This certificate program is built on the understanding that we all have potential for creative, collaborative leadership and is geared towards early-to-mid career women who are committed to deepening their leadership capacity and expanding their professional networks, with the goal of achieving the next level of effectiveness, fulfillment, and impact as a leader. Explore barriers women encounter in the workplace.
The Women in Leadership Certificate is a low-residency program for busy professional individuals who are ready to take their leadership to the next level of effectiveness, impact, and fulfillment. The program is designed to accelerate the advancement of early-to-mid-career professionals, and to strengthen the pipeline of women who are ready to step into larger leadership roles across corporate, non-profit, government, higher education and entrepreneurial sectors of our community.
This certificate is offered by Antioch University Santa Barbara
Gain the awareness and skills to effectively address leadership challenges and opportunities commonly encountered by women within diverse settings through both applied and experiential learning.
- Self-development and leadership skill-building
- Cutting-edge leadership models
- Inclusive relational leadership practice
- Develop new strategies to maximize potential
- Own the room: enhanced leadership abilities
- Expanded professional networks
- Identify what an optimal work-life balance looks like
- Step into your power: enhanced ability to effect positive change in the workplace
- The Certificate is a hybrid program, completed over a three-month period.
- Three in-person residencies
- Online large and small group interactive meetings between residencies
- Structured group coaching support
- One-on-one coaching
- Completion of an action plan that addresses a work place challenge
Dates & Time Frames
RESIDENCY 1: May 31 & June 1
- Friday, May 31: 2– 9 pm
- Saturday, June 1: 9 am–5 pm
Gloria Soto was born, raised, and educated in Santa Maria. She comes from an immigrant family whose example taught her the value of hard work and determination, and whose parents made numerous sacrifices to ensure she would have a chance at a better life. Gloria took advantage of every opportunity that her family and community offered her. She was part of the first graduating class of Pioneer Valley High School, and she holds degrees from Allan Hancock College and Chapman University.
Gloria is a non-profit professional who, since 2011, has worked with Planned Parenthood California Central Coast in a variety of positions, including education, public affairs and development. Currently, she is the Regional Development Manager. Her work in non-profit work also includes the hundreds of hours she has worked with youth by directing leadership programs, serving on boards, and volunteering. Gloria is a member of the Board of Directors for Future Leaders of America, the largest Latino youth serving organization in the state of California, and the Fund for Santa Barbara.
Today, her parents, brother, niece, and nephew all live in Santa Maria. Gloria is a homeowner and resident of the Westgate neighborhood in District 3. She is bilingual, bi-cultural, and deeply connected to her many communities of the Santa Maria Valley. As a lifelong Santa Marian, Gloria understands the everyday struggles of families in our city.
Gloria is the first new Councilmember to be elected since the City Council began converting to district elections from the at-large voting system, which was the practice before November 2018. At age 29, she is the youngest woman elected to the Council in the history of Santa Maria, and is only the sixth Councilwoman since the City’s incorporation in 1905.
- One-on-One Coaching
- Book Discussion & Prep for Residency 2: Monday, June 24; 6–7:30 pm
RESIDENCY 2: June 28 & 29
- Friday, June 28: 2–9 pm
- Saturday, June 29: 9 am–5 pm
- Action Plan Check-in
- One-on-One Coaching
RESIDENCY 3: July 12 & 13
- Friday, July 12: 2–9 pm
- Saturday, July 13: 9 am–5 pm
**Dinner included on Friday sessions and lunch included on Saturday sessions**
A complete application for the Women & Leadership program includes:
- Complete the online application
- Brief admissions essay: How would you envision this training might impact your life (e.g. career, practice, awareness, personal growth, relationships) and what challenges might you encounter?
Individualized payment plans may be negotiated upon acceptance to the program.
Employer-sponsored Professional Development
Many Women & Leadership Certificate alumni have successfully negotiated professional development sponsorship from their employers to pay for full or partial tuition. We are happy to help support and guide you in requesting employer sponsorship, should you be interested.
Scholarships & Financial Aid
Federal financial aid is not available for this program. However, generous donors have earmarked scholarships specifically for Women & Leadership Certificate students. Scholarships require completion and submission of a financial aid essay as well as an interview with the Program Director.