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Women in Leadership (WIL)

WIL supports women working across practice, industry and public sectors who are in senior management, partner or board roles. The programme has a strong personal development focus, and seeks to refine and craft your individual leadership style. Registration is now open for 2022 cohort. Book your place today to unleash your true leadership potential.

Transformative benefits

  • Develop your own personal brand of authoritative, authentic leadership.
  • Boost your visibility and build your presence in your organisation.
  • Become a role model for other women in business.
  • Understand and refine your personal strengths and how best to use them.
  • Learn to navigate complex leadership issues with leading experts and mentors.
  • Gain access to external perspectives and processes through mentoring and peer networking.

Alumni journey, in their own words – watch the video

Key details

Who is WIL for

WIL supports women working across practice, industry and public sector who are aiming for senior management, partner or board roles.


6 months




May 2022

Programme overview

Why WIL?

The Women in Leadership (WIL) programme has been specifically designed to empower women to find a style of leadership that is already within them, and bringing it powerfully to the fore, to help the business prosper. Against the backdrop of the 2011/12 Davies Report recommendations promoting the advancement of women into senior roles, the need for this type of development has never been greater.

Through a combination of purpose-built peer groups and constant, acute, insightful mentoring, along with the time and space to focus, reflect and practise. Delegates will discover personal strengths and how to translate them into a unique and powerful leadership style, and learn to thrive in any environment.

The WIL journey

WIL is an accelerated learning journey with a blended approach, consisting of experiential exercises, scenario learning and reflective peer learning groups. Each workshop focuses on different aspect of leadership. You will augment your skills through intensive discussions and simulations – guided by expert facilitators – and gain immediately applicable insights.

WIL goes far beyond workplace skills. It’s a journey of self-discovery, creating powerful shifts in mindset that affect all aspects of work and life.


'I learned many things during the programme but found the Strengths Based Leadership approach to be particularly valuable.'

Naomi Bowman, Managing Director, Berkley Research Group (UK) Ltd.

'I very much underestimated how powerful this programme would be. It has certainly helped me in my professional life, as well as home life.'

Rhona Burns, COO and Finance Director, BBC Radio & Education.

'I have found the mentoring to be extremely beneficial and have taken the opportunity to use this to maximum effect and kick-start my search for a board role.'

Jo Clube, Group Legal Entity Director, Aviva plc.

Case studies

“That’s return on your investment.”

Philip Haberman, senior partner of leading forensic accounting firm Haberman Ilett, talks to London Accountant about staff development.


Philip Haberman does not believe in networking. He is more interested in chatting with people. Perhaps a semantic nuance, or maybe it reveals something about the way he approaches others.

Whatever it is, people seem to respond to it. During his time as partner at EY, Philip came to know Frank Ilett, himself a partner at Deloitte. When the pair founded Haberman Ilett in 2013, Philip found himself being approached by former colleagues electing to leave the security and prestige of EY to join him at his start-up. In 18 months the practice has grown from 4 to 40 employees, and shows no signs of slowing.

It is no coincidence then, that Haberman Ilett takes training and development seriously. They are keen to invest in their people. So far they have sponsored three employees to attend ICAEW Academy’s Women in Leadership programme (WIL), which supports women aiming for senior management, partner or board roles, and one employee to take part in DLiP™, their partner development programme.

“ICAEW Academy’s programmes have a real long-term benefit for individuals,” Philip affirms. “The participant meets a group of external peers who see them as a leader, and this helps them to feel like a leader.”

The Haberman Ilett founder believes that in order to be an effective partner, you have to feel like one. “Real self-belief is fundamental to success in a business environment,” he explains. “I need my team to go to their clients and tell them what they need to do with absolute conviction. WIL and DLiP™ build people’s confidence. I’ve seen the difference in employees: they come back from the programme with a belief in themselves, and it resonates with clients.”

WIL’s particular strength, as Philip sees it, is that it focuses on the participant’s assets, seeking to refine and craft their individual leadership style. He adds that its mentoring component is particularly powerful: “It can sometimes be hard to change the views of those who know you. A stranger is more objective, and you start from a position of strength, with no baggage.”

As for DLiP™, Philip declares: “It’s great that ICAEW are supporting small firms. Learning from other people is so valuable; you gain so much insight from other people’s experience.” Nor does the peer-learning end when the programme ends: the relationships formed over the course of this long-term and intensive training tend to be lasting, and continue to bear fruit years later.

When asked what he would say to people who are worried about the cost of these programmes, he replies: “It sends a really positive message to the individual: that they’re worth it. It says ‘We have confidence in you, your judgement counts’. Everyone can see it’s not a box-ticking exercise. It gives them a sense of empowerment and creates a positive atmosphere amongst colleagues.”

Philip concludes: “If you consider the value these programmes bring to the individual and the firm, they pay for themselves. They help people move from one career stage to the next, and getting people ready for leadership secures the future of the firm. That’s return on your investment.”

Women in Leadership mentors

  •  Carol Bagnald Regional Director, HSBC

    Enjoyed a career with HSBC spanning 4 decades, predominately in commercial banking. Overall responsibility for London for the majority of the last 10 years with a focus on the capital and international business as a key growth area. As well as role with HSBC chaired Celsius – an exclusive top 100 Corporate Club, was Vice Chair for West London Business and on the London Council for the CBI.

  • Teuta Bakalli Teuta Bakalli Entrepreneur and Trustee, Financial services, M&A and Fin Tech

    Teuta is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants with over 20 years’ experience in the regulated financial markets covering investment banking, insurance and asset management and Fin Tech.

  •  Jo Bond Coach and mentor

    Jo is a highly experienced leadership coach and mentor, having worked with many individuals from more than 120 organisations, including leading global corporates, UK SMEs and start-up ventures, and public sector bodies.

  • Jane Green Jane Green Former partner with EY

    After 28 years of international senior management and leadership experience as a partner with Ernst & Young (EY), Jane retired in June 2016. She is extremely keen to continue mentoring and coaching as this has been a fundamental aspect of her professional life.

  • Dr Mirja Fowler Dr. Mirja Fowler Multilingual organisational psychologist (PhD)

    A multilingual organisational psychologist (PhD) and former internal auditor (CPA passed) with an international mind-set and proven track record in improving employee performance, engagement and ethical leadership. Specialising in organisational change, enhancing organisational culture through leadership development, bespoke assessments (360 degree feedback), coaching and workshops.

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