I recently returned from four-and-a-half years in Abu Dhabi where I established and directed New York University Abu Dhabi’s Executive Education programs.
The vision for New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) was to establish and build a brand new global campus on Saadiyat Island near the cultural center and museums. The programs, which are designed to help students develop their global leadership skills, include a semester abroad in another country and a semester spent in New York. Within just a couple of years, 95 countries were represented in its student population and graduated 5 Rhodes Scholars.
Education supports a willingness to be open to new experiences, to expand your cultural awareness, and to continuously learn and grow. It enables one to see things in a different light. Just as the students were learning to expand their perspective in a new place, I was doing the same. My exposure to other cultures and my work with a variety of Emirati entities — Crown Prince Court, the Sheikha Salama Foundation, the Emirates National Bank of Dubai’s Tanfeeth division, and Etihad Airways — provided me with experiences I would have never otherwise had.
But most importantly, I saw the impact education can have on students who are navigating a global world and on women who are demanding equity and inclusion.
Professional Development: A Pathway to Leadership and Global Understanding
Organizations that focus on supporting, developing, attracting and retaining women end up with better results. Studies have shown that organizations that do so, consistently outperform those that do not. Businesses are getting smart and realizing that gender diversity has a significant positive impact on business results.
That’s why ongoing professional development is critical to prepare women for leadership roles in a rapidly changing world. We face economic, social, and political environments within which we manage our work and navigate our careers. Making effective decisions is critical because the stakes are high. Leaders must make effective decisions, adapt to change, address environmental factors and lead people to achieve goals and objectives and thereby support organizational objectives.
The Executive Leadership Certificate for Women, Inclusion, and Diversity program at the University of Washington Bothell develops leadership skills and prepares women for advancement into executive roles. This program is the only one of its kind and includes individual assessments and coaching, leadership skills development with applicable tools and techniques, and addresses the unique issues facing women in the workforce aspiring to leadership roles. It provides a forum for networking and even brings men into the mix through a two-way facilitated discussion. It brings in the latest research, expert faculty, and executives who will model the way and share their secrets to success.
How Donors Can Get Involved
Supporting university-based education makes a huge contribution to our communities by elevating the available talent pool through education and effective preparation for leadership roles.
- Partner with a college or university: Use your network to promote an educational program or join their board.
- Sponsor a scholarship for a student to attend an educational program
- Learn more about funding higher education
Original contribution by Dawn L. Roe, Director of Executive Education at University of Washington Bothell
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