Advancing High-Potential Women Leaders in Pharma

two women chatting by a computer

A global pharmaceutical company wanted to create a hands-on program to fast-track its most promising women leaders into executive roles. The goals: retain more talented women team members, enhance their career growth with programming designed around the challenges they faced, and create pathways to promote rising stars into executive positions.

The Solution

Women’s Leadership experts at the Institute partnered with the company’s project stakeholders to co-create a 9-month professional development program for women team members at all organizational levels.

  • Phase 1: Research – We began by conducting a thorough review of internal advancement data, 40 stakeholder interviews, and five in-depth focus groups.
  • Phase 2: Beta Test – Based on that research, we then designed and piloted a multi-faceted, educational program with 35 women and 7 male allies that blended virtual onboarding with in-person coaching, mentorship and action-planning as well as a self-paced applied learning project.
  • Phase 3: Rollout – After running 8 successful cohorts, we fine-tuned the program structure and refreshed educational content. The program continues to run annually.

The Participants

  • Women team members and their managers
  • Male allies in executive roles
  • Guest expert lecturers & coaches

The Program

Content Timeframe Delivery

3 days

Expert-led / Virtual

360-degree leadership assessment

3 days

Expert-led / Face-to-face

Applied learning project

8 weeks

Self-paced / Virtual

3 one-on-one coaching sessions


Expert-led / Virtual

Development & action-planning


Small group with male ally / virtual

The Results

  • 4.9 out of 5 star-rating from most recent cohort

Hear From Our Community

Faculty is fabulous. Staff super-organized and working with a coach was eye-opening. Great course!

Best investment of time in my professional life! THANK YOU!