CREW Authentic Leadership Program Underscores Importance of Lifelong Learning

CREW Authentic Leadership Program Underscores Importance of Lifelong Learning

Northeastern University-Charlotte Proud 2019 Education Partner

By Colleen Brannan
Image Credit: Sharon Reed

Community partnerships are key to Northeastern University–Charlotte’s success. In addition to being a year-round Gold Level sponsor of the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Charlotte Chapter, this year Northeastern engaged on a deeper level by becoming the Education Partner of the organization’s Authentic Leadership Program.

Developed in partnership with Athena International and KPMG, CREW’s Authentic Leadership Program focuses on helping professional women develop their authentic leadership style through an intensive program that brings together the eight principles of the ATHENA Leadership Model and Gallup’s Strengths-Based Leadership Program.

“No matter where you are in your career, it’s so important for women to develop an authentic leadership style and pursue lifelong learning,” says Dr. Carlie Houchins, Director of Learner & Employer Engagement for Northeastern University–Charlotte as well as a CREW member.

This year’s 29 female program participants, varied in age, from 20s to 50s and careers, from finance to insurance. The five-month program, hosted at Northeastern University–Charlotte’s Uptown campus, opened with a two-day session entitled Live Authentically: Your Strengths and Your Vision.

Dr. Corliss Brown Thompson, Associate Teaching Professor at Northeastern University, teamed up with Shalana Pirtle from Parker Poe to co-lead the April session on Diversity and Inclusion—Exploring Identity Trust and Privilege. “While never an easy topic, this safe environment allowed us to explore and unpack identity as it relates to privilege and inclusion,” said Thompson. “And, instead of just talking, we took it a step further by having everyone create their own diversity and inclusion action plan based on their own contexts.”

At graduation in May, each participant had the opportunity to share their key takeaways from the program. A wide range of outcomes included negotiating a new position to taking on greater leadership roles, asking for new assignments and taking more risks.


This powerful program is tailored to the female leader of today, guiding her on a journey through self-discovery and arming her with the tools to achieve her full leadership potential,” says Patty Drummond, Executive Director of CREW.


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