Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media (Fall 2019)

Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media (Fall 2019)

November 30, 2018
Teaching Date
Oct. 20-25, 2019
The Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, Florida

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. 


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:

There will be one application for all three academies.

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. 

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

Poynter faculty

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:

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

Past instructors include:

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 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. 

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:

  • 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

“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."

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

Applications 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. English-speaking international applicants are welcome to apply.


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.


Important dates

Application Opens: Nov. 1, 2018
Application Closes: Nov. 30, 2018
Participant Confirmation: Jan. 23, 2019


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


Thank you to our sponsors:

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