The number of women in leadership roles continues to expand globally despite cultural barriers and historical challenges. This is also true in Egypt. Recently the country embarked on an initiative to enhance the power and reach of its women leaders. Missouri State University, through a professional development program partner based in Cairo, has a part to play in the Egyptian effort.
On January 24, 2019, the Executive Women’s Leadership Program (EWLP) kicked off in Cairo. Brad Bodenhausen and Jeff Schmedeke represented the International Leadership Training Center (ILTC) at Missouri State. The IBDL foundation, the ILTC’s partner, authored the six-month program. It is designed to further develop the talents of women who are already working in Egyptian leadership capacities and to create new women leaders for the future of the country. It is part of Egypt Vision 2030, a nationwide plan to move Egypt forward through modernization, economic opportunity and human capital development.
The Egyptian Ministry of Planning, itself headed by a woman named Hala El Said, is spearheading the EWLP initiative with the help of the National Management Institute (NMI) and United Nations (UN) Women. There are approximately 35 participants from a cross-section of women leaders in the Egyptian government. For several hours per week, participants will learn objectives from five target competencies: Creating a Vision, Driving the Vision, Achieving Results, Managing Team Dynamics and Enhancing Personal Effectiveness. Throughout the process, teams will work on Capstone projects to adapt ideas and concepts to real-world problem-solving. When each participant finishes in June she will receive a certificate validated by the ILTC and IBDL Foundation. Partners look forward to the success of this cohort. The Ministry of Planning, NMI and IBDL Foundation hope to expand the program to other Egyptian national governmental ministries.