Programme overview


Would you like to be promoted next year? Are you looking for a new challenge with more responsibility or a broader sphere of influence? Are you a female manager or specialist or have you been identified as a young talent?

The Aiming Higher Women’s Leadership Programme is the ideal continuing education for women in lower and middle management positions who would like to prepare for the next career step and acquire the skills necessary to take on a more senior role.

As a participant, you will

  • learn about various leadership approaches
  • gain personal insights into your own leadership style and development potential
  • learn how to increase your visibility and cultivate positive stakeholder relationships in complex organizational environments
  • enhance your negotiation skills
  • increase your personal impact and effectiveness in communication.

The Aiming Higher Women’s Leadership Programme is a highly personalized and interactive online learning experience with lasting impact. This includes:

  • building your personal network through in-depth interactions with other female leaders,
  • receiving expert guidance for mapping out a plan for your next career step,
  • participating in an online mentoring programme to continue your learning journey with a senior sparring partner.   

Develop your potential and prepare for your future today!

Next step

Are you interested in this programme? Download our brochure to find out if this executive education fits you and your career planning:

Download brochure


Learn more about the programme in a personal conversation.

Melissa Reynolds 14x18px 26102017 1

Melissa Reynolds Senior Programme Manager Diversity & Leadership Programmes

Your Benefit

  • Strengthen your leadership competencies, personal impact and negotiation skills
  • Receive personalised expert advice for your continued development
  • Expand your network and learn from other female leaders with various backgrounds
  • Create a personal plan for your next career step
  • Continue your learning journey with an innovative mentoring programme
  • Further your education from the convenience of your home or office

Target group

  • Women in lower to middle management positions

Program structure

The Aiming Higher Women’s Leadership Programme consists of 7 modules spread over a 3-month period. Each module consists of a live half-day online session as well as self-paced learning elements. Participants should expect to spend 1-2 hours each week for individual or group learning activities in addition to the live sessions.


All lecturers utilize a variety of methods to ensure a high level of customized learning. These include a personality inventory (Hogan) with individual expert feedback, video-based preparation assignments, follow-up learning activities as well as in-class exercises and group discussions.

After completing the 7 online sessions, participants embark on an innovative mentoring programme. Mentors and mentees meet online at regular intervals to further reflect on leadership topics and to exchange best practices.

The programme concludes with a reunion in St. Gallen 6 months later to give participants and alumnae the opportunity to receive additional inspiration and grow their personal network.

The course language is English, but participants can opt to complete the personality inventory and the mentoring programme in German or other languages upon request.

Aiming Higher Programme Overview


Kick-off Meet & Greet Session

Thursday, 8 September 2022
5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

On the eve of our first course date, we will meet online for a brief and informal virtual reception. This “not to miss” event will provide you with the opportunity to meet the programme director and to get to know your course colleagues. Take this opportunity to start building your network and to establish rapport with those who will be accompanying you on the exciting journey ahead!


Dr. Patricia Widmer, Programme Director for Diversity & Management Programmes, Executive School of Management, Technology & Law, University of St. Gallen

Part I: Leadership

Module 1: Leading with Purpose

Friday, 9 September 2022
1:30 – 5:30 p.m.

“Leading with Purpose” deals with the topics of state-of-the-art leadership and meaning at work. Especially in times of high uncertainty, leading with purpose from within plays an outstanding role. You will gain insights into current research findings and best practices for leaders. The online seminar is designed to be interactive, so that you can directly apply the latest insights and learn more about your own key passion and purpose and those of your peers.


Prof. Dr. Petra Kipfelsberger is assistant professor for Leadership and Organizational Behavior at the University of St.Gallen. She advises business leaders in the areas of leadership, new work and cultural change. Petra Kipfelsberger has received several awards for her academic work.


Module 2: Personal Leadership Styles / Inclusive Leadership

Friday, 30 September 2022
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Based on your personal results of the Hogan personality inventory, you will discover more about your own personal leadership style. You will identify individual strengths and development potential and receive inspiration for integrating best practices into your own leadership style. A particular focus will be on the growing need for inclusive leadership and how to effectively manage and empower diverse and remote teams.


Nicole Neubauer is Managing Director of metaberatung. After working for global strategy and management consultancies, she co-founded metaBeratung GmbH in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. With 30 years of cross-industry experience, Nicole advises major clients in the areas of science, technology and digital business. She is a sought-after keynote speaker and expert on all aspects of personnel selection and development.

Dr. Patricia Widmer is Vice Director for Open Enrolment and Diversity at the Executive School of the University of St.Gallen. She has a background in banking & finance and completed her doctorate on the topic of gender disparity, diversity management, unconscious bias and stereotypes.


Module 3: Sustainable Self-Leadership

Friday, 14 October 2022
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Becoming an effective leader starts with maintaining good self-leadership skills. This includes departing from perfectionism or unrealistic ideals, reflecting on your personal needs, motivations and resources, and developing new strategies for sustainable well-being.


Dr. Nilima Chowdhury is the head of the coaching program and lecturer at the University of St. Gallen as well as a consultant and trainer in the areas of gender, work and well-being. As part of the Leaders for Equality team, Nilima supports organisations in developing a gender-inclusive culture. Her workshops and seminars draw upon her research on the socio-cultural dimension of work-related well-being as well as her performing arts background.


Part II: Communication

Module 4: Communication Tools for Greater Impact

Presence & Impact
Online Training (self-paced learning)

Each personal encounter is an opportunity to win somebody over. In this online training, you will deal with your personal presence and impact and learn how to communicate in a more self-confident way.


Norina Peier is founder and owner of the company by the same name for organisational development. She is a psychologist with a specialisation in industrial and organisational psychology (Master of Science in Applied Psychology at the ZHAW), a solution-oriented coach (ICF) and a certified actress (ZHdK).
Live Online Module
Friday, 28 October 2022
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

In this module you will learn simple tools for communicating more effectively, thereby increasing your visibility and personal impact in complex and competitive organisational environments. 

Dr. Mike J. Widmer is founder and CEO of aalto, a boutique consulting firm for leadership, executive search and career consulting. He is a seasoned cross-sector executive search expert for C-level and board positions and has a substantial background in senior management consulting in Switzerland, Germany and the U.S.

Module 5: Stakeholder Management

Friday, 4 November 2022
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Skilled stakeholder management is a key factor for professional success at higher management levels. How can you act authentically and achieve your goals in a political corporate environment? You will gain new insights for maintaining positive relationships with key decision-makers and stakeholders within the organization as well as with various external stakeholders.


Dr. Achim Wolter is Head of People and Organisational Development at Baloise Group. He has a PhD in Economics and years of experience in consulting and leadership development with various multinational companies in Europe.

Dr. Mike J. Widmer is founder and CEO of aalto, a boutique consulting firm for leadership, executive search and career consulting. He is a seasoned cross-sector executive search expert for C-level and board positions and has a substantial background in senior management consulting in Switzerland, Germany and the U.S.


Module 6: Negotiation Skills 

Online Training (self-paced learning)
Live Online Module
Friday, 18 November 2022

8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Negotiating successfully in challenging situations is a skill that can help you advance both professionally and personally. In these two interactive modules, you will learn proven methods of conducting negotiations according to the Harvard principle. You will be able to focus on the interests of your counterpart and find constructive solutions in conflict situations without losing sight of your own goals.


Catherine Mehrtens is Principal at Egger Philips and has over 10 years of experience as an international negotiation consultant and trainer. In addition to her work as a systemic coach and expert in innovative/digital learning, she has supported over 1,000 executives in negotiations.

Part III: Taking Action

Module 7: Taking the Next Step

Friday, 25 November 2022
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Be the author of your own career success story! In this final module, you will acquire tools to help you identify your options and map out your next career step. You will also gain first-hand insights into the world of Executive Search and the latest top-level recruitment practices.


Dr. Mike J. Widmer is founder and CEO of aalto, a boutique consulting firm for leadership, executive search, and career development. He is a seasoned cross-sector executive search expert for C-level and board positions and has a substantial background in senior management consulting in Switzerland, Germany and the U.S.

Mentoring Programme

Take part in a unique virtual mentoring programme to continue your personal learning journey and discuss your next career goals with a seasoned sparring partner. You will be matched with a suitable female mentor and participate in 6 1-hour online sessions over a 6-month period.


Six months after the programme has been completed, participants will reconvene for a special reunion in St. Gallen with the entire Aiming Higher alumnae community to further cultivate their network.

Application criteria

Participants should have a university degree or an equivalent educational certificate and professional experience. Please contact programme head for more information. The number of places is limited.

Why University of St.Gallen

The HSG – your partner for first-class executive education in Switzerland

At the University of St. Gallen (HSG), you can choose from one of the largest executive education portfolios in the German speaking region – the right programme for your needs and career objectives. The renowned quality and practical relevance of the learning experience convinces more than 6000 participants per year. Profit from an Executive Degree from St.Gallen – the best business school in the German-speaking world – and get ahead in your career!

  • For high-quality teaching and executive training by top researchers

  • For competent executives

  • For Lifelong Learning

  • For international collaborations

This is what distinguishes the HSG
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