Leadership Programs

FOCUS Women In Leadership

The FOCUS Women In Leadership (WIL) program is a part-time training program that provides women the opportunity to refine their personal, professional and civic leadership competencies, learn about the St. Louis community, and connect with other women from diverse backgrounds.

The WIL program is offered twice a year, each spring and fall.

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.

The spring cohort is open to women from all backgrounds and sectors; however, women in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are strongly encouraged to apply.

What to Expect

The FOCUS Women In Leadership program consists of four seminars, held on Saturdays, and three Field Days held on Thursdays. Seminars and Field Days give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the region, explore different styles of leadership and talk with business, community and civic leaders. For the 2021-22 cohorts, the program will be adapted as needed for social distancing.

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

Along the way, you have the opportunity to hone your facilitation, negotiation and communication skills, explore issues and challenges facing our region, tap into resources to make you a more effective leader and get to know others who are passionate about making a difference.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Apply to be part of our Spring 2022 cohort!


How To Apply

Recruiting is underway for our Spring 2022 cohort! Applications are due by Dec. 10, 2021, and two recommendations are required.

You can also nominate someone you know for the program and we will follow up with them regarding application materials.

We will be hosting a program informational session on Oct. 14 – reserve your spot here.

Stay up-to-date throughout the Women In Leadership recruiting cycle by joining our email list.


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. We also have a couple of targeted scholarships made possible by our corporate partners.

Take Point Scholarships
Through the generous support of Regions and in partnership with the Veterans Business Resource Center, scholarships are available for active-duty, veterans and military spouses.

STEM Scholarships
Through the generous support of Emerson, scholarships for the spring cohort are available for women working or studying in the STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) fields.

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