Women in Clinical Leadership course

Female Leader In The Medical Sector With Colleagues

The healthcare sector is powered by women. Yet, in this sector, women continue to be precluded or under-represented in senior leadership positions, or as part of the senior decision-making group.

To be an effective leader, you need to have a deep understanding of your personal leadership style and leadership preferences. You need to be able to recognise and leverage your natural strengths to engage and inspire others. You need to be politically savvy, able to communicate with influence, and lead change.

Unfortunately, as a woman in a clinical leadership position, you must also overcome unique challenges and often hidden structural barriers. To succeed, you must be able to challenge assumptions, navigate barriers to your own progression, and counter gender-specific career de-reailers. 

Women in Clinical Leadership is a fully-contextualised three-day course designed specifically for women who hold senior leadership roles in the health sector. The course focuses on deepening your self-awareness and self-knowledge, identifying and developing your individual skills and strengths, and highlighting the capabilities you need to address and meet the challenges unique to women leaders in the health sector. The course is delivered by three of The University of Queensland’s most senior female advocates in the fields of medicine and leadership.

The course is the only health-focussed women’s leadership course offered in the Southern Hemisphere and provides a rare opportunity for female leaders in the health sector to slow down, reflect, and examine their current and future leadership roles.

Key course content

  • Models of leadership, and the impacts of gender on leadership
  • Leading change in medicine
  • Personal vision and values, and recognising and building personal strengths
  • Power, authority, and adaptive leadership
  • Strategic thinking and political savvy
  • Conflict resolution
  • Effective and strategic influencing and networking
  • Confident and effective communication techniques
  • Leading high-performance teams
  • Building resilience, and balancing wellness and work
  • Navigating a career in gendered professions

Why women only?

Women-only programs help to create the context and dialogue necessary to stimulate new thinking around the shared gendered experiences of participants. You will have the opportunity to reflect on your own personal and workplace experiences, and hear the experiences of other participants. This allows for a holistic view of the medical sector from a gendered leadership context.

Women-only courses encourage women to embrace their career experiences and challenges with a new perspective, allowing them to establish female role models and networks, and forge their own unique pathways to leadership success,” - Dr Jennifer Schafer, UQ School of Medicine. Read our interview with one of the course facilitators, Dr Jennifer Schafer, about why women-only training can create great leaders.

Price: $3200 (exc. GST)

Building your capability through

After completing the course, you will know how to:

  • understand your personal leadership style and leadership preferences
  • leverage your natural strengths to effectively engage and inspire others
  • challenge assumptions and navigate barriers to your progression or to effective leadership
  • think and act in politically-savvy way, and lead change in clinical settings
  • think strategically and positively communicate with and influence others
  • build your personal resilience and improve your personal wellbeing
  • identify and counter gender specific career de-railers
  • navigate gender dynamics and biases.

Our expert facilitators

Professor Polly Parker

Polly is a Professor in leadership and human resource management and Director of Education at UQ Business School. She has established a national and international reputation in the fields of career management and development, peer coaching, leadership development, and human resource development.

Active in the area of women’s leadership and leadership development, Polly was a member of the steering committee and a presenter at CEDA’s inaugural Women in Leadership Program, and delivers UQ Business School Executive Education’s women-leadership courses, including Leadership for Executive Women and Leadership for Senior Executive Women's.

Polly has developed systematic and coherent research programs around the themes of peer coaching, career and leadership development, and intelligent career management. Her research is widely published in leading ERA-A* publications, including Journal of Vocational Behaviour, Journal of Organization Behaviour, Academy of Management Learning and Education.

Polly holds a PhD in business and a Master of Philosophy in career management from The University of Auckland, as well as a diplomas from Christchurch College of Education and Otago University. She is a member of a range of organisations, including the Academy of Management, European Group Organisation Studies, and Australian Human Resources Institute.


Jennifer Witheriff

Jennifer is the Director of GJR, a boutique consulting group based in Brisbane, which specialises in business development, HR consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, training and facilitation. She has previously held senior roles in Queensland Health and Queensland Treasury.

Her decades of experience in leadership development and coaching have equipped her with the knowledge and confidence to work with leaders at all levels. She offers deep insights into the complex dynamics of leadership and is keenly interested in transforming leaders. Her areas of interest include: adaptive leadership, influencing styles, and change.

Jennifer holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern Queensland, and a Graduate Diploma in occupational health and safety from Queensland University of Technology. She has completed leadership development programs with Harvard University.

Dr Jennifer Schafer

Jennifer is the Director of Student Affairs at UQ School of Medicine. Jennifer is a general practitioner with more than 30 years of clinical experience. She also spent 15 years working within the media as a medical reporter.

She has a special interest in leadership training for health professionals, and, as Director of Student Affairs at UQ School of Medicine, provides leadership to UQ medical students, ensuring that they have a supportive learning environment.

Jennifer’s research has been published in a range of journals and conference publications, including Advances in Medical Education and Practice, Medical Teacher, Ochsner Journal.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Graduate Certificate in Executive Leadership from The University of Queensland. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, and the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Networking opportunities

Attendees will need to be senior roles in a health setting, with an appropriate level of knowledge and experience to contribute to discussions and case studies. Participants are selected from a range of specialisations and organisations to ensure diversity.

Types of roles include, but are not limited to, Senior Administrator, Clinical Director, Senior Medical Officer, Director of Medical Services, Academic Medical Leader, Medical Consultant, Junior Consultant, Medical Specialist, and General Practitioner, from both the public and private sectors.

This program is not clinical specialty specific.