Leadership Programs

FOCUS Women In Leadership

Offered each spring and fall, the FOCUS Women In Leadership (WIL) program offers the opportunity to refine your personal, professional and civic leadership competencies, learn about the St. Louis community, and connect with other women from diverse backgrounds.

Along the way, you’ll hone your facilitation, negotiation, and communication skills, explore issues facing our region, and tap into resources to become a more effective leader.

Upon graduation, you’ll also become part of the network of more than 10,000 FOCUS program alumni.

Who Should Apply

Women In Leadership is open to women of all ages with a desire to strengthen their leadership skills and effectiveness. Ideal candidates include mid-level managers,  entrepreneurs and community leaders.

What to Expect

Program days include a mix of speakers, interviews with regional leaders, small-group discussion, interactive exercises and reflection activities. Led by FOCUS’ experienced facilitators, subject-matter experts and regional leaders, the curriculum is based on the following principles:

  • Emphasis on inquiry and experiential learning
  • Using the community as a classroom
  • Providing opportunities for participants to assess leadership competencies and develop strategies for improvement
  • Valuing the critical role of diversity and inclusion in leadership training

While content and speakers are updated to meet the unique needs of each cohort, each session typically covers:

  • Understanding Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Leveraging Your Strengths & Emotional Intelligence
  • Personal Brand Management
  • Negotiation Strategies
  • Field Days - Exploring Leadership Across Sectors

In addition, participants engage in a small-group Capstone Project and a self-directed Personal Leadership Project.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Apply to be part of our Spring 2024 cohort of Women In Leadership!

Apply Now

How To Apply

Recruiting is now underway for the Spring 2024 cohort of FOCUS Women In Leadership. Applications are due by Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023. Two recommendations are required. 

If you’re thinking of applying, be sure to check out our Virtual Informational Session on Nov. 2.

You can also nominate someone you know for the program and we’ll contact them with additional details and the application link.

Sign up here for Women In Leadership recruitment updates.


Tuition for Women In Leadership is $2,000 and includes a complimentary FOCUS St. Louis membership during your time in the program.

Tuition is often covered in part or full by the participant’s employer.

Partial scholarship assistance is available to those with demonstrated financial need. Thank you to the following partner for scholarship support!

Scholarship application details will be provided upon acceptance into the program.


For More Information

Shalia Ford
Women In Leadership Director
tel: (314) 657-4021
Email Shalia

Featured Alumni Profile
Marci Mayer Eisen, WIL alum