Breakthrough Leaders Programme

Breakthrough Leaders prepares exceptional women to lead organisations into a dynamic and prosperous future. 

Click here to meet the women who have graduated from the programme.


We are now taking expressions of interest for the 2019 programme.

Submit expression of interest


Experience a journey of discovery, learning and deep development alongside an exceptional peer group. Develop a leadership mindset that is spacious, has ample room for the ambiguities of the world, for conflicting feelings and contradictory ideas. Develop and accelerate agile and lateral thinking.

The ten-month programme is made up of four immersive and intensive four-day residential courses, complemented by coaching from leading New Zealand business figures.


Who is it for?

About Global Women - AudienceBreakthrough Leaders candidates:

  • Have a significant track record in the private or public, NFP or NGO sector, or in their wider community.
  • Are recognised within their organisations and externally as a high-potential leader with influence and ethics.
  • Are motivated to move to the next level of leadership and have greater leadership impact in their present role.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to make active and valuable contributions to their community.
  • Are able to challenge their peers, yet also empathise with and support them.
  • Are intellectually curious.
  • Work for an organisation that actively supports the attraction, development and retention of diverse women to the highest levels.
  • Are backed by an Executive Sponsor with the intent to accelerate their leadership.
  • Have a maturity and willingness to step outside of their comfort zone and embrace challenging experiences.

A transformative experience for you—and your organisation

A bespoke experience

Focused around four intensive residential modules of four days, participants come together with facilitators, leaders and Global Women members in a network of shared expertise. Stepping outside the “day-to-day” creates a learning environment that’s tailored to suit individual leadership needs.

An exceptional peer group

Only 30 exceptional women are selected for the programme—a dynamic group, where issues can be discussed freely and individuals can learn from one another.

A global perspective

The programme combines distinctive elements of the New Zealand leadership experience with overseas exposure to give Leaders a truly global perspective.

A focus on the real world

Participants foster, test and accelerate the skills they learn by implementing a commercial imperative unique to their individual organisation and by taking their skills to the wider community. Regular 3-way reviews between the participant, programme director and executive sponsors ensures high application of learning and enhanced return on investment for the organisation.

A powerful network

Breakthrough Leaders alumnae become part of one of the most distinguished and powerful networks in the New Zealand leadership sector, continuing to learn from one another well beyond the programme.

Participants also have access the wider Global Women network, made up of some of New Zealand’s most influential leaders and organisations.

A huge number of our 158 alumnae have moved into significant executive positions, started a company or moved into overseas roles. Meet our alumnae.

BTL October 2015 workshop 16

More details

Get a full rundown of the programme, including costs and times.


Breakthrough Leaders 2017:

These Are Our Stories

The awe-inspiring graduates of the Breakthrough Leaders Programme 2017 share what made their experience a life-changing one. 


Each year we offer four full programme Scholarship to Maori and Pasifika women leaders.

Are you a Breakthrough Leader?

Find out what the programme could offer you

Read more