Next Level Women (NLW) addresses the challenges faced by female experts when rising professionally

Next Level Women: Elevating Experts is a leadership training program designed to equip talented experts with the tools and feedback to be able to open up the same breadth of opportunity as enjoyed by their male counterparts. Delivered by Sharon Longridge and Dr Anne Lytle, two of Australia’s most preminant experts on leadership, negotiation and conflict management, and neurobiology and behaviour who are determined to shift the dial for aspiring women. This evidence-based training provides high-impact skills development and tracks behaviour change to actually measure improvement.

The human machine frontier is emergent. Immersive technologies and big data are extending the reality we experience. Accelerated digitisation and artificial intelligence are radically disrupting every business sector.

How we live, work, learn, recruit and relate are shifting. Navigating these ruptures requires upgrading systems to remove bias, allowing a diversity of evolved leaders to rise and drive Industry 5.0.

Elevating Experts: Women are especially well-suited to lead Industry 5.0.

Leading business researchers, Huang and Rust, find in their 2021 book, ‘The Feeling Economy: How Artificial Intelligence is Creating the Era of Empathy’, that inclusive, collaborative, energising and empathetic qualities of leadership are more important than ever before.

Now is the time to capitalise on the strengths of women to grow the number of female leaders in tech who embody these leadership values.

Barriers to gender equity at work persist

Chief Executive Women’s Senior Executive Census 2022 found that this year, fewer companies have gender-balanced leadership teams than last year. At the current rate of change it could take 100 years to achieve gender balance in CEO roles in Australia. Urgent action is required.

Addressing the challenges that female experts face when rising professionally

Using a rigourous, scientific approach, this training provides high-impact skills development and tracks behaviour change with the Elevating Leaders Index (ELi), our 180° feedback survey.

Course Outcomes: Equipping women to rise

Next Level Women: Elevating Experts is an evidence-based training program providing female data professionals with the tools, mindsets and support to skilfully lead Industry 5.0. Holistic and practical, NLW embeds coveted leadership capacities including:

  • Influencing critical stakeholders
  • Initiating difficult conversations
  • Negotiating deals that deliver
  • Strengthening confidence
  • Building psychological safety
  • Sustaining energy and wellness.

Measuring Training Impact

Determined to deliver skills development the improves gender equity, we track the program’s behaviour change impacts. The Elevating Leaders Index (ELi) is our customised 180° feedback survey.

Shifting the dial on leadership for women with science backed behaviour change training

Next Level Women programs use a rigourous, scientific approach to providing high-impact skills development. Participants practice techniques proven by behavioural science to work.

Our course leaders are experts in neuroscience, negotiation and communication and have years of experience in public broadcasting and MBA coaching.

Program Co-Directors

Dr Anne Lytle
Dr Anne Lytle
MSc & PhD Negotiation & Conflict Management, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University
BSc, Neurobiology & behaviour, Cornell University
Sharon Longridge
Sharon Longridge
Leadership communications specialist and award-winning broadcaster, formerly of the ABC.
BA in Communications, Cert IV Workplace Training and Assessment, VTAB

The Next Level Women Program

Spanning four months, this uplifting program will equip female data experts to advance Industry 5.0.

Month 01

Understand the context.
Gather feedback.
Set your agenda.

  • Define the new era: Decoding Leadership 5.0
  • Influence with impact: Mapping your NLW presentation
  • Harness social learning: Connecting with your Peer Pod

Welcome to Leadership 5.0, where female data professionals are pivotal in strategic decision making and shaping inclusive cultures. Our focus is to map how women can amplify their impact to step up and stand out. This introductory session frames the learning experience and connects the cohort. Each leader identifies an opportunity to influence in their area of professional expertise for their action learning presentation. This is the focus of their NLW Talk.

  • Introduce the ELi: Tracking your change
  • Seek feedback: Engaging your manager
  • Complete your survey: Logging pre-program perceptions

Measuring program effectiveness and impact is a priority. The ELi (180° feedback survey) is a custom built tool designed to capture pre and post-program measures of capability and change. Our first session introduces NLW’s ELi, and the steps required for its implementation. Participants are asked to engage their manager and record their own perceptions before the start of the program.

More >

  • 1 x live virtual session (90 mins)
  • Elevating Leaders Index (collect baseline data)
  • Pre-work via the NLW portal
  • Group coaching session 1 (60 mins)
  • Next Level Women portal access (12 months)

More >

Month 02

Speak strategically.
Connect authentically.
Impact decision-making.

  • Neuro-performance > Strengthening your self-leadership
  • Sustain vitalityPrioritising energy management 
  • Optimise the mind > Minimising distractions, finding flow.

Resilient leaders have a growth mindset, signal vitality and sustain stamina. They are curious, flexible and willing to unlearn and relearn. Strengthen your mental fitness to have the energy needed to influence with impact.

Available on-demand, the NLW portal includes a wellness toolkit. With a focus on mental wellness, it features tools to build composure, focus and confidence. Participants are encouraged to take micro-breaks and embed healthy habits.

  • The Trust Quotient > Strengthening psychological safety 
  • Conversations that count > Building engagement and inclusion
  • Harness feedback > Enhancing motivation and performance

Courageous leaders create psychological safety, initiate crucial conversations and build inclusive teams. They cultivate a ‘we’ mentality to connect deeply with others and build high-trust, positive cultures. Our focus is empowering female data experts to initiate conversations that count. Mastering difficult conversations is a hallmark of great leaders. Using insights from neuroscience, we explore the mechanisms underlying why well-intentioned communications can go so wrong, and what to do about it. Participants practice difficult conversations to address their current challenges.

  • 2 x 3 hours of live virtual learning
  • 2 x Peer Pod sessions (45 mins)
  • Next Level Women portal access (12 months)

More >

Month 03

Signal vitality.
Negotiate deals that deliver.
Create value.

  • Distill your purpose > Mapping your strategy and structure
  • Persuasive storytelling > Crafting compelling content
  • Design your delivery > Elevating your impact and confidence

Dynamic leaders speak strategically, harness storytelling and engage the audience. They know that mastering physical presence is key to influencing. Our focus is using the spoken word to positively change hearts and minds.

Participants learn our High Impact Presentation methodology, which has elevated the public speaking skills of thousands of leaders. Our Commanding the Room Toolbox will make delivery dynamic and memorable. Participants begin the creation of their NLW Talk.

  • Claim value > Negotiating strategically
  • Create value > Achieving mutually beneficial outcomes
  • Harness the issue structure > Mastering trading

Astute leaders negotiate strategically to deliver superior outcomes. They know how to claim and create value for themselves, their organisations and stakeholders. Our focus is learning the art and science of negotiation.

Through an interactive simulation, participants become more competent and confident to prepare and implement negotiations. We will share practical strategies to expand participants’ toolbox and help them negotiate what they and others deserve.

  • 2 x 3 hours of live virtual learning
  • 2 x Peer Pod sessions (45 mins)
  • Group coaching session #2 (60 mins)
  • Next Level Women portal access (12 months)

More >

Month 04

Influence tactically.
Drive inclusion.
Present powerfully.

  • Find your power sources > Expanding your comfort zone
  • Influence without authorityDeveloping strategic flexibility 
  • Build your action plan > Driving your change agenda

Influential leaders know that next-level leadership requires a wide range of strategies to influence change. Our focus is to equip female data experts to feel competent and confident navigating the politics of influence at work.

Using an interactive simulation, participants will learn a framework for influencing others, especially when they don’t have authority. They will learn to harness different types of power and influence tactics to achieve important outcomes. Participants will apply these techniques to their current challenges.

  • Present powerfully > Delivering your NLW Talks 
  • Scale your impact > Broadening your sphere of influence
  • Map your evolution > Identifying your next steps

Influential data experts think clearly, command the room and improve outcomes. As the culmination of the program, each participant presents a succinct agenda-setting talk drawing on their expertise.

The program is completed by the NLW Talks showcase. Each expert delivers a concise presentation that integrates learning and demonstrates new skills. Participants map the next stage of their development plans.

  • 2 x 3 hours of live virtual learning
  • 1 x Peer Pod session (45 mins)
  • Group coaching session #3 (60 mins)
  • Elevating Leaders Index (collect post-program data)
  • Next Level Women portal access (12 months)

More >

Tailoring your top-tier leadership education

Group size: ideally starting at 20 participants, max 32.

Delivery options can be tailored to suit your organisation. Here’s a popular delivery example:

Welcome session: in person, on-premises or at a training venue.
All other sessions: virtual.

Some companies prefer it all to be in-person.


  • 1 x 90 min welcome session
  • 6 x 3 hour learning sessions
  • 3 x 60 min group coaching sessions
  • 5 x 45 min structured Peer Pod collaboration sessions
  • 12 months of access to the NLW Toolkit for all participants
  • Client liaison and communications
  • 180° ELi to measure impact (pre and post program)
  • Printed program materials
Line of next level Business women seated at a table In Modern Office Listening To Presentation By Colleague

Ready to invest in your female experts?

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Elevating Leaders Index

A 180° performance feedback tool

How we track behaviour change

NLW’s customised 360 or 180° feedback survey, the Elevating Leaders Index (ELi), measures participants’ behaviour change pre to post program.

Drawing on a comparable program, here are the rates of individual improvement across modules:

Resilient Leader
Courageous Leader
Dynamic Leader
Influential Leader
Astute Leader

↑ 40%
↑ 36%
↑ 91%
↑ 45%
↑ 87%

sample Elevating Leaders Index report cover. Next Level Women

Next Level Women Portal

On-demand tools to embed behaviour change.

  • Resource-rich digital portal supports ongoing learning transfer
  • On demand micro-tools include a yoga program and mindfulness practices
  • Nudge communications deepen behaviour change
  • 12-month access for all program participants

How NLW elevates female data experts

The Courageous Leader

This module introduces tools, templates and solutions to deal with the vast array of difficult conversations that occur in a data professional’s role.

We focus in on the unique difficult situations that women confront at work, such as unconscious gender bias and inappropriate behaviour or inequality. We practice constructive ways to respond while promoting cultural change.

This is essential as:

  • Women have experienced even higher levels of “non-inclusive behaviours in 2021 than in 2020″ (Deloitte Australia, Women@work, 2022).
  • Women suffer unconscious bias and need to learn how to call it out in a way that allows for face-saving and promotes behavioural change.

The Dynamic Leader

This module builds female data experts’ confidence and competence in public speaking and commanding the room.

We need to address the significant underrepresentation of women in public and professional forums and increase their visibility, contribution and impact, aligned with the Panel Pledge. Women need and deserve additional support to overcome external and internal barriers.

Many high-profile conferences, events, taskforces and media outlets lack gender balance, despite there often being no shortage of qualified women to contribute. The ‘2019 women for Media Report’ snapshot found that only 18% of voices represented in major newspapers’ business pages were those of women; and it is estimated that only 30% of event speakers in Australia are women.

Whilst public speaking is one of the most feared activities across genders, recent research indicates that women are much more averse to public speaking than men.

The Influencial Leader

This module explores the types of power and influence that are most likely to be used successfully by female data experts and presents tools and strategies to practice behaviours that might not currently be in their repertoire.

This matters because:

  • Women suffer a backlash when they use traditional forms of power and influence, as these can conflict with unconscious gender role stereotypes.
  • Understanding the range of other options to wield power and influence, and practicing new behaviours and strategies in experiential activities, helps embed these into new patterns of behaviour.

The Astute Leader

This module is focused on delivering solutions and tools to combat the specific problems and issues that female professionals face when negotiating.

Specifically, the evidence tells us that:

  • Women don’t ask for help, opportunities, raises, promotions, etc. as much as their male counterparts.
  • The gender pay gaps persists in Australia and is currently at 14.1% according to WGEA.
    This is an increase of 0.3 % over the last 6 months.
  • Women get asked to do non-promotable work more often than men, and say yes to these requests more often than men.
  • Women don’t set targets as high as men. They also don’t say no when asked to do tasks or work that are not helpful to their own progression, or that result in overloading them, leading to burnout.

Start elevating your experts today

Other top-tier training by Dr Anne Lytle and Sharon Longridge