Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media (2019 programs)

Leadership Academies for Women in Digital Media (2019 Programs)

November 30, 2018
Teaching Date
Feb. 24-March 1 | March 31-April 5 | Oct. 20-25
The Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, Florida




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 - March 1, 2019
  • March 31-April 5, 2019
  • Oct. 20-25, 2019

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. 

Below: Previous participants in the Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media post about their experience on social media, using hashtag #poynterwomenleaders.


Past academy speakers have included Jennifer Brandel, Liz Heron, Stacy-Marie Ishmael, S. Mitra Kalita, Aine Kerr, Raju Narisetti, Vivian Schiller, and Manoush Zomorodi and Carla Zanoni. Several alumnae of the program have returned as academy instructors, including Kainaz Amaria, Kari Cobham, Megan Greenwell, Swati Sharma, Millie Tran and Elite Truong.

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

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 Cheryl Carpenter, leadership faculty at Poynter; Kristen Hare, Poynter.org reporter; Kelly McBride, Poynter’s Vice President; and Doris Truong, director of training and diversity at Poynter.


Poynter directly impacts your career 

We launched our first Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media in 2014. Applications grew exponentially, with the 2018 program attracting more than 600 applicants for 28 seats. 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 aluma 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. 

What you’ll 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:

  • Negotiation strategies for women
  • Planning your career
  • Building better work-life chemistry 
  • Tackling difficult conversations, including #MeToo situations
  • Assessing your workplace culture
  • Change management

Who will benefit

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.

Application process

Application for the 2019 programs are open from Nov. 1-30, 2018. We will use one application form to seat all three classes. Required application materials include work experience, a letter of recommendation and an example of a digital project.


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

Limited scholarships will be available to help defray the cost of the tuition and/or travel for those who need assistance.

Important dates

Application Opens: Nov. 1, 2018
Application Closes: Nov. 30, 2018
Participant Confirmation: Mid-January 2019


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

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