Developing Women Leaders

Faculty detail

Human connection is our superpower

The Developing Women Leaders online short course provides a unique learning opportunity for women at all stages of their career journey. It builds a foundation for skills such as networking, collaborating, use of power, communication, leading and following. MasterStart is on a mission to develop diverse leadership teams through humanised online learning. The Developing Women Leaders programme is our latest collaboration with UCT Graduate School of Business and it is already changing lives.


What will I learn?

  • An understanding of organisations, power and politics
  • An understanding of the impact of broader gender issues faced by women
  • Increased confidence in leading and influencing others
  • Awareness of personal intention and impact
  • Increased self-awareness, and commitment to continue the process
  • Skills in negotiating, coaching and giving feedback
  • A network of colleagues with whom they have a shared powerful experience
  • Personal mastery emerging from the consolidation and integration of all the course components, using enduring practices such as journaling, mindfulness, networking and conscious reflection
  • Self awareness to address detrimental and self sabotaging patterns of thinking and responding

Who this course will benefit

This course is ideal for women who are interested in self-development, career advancement and personal fulfilment. It gives women an opportunity to really evaluate what works and what does not work in a safe environment and to benefit from feedback from their peers.

The problem

Diversity and inclusivity have become something of a clichè – boards and management teams talk about them, but how many actually look at them as something that should be measured? Or invested in?

  • In 2019, women’s global share of board directors in major financial services firms was only 23%.
  • A Korn Ferry analysis of the US’ 1,000 largest corporations over eight industries showed just 8% of CFOs in finance were women in 2019.
  • In 2019, fewer than a quarter (21.9%) of senior leadership roles within financial services firms were held by women. Current growth projections of 31% by 2030 are still far from parity.
  • In the banking and consumer finance industry women are just at parity (50%) for entry level positions, but a gender gap gradually increases along the leadership pipeline, from 42% of managers to 27% of senior vice presidents.

Why solving the problem
makes sense​

Now with the statistics in mind let’s look at the performance and bottom line impact of firms who have driven organisational and behavioral change by providing a more inclusive and diverse workforce:

  • According to Pipeline’s 2020 ‘Women Count’ report, “Firms with more female executives ‘perform better.” In fact, 10 times better. Research shows that London-listed companies were 10 times more profitable when women made up more than one in three executive roles.
  • Ethnically diverse leadership teams are 36% more likely to be profitable, a McKinsey study found.
  • Another McKinsey report found that companies in the top quartile for both gender and ethnic diversity are 12% more likely to outperform all other companies, so any investment will almost certainly be returned through better business outcomes.

Our faculty

Sue Von Hirschfeld

Sue Von Hirschfeld


Sue has extensive experience in creating learning and change in diverse cultures and organisations. With over 30 years of practical experience managing people and projects, Sue lectures on the topics of People Management and Development.

Jenny Boxall

Jenny Boxall


Jenny designs and facilitates programmes on behalf of the UCT GSB faculty to achieve organisational learning goals and facilitate the learning and application of skills in various organisations in South Africa and neighbouring countries.

Dr Makgathi Mokwena

Dr Makgathi Mokwena

(D. Phil)

Dr Makgathi is a registered Dance Movement Therapist who received her master’s degree in Dance Movement Therapy at Antioch Graduate School in New Hampshire (Fulbright Scholarship), and a Doctoral Degree in Psychology at Rand Afrikaans University.