Kerry Secrest facilitates a WLC discussion

Women's Leadership CircleS

The Women's Leadership Circles of Vermont provide powerful women the space, support, and tools to lead with clarity and confidence.

This program was specifically developed for established women in leadership positions across sectors—nonprofit, business, and government. Our participants have the initiative and vision to push themselves toward greater personal and professional achievement, and to grow in their roles as influential change-makers. We build participant groups of women with the awareness, experience, and professionalism to create a safe place for frank and honest discussion to happen.

Women's Leadership Circle

How Do You Apply?

The application process will open in mid-September for the 2016 Women's Leadership Circle in Addision County. Our application process is designed to ensure a good fit between applicant and program. We recommend that prospective applicants begin a conversation with Kerry Secrest, then move to the online application.  

Early bird applications for the Addison County Circle are due October 31 and final registration is November 22. 

What Do You Gain?

Participating in a Women’s Leadership Circle brings five primary benefits:

  • Alignment: The program supports deep inquiry into personal and professional priorities and helps participants create a life more in alignment with their values.
  • Expanded capacity: Participants identify their strengths and develop an individualized plan to effectively build on their leadership abilities.
  • Grounded foundation: WLC supports women to embody their leadership. Participants explore the link between personal well-being and leadership, and take action in support of their improved health.
  • Real-world impact: Each WLC participant practices her expanded leadership abilities in a real-world project designed to create meaningful outcomes in alignment with personal values and aspirations.
  • Community: Each Circle is intentionally drawn from the same county. Circle members sustain their friendships long after the formal WLC program is completed, and often continue to meet as a group for years. (In fact, the first WLC has been meeting regularly since 2011!)

How it Works

Each WLC is a circle of 10-12 established women leaders from a specific geographical location (typically a single county) who meet formally over six months, during which time they establish the foundation for an ongoing network of support that continues after the program is completed.

During the program, participants meet:

  • for an initial overnight retreat
  • for four monthly meetings
  • for a customized, one-on-one coaching session
  • with a peer learning partner to maintain momentum and accountability
  • online as needed to ask questions and share experiences
  • for a one-day final retreat to distill learnings and plan for the Circle’s next steps

In addition, each participant will design an individualized leadership plan, a wellness goal, and a real-world action project. For more information about the curriculum and key program components, please see the Program Overview.

The Women’s Leadership Circle of Vermont program was founded by Kerry Secrest of Watershed Coaching, LLC  in 2011. Marlboro entered into a collaboration with Watershed in 2014 to help bring the program to communities throughout the state. WLC is now an integral program of the Marlboro College Center for New Leadership. To learn more about the research-based program design and the specific outcomes of the WLC, you are invited to read our detailed program report (2012), available to download as a full report or executive summary

WINTER Dates

Our Winter Circle will take place in Addison County. We will meet in person on the following dates:

  • Opening Retreat: January 19 & 20 - Arrive 2pm on the 19th - Depart 5pm on the 20th
  • January 27 - Optional Evening Social Event
  • February 9 
  • March 9
  • April 12
  • May 12 
  • Closing Retreat: June 9 - 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

ABOUT THE FACILITATOR

Kerry Secrest is committed to supporting women leaders. A leadership coach for individuals and organizations as well as a small business owner, Kerry facilitates national corporate courses for women in leadership, provides individual coaching for professional women, leads an annual women's retreat, and personally experiences the power of being in her own women's circle for more than 12 years. Drawing on her extensive coaching experience, Kerry developed the Women's Leadership Circles of Vermont to support the flourishing of our most promising women leaders. In 2014, Kerry was appointed by Governor Peter Shumlin to the Vermont Commission on Women.

Research 

There is a large body of research on women in leadership that highlights the gendered experience of power and responsibility in the workplace. The design of this program has been especially influenced by:

  • Centered Leadership - How Talented Women Thrive, Joanna Barsh, Susie Cranston, and Rebecca A. Craske
  • Standing at the Crossroads: Next Steps for High Achieving Women, Marian N. Ruderman and Patricia J. Ohlott
  • Your Authentic Leadership, Bill George, Peter Sims, Andrew N. McLean, and Diana Mayer
  • What Makes a Leader, Daniel Goleman

Testimonials

“This program must be accessible across the board to all women interested. Currently and overall, women have fewer resources, both of time and money, than men. Investing in women’s leadership and growth is critical to societal success and Vermont’s health and beauty.”

“The personal and professional camaraderie that develops is unique and will last well past the end of the WLC. Kerry is professional, knowledgeable, competent and most importantly a warm and genuine person.”

“I am more self-aware, I am making different choices personally and professionally and feel much more at ease!”

“The reading, activities, monthly meetings, and our group’s interaction was like being on Lewis and Clark’s Voyage of Discovery.”

"One of the first things Kraft talked about during her interview was her excitement in being a part of the Women’s Leadership Circle... Kraft’s obvious enthusiasm for this program was a clue to understanding her own continued success as a leader in the arts and cultural sector here in Vermont; she respects and is willing to learn from others whose approach may be different than her own." - Vermont Woman Magazine. Read More.

Read more testimonials from past WLC participants.

INVESTMENT

The fee for WLC is $2600. We recognize that cost may be a barrier for some, and we encourage participants to seek support from their employer. Research shows that women are less likely than men to seek financial support from their companies or organizations to pay for professional leadership development. This program is designed to make the organization stronger by making the leader stronger, and consequently most participants are funded by their organization. 

We are committed to building the strongest possible cohort, regardless of the ability to pay and, to this end, we have a small pool of need-based aid. Income-eligible Vermont residents are also encouraged to seek support through a VSAC nondegree training grantFind more funding possibilities to consider in the document How to Pay for the Program

Find detailed information about tuition and making payments in the document Tuition and Payment Information. If you are ready to make a payment, you may do so with our payment formFor your consideration, please familiarize yourself with our Withdrawal and Refund Policy.

MORE INFORMATION

To learn more about the Women's Leadership Circles of Vermont, please contact Kerry Secrest, program director, 802-451-0842.