Smith College and SWE Offer Executive Education for Women in STEM

Directing Innovation, executive education for women who are senior leaders in STEM, is a collaboration of Smith College and SWE. Register now.
Smith College and SWE Offer Executive Education for Women in STEM

Women play a critical role in today’s exciting engineering and technology-driven organizations. A lack of women at top decision-making levels has the potential to stifle the development of new, cutting-edge products and therapies. That’s why Smith College and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) offer Directing Innovation, executive education for women who are senior leaders in STEM. Learn more about the program or download a brochure.

Directing Innovation
February 11-16, 2018
Phoenix, AZ

Directing Innovation transforms senior business leaders in science, technology, and engineering into global strategists and innovators who contribute more broadly to the success of their teams and organizations.

A rigorous curriculum delivers the core competencies for C-Suite success. Women learn from a select group of elite faculty, industry experts, and thought leaders who facilitate interactive sessions on critical topics and issues facing today’s global business leaders. This program is a collaboration with SWE, the world’s leading professional organization for women engineers.

“SWE and Smith Executive Education for Women have been partnered for over 10 years. I think the reason it works so well is that we have such similar missions. They’re about empowering women, getting them the skills they need to be successful, and that very well aligns with our mission. The fact that we created a program for women in STEM was just a good fit.” – Karen Horting, President & CEO, Society of Women Engineers.

Who Should Attend?

Directing Innovation is for senior executives in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) who have a significant impact on setting the business direction of their organizations. Participants have a proven track record of success and are poised to reach top leadership roles. Women who attend this program have experience managing cost centers, generating revenue, driving innovation, and leading global, cross-functional teams.

“How refreshing to be around so many women leaders. I was able to much better articulate my ideas for how to develop and execute our vision. It also reminded me to support emerging women, which has already helped me identify and develop new talent.”
 – Casey D., Director, Concept & Technology Development, Consumer Goods.

A Network for Life

Women who attend a Smith program build a network of what we refer to as true peers; other high-potential women to support them as they lead their companies through a constantly changing, disruptive global economy. Participants learn alongside other women leaders from both their own and other companies in different industries from around the world.

Directing Innovation participants receive a one-year membership in SWE and are encouraged to join the wider SWE network.

“I very much appreciated being in the presence of talented and influential women. I was able to immediately understand the challenges currently facing our organization, to ensure we survive in this difficult environment, and to be able to make suggestions about how we can innovate what we do and how we do it.” – Susan H., Santa Clara Engineering & Site Manager, Defense & Space.


Directing Innovation addresses the challenges faced by senior women leaders in science, technology, and engineering. Each session provides participants with the tools they need to succeed and thrive at higher levels in STEM organizations.

We draw our faculty members from world-class institutions around the globe. Working together, they bridge the gap between the classroom and today’s complex business environment.

Typical Curriculum Elements

  • Strategy and Innovation
    – How core competencies can be leveraged for new growth platforms
  • Collaborative Decision-making
    – Principles of persuasion and thought leadership to explain strategies for changing minds
  • Influence Without Authority
    – The leadership dynamics that determine whether or not your great ideas for change initiatives take off
  • The Neuroscience of Leadership
    – The impact of emotions on leadership presence
  • Well-being for Optimal Leadership
    – Maximize performance through lifestyle choices that enhance health and well-being
  • Leadership Narrative
    – Inspire teams with a vision shared through compelling stories

360-Degree Leadership

Additional leadership benefits for this program include:

  • Daily wellness programs that model how to increase energy, well-being, and stress-resilience
  • One-year membership to the Society of Women Engineers
  • Post-program access to networking and learning opportunities

Why a Women-Only Classroom?

Smith’s signature all-women classroom model supports women’s natural collaborative and participatory learning style, creating an environment where women can take full advantage of their learning experience. Research shows that all-women learning environments inspire increased risk-taking and greater confidence both in and outside the classroom – especially for women working in male-dominated fields.


Value for Your Organization

Directing Innovation drives powerful leadership development that transforms the women who attend, as well as their organizations. Your organization will benefit from:

  • New techniques to address real issues
  • Increased capacity to lead innovation
  • Career-sustaining connections and networks
  • Energized and inspired leadership

Value for the Participant

Women who attend Directing Innovation:

  • Develop and execute breakthrough strategies
  • Leverage persuasion and decision-making power
  • Reflect on and develop future thinking for business success
  • Connect with a global peer group of high-achieving women leaders
  • Explore ways to enhance personal health and well-being
  • Articulate a personal vision for leadership that integrates knowledge, insights, and experience

Participants dive into the real challenges that they and their companies face. Working with world-class faculty and a cohort of true peers – other powerful women leaders in science, technology, and engineering – women reflect, analyze, and act on issues from self-leadership to strategic implementation and beyond. Smith’s all-women learning model delivers breakthrough insights leading to business-building innovations.

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