Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media (Winter 2019)

Instructors :

Now in its fifth year, the Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media is returning to Poynter’s campus in St. Petersburg, Florida.

This highly competitive and transformative program focuses on the skills and knowledge needed to rise to the highest levels of digital media leadership. Sessions will cover how to develop effective management styles, handle difficult conversations, manage burnout, master negotiation tactics and find newsroom allies. We will host three women’s academies in 2019, in Winter, Spring and Fall, each open to 30 participants.

The dates for the 2019 Leadership Academies for Women in Digital Media are:

  • Feb. 24-Mar. 1, 2019
  • Mar. 31-Apr. 5, 2019
  • Oct. 20-25, 2019

Teaching Dates:

Feb. 24-March 1, 2019

Have your registration code and ready to enroll?

These programs are structured to encourage open, candid discussion and mentoring. Participants will walk away with strong leadership skills, structured feedback from their colleagues, individualized career plans and a built-in support system of peers.

What you will learn:

Each of Poynter’s three women’s leadership academies will be unique, with different instructors, new sessions and a diverse mix of participants from all over the world. Key themes will include:

  • Leveraging your leadership style
  • Negotiation strategies for women
  • Planning your career
  • Building better work-life chemistry
  • Tackling difficult conversations, including #MeToo situations
  • Assessing your workplace culture
  • Approaches to change management

Who should attend:

Women working in the digital space with leadership responsibilities or demonstrated leadership potential. This program is designed to benefit women at multiple stages of their careers.

“The Leadership Academy finally gave me leadership and management training — something I’d never received. And I use it every single day,” shared Sara Konrad Baranowski, the editor of the Iowa Falls Times-Citizen and a graduate from Poynter’s women’s leadership academy. “I think about what I learned, I go back over my notes, I look at my personal development plan…maybe it was more than career-changing. Maybe it was a little bit life-changing too.”

Poynter directly impacts your career

We launched our first Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media in 2015. Applications grew exponentially, with the 2018 program attracting more than 600 applicants. Why? The Poynter women’s leadership training alters careers and changes lives. In a 2018 survey of graduates from our first three years of the program, we learned:

  • 81% got promoted or have more job responsibilities
  • 83% make more money, with half making substantially more money
  • 76% have a clearer vision of what’s important in their career

“I didn’t realize magic was happening when I was in the class,” said Dhiya Kuriakose, women’s leadership academy alumna and instructor and senior director of development strategy and syndication at Condé Nast Entertainment. “I realized it two weeks later. And I’m realizing it every day two years later. Those five days are not when your life changes. It’s the experience of those five days that end up changing your life after you’re very far from St. Petersburg.”

The success and demand for this program prompted us to expand our programming in 2018 and 2019, offering three academies each year.


A detailed schedule will be posted closer to the program date.

Applications Open: Nov. 1, 2018
Applications Close: Nov. 30, 2018
Participant Confirmation: Jan. 23, 2019


Tuition for the academy is $1,000. Lunches, snacks and some dinners are included in the program cost. Participants (or their employers) are responsible for travel costs.

The Poynter Institute is offering some tuition scholarships and travel support — thanks to funding from Knight Foundation — for journalists in local news, nonprofits and startups as well as for women of color. All are encouraged to apply to Poynter’s Leadership Academies for Women in Digital Media.


As in past years, the academies will be led by Katie Hawkins-Gaar, founder of The Cohort and the Digital Women Leaders coaching initiative. She’ll be joined by prominent Poynter faculty.

Guest instructors for 2019 will be announced closer to the seminar dates.


Katie Hawkins-Gaar

Lead Faculty
Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media

Cheryl Carpenter

Leadership Faculty
The Poynter Institute

Kelly McBride

Senior Vice President
The Poynter Institute

Doris Truong

Director of Training and Diversity
The Poynter Institute

Past instructors include:

Kainaz Amaria

Visuals Editor

Jennifer Brandel

CEO and Co-Founder


Megan Greenwell


S. Mitra Kalita

Senior Vice President for News, Opinion and Programming
CNN Digital

Áine Kerr

Co-Founder and COO

Swati Sharma

Deputy Editor

Millie Tran

Global Growth Editor
The New York Times

Elite Truong

Strategic Initiatives
The Washington Post

Carla Zanoni

Audience & Analytics Editor
Wall Street Journal

Manoush Zomorodi

Host, WNYC’s Note to Self

Kari Cobham

Senior Manager of Digital Content
Cox Media Group

Samantha Ragland

Director, Digital Content Strategy
GateHouse Media


Here are some frequently asked questions. If you still need assistance, email us at seminars@poynter.org.

Thank you to our sponsors: