 30, 2023. You will be notified of acceptance by Friday, June 30, 2023. If you have any questions about the process, please contact Erika Howard via email at exh368@case.edu.