For more details and to book your place, please visit the online store

Gender and Leadership Masterclass: 11-12 May 2017, Exeter

We are delighted to announce details of our upcoming masterclass on Gender and Leadership in Exeter on 11-12 May. We hope that you will be able to join us for this stimulating and thought-provoking event. For more details and to book your place, please visit the online store.


Day One


  • ‘Women and the Glass Cliff’, Prof Michelle Ryan (University of Exeter)
  • ‘Gender and the Global Leadership Challenges’, Dr Victoria Brown and Dr Claire Garner (YSC Leadership Consultants, London)
  • World Café workshop: Women in leadership across sectors
  • Questioning Quotas: ‘The debate rages on’, Prof Ruth Sealy (University of Exeter)
  • Keynote Panel and Plenary Debate with Prof Vivienne Baumfield (University of Exeter): ‘Finding the right balance’

Day Two

Morning workshops focusing on the keynote themes including:

  • Women in Business with Dr Victoria Brown and Dr Claire Garner (YSC Leadership Consultants, London)
  • Women and Medical Leadership with Prof Jean McEwan (University of Exeter)
  • Masculinity, Power and Leadership with Dr Ian Frampton (University of Exeter)

Afternoon interactive skills-based workshops focusing on:

  • Wholeheartedness with Jacqueline Bagnall (University of Exeter)
  • Giving Effective Feedback with Prof Will Harvey (University of Exeter)
  • Developing Resilience with Dr Victoria Brown and Dr Claire Garner (YSC Leadership Consultants, London)
  • Mindfulness and Leadership with Dr Inmaculada Adarves-Yorno (University of Exeter)

Keynote speakers

Professor Michelle Ryan
Uncovering the Glass Cliff: Women’s leadership roles in times of crisis

Research into the glass cliff examines what happens when women begin to take on leadership roles in increasing numbers. Extending the metaphor of the glass ceiling, 'the glass cliff' describes an leadership phenomenon whereby women are more likely to be found in leadership positions that are associated with a greater risk of failure and criticism. This talk will describe a decades worth of research which has uncovered the phenomenon of the glass cliff looking at archival research into company performance, experimental laboratory studies, and interviews with female leaders. We will also examine some of the underlying psychological processes: stereotypes, support networks, and organisational strategy. Implications for gender equality initiatives and for women who are aiming for leadership roles will be discussed.

Dr Victoria Brown and Dr Claire Garner
Gender and the Global Leadership Challenges

The numbers of women in senior leadership positions has been poor for years, with successive studies identifying the problems of a dearth of female leaders, without suggesting solutions. Cracking the Code is a broad ranging piece of research work YSC undertook with the 30% Club. Its intent is to provide useful insights that can be converted into practical action in addressing gender imbalances. It complements the vast amount of existing research on gender differences, by focussing on what releasing the power of women looks like – with particular focus on female talent. This presentation looks at the key organisational myths that prevent women from getting to the top, and explores the main challenges that CEOs and Executive Teams need to navigate to drive greater gender balance through their businesses.


Wholeheartedness (Dr. Jacqui Bagnall, University of Exeter Business School):
When do you step forward and when do you hold back? This workshop explores the role of leader as host, focusing on the enabling conditions in which people bring their very best selves to their work.

Resilience (Dr. Claire Garner and Dr. Victoria Brown, YSC Global Leadership Consultants):
Increasingly, in volatile and rapidly changing work environments, the ability for individual leaders to face into challenges and help their teams to develop resilience is paramount. This workshop will examine the construct of resilience, and how individuals can boost their own personal resilience as well as that of those around them.

Giving Effective Feedback (Professor Will Harvey, University of Exeter Business School):
It is estimated that leaders spend approximately 80% of their time communicating and yet communication is one of the commonest complaints about them. This workshop focuses on two important forms of communication: recognition and improvement feedback.

Masculinity, Power and Leadership (Stephen Pritchard, Stage Management and Dr. Ian Frampton, Psychology, University of Exeter):
Historically the concept of kingship has been the central concern of many plays, but who was in charge offstage and how could they ensure that the company was a success? Using power games from theatre practitioners Boal, Brecht and Stafford-Clark, we invite participants to reflect on psychological processes of gender, power and leadership.

Mindfulness and Leadership (Dr Inmaculada Adarves-Yorno, University of Exeter):
Mindfulness can lower anxiety, worry and stress (Sears and Kraus, 2009) it also increases hope of achieving goals, overall well-being, positive emotions and life satisfaction (Sears and Kraus, 2009). Furthermore leaders’ mindfulness is positively associated with employees’ job performance, job satisfaction, work-life balance and citizenship behaviors (Reb et al, 2014).

But how do we become more mindful in an environment characterised by time scarcity, competing pressures and never ending “things to do”?

In this workshop will have the opportunity to experience a quick ‘Mindfulness Plus’ training. This is composed of (1) mindful awareness, (2) techniques to rewire your mind mindfully and (3) tools for dealing mindfully with your emotions. Furthermore this workshop will aim to awaken your Mindful Leader’s Identity.

Come to have a bit of an “inner mindfulness play”!