New career development program for women aims to help elevate future female leaders in 40 Utah companies

The Women’s Leadership Institute kicked off its new Career Development Series, which includes over 70 female participants from 40 different Utah companies and organizations. The CDS is an eight-month program designed to help mid- to senior-level women elevate their careers within their respective organizations.

“This new cohort program has been over a year in the making,” said Patricia Jones, CEO of WLI. “We saw a need to help women in business visualize a career trajectory and provide them with the tools and transferable skills to help them. Our goal has always been to elevate women and we hope that this program helps the companies we work with do just that. Companies are stronger when senior leadership includes men and women.”

Each month, the CDS participants will travel to a different host company to learn from experts and build a strong network of connections and mentors. The kick-off event was held at Instructure, Inc., a leading educational technology company based in Salt Lake City.

“Instructure was pleased to provide an opportunity for women to network and gain insights into driving their career paths,” said Jeff Weber, one of the CDS trainers, as well as Instructure’s senior vice president, People & Places. “We value learning and career development and we are excited to see the potential benefits this program can offer these amazing participants as well as our community.”

“The presenters were top-notch,” said Selma Mlikota, one of the participants in the CDS and manager of diversity and inclusion at O.C. Tanner. “I walked away with tangible tools that helped me understand and appreciate my management and leadership style and identified areas to improve. I’m so excited to continue on this journey with other phenomenal women in the program and can’t wait for our next session in February.

The CDS is the second development series offered by WLI. Its Political Development Series has been running annually since 2015 and has trained over 120 women to run for political office. More information about these programs can be found at