Determined to use her research to create real change for women and girls, Dr. Katie Higginbottom, PhD, strategically planned her 6 year PhD journey. During her studies at the University of Toronto, Katie spent 6 months interning at Harvard Business School, researching and developing an MBA course entitled How Star Women Succeed: Leading Effective Careers and Organizations. Through this research it became very clear that women and girls face a number of obstacles that males do not face in their journeys to leadership, and that current leadership education and training falls short of providing specific, research-based strategies for female leaders. It also became clear that, when in positions of leadership, females, more so than males, advocate for the disadvantaged.
In light of this, Katie launched Empower Academy, determined to help more women and girls reach top levels of leadership. Under the umbrella of Empower Academy are two education programs: WIL Power, for women, and Empowered Girls, for tweens and teens. WIL Power offers educational opportunities specifically developed for women leaders, bringing together experts in their fields to tap into women’s unique potential and to holistically harness women’s leadership skills. Empowered Girls, utilizes Katie’s 10 years of experience as a high school teacher, to create unique learning opportunities for girls in preparation for the bright futures that await them. Katie further shares her knowledge speaking to various audiences about women and girls, as well as, working as a professor teaching and mentoring leaders in Western University’s Master of Education program.
Katie has presented her research at national and international conferences, and has published her writing in national and international books and journals. Katie serves as a board member for the United Way and is an avid volunteer on initiatives that inspire her. Nominated for her philanthropic work, Katie was a finalist in Chatelaine Magazine’s 2011 “Hot 30 under 30: The Next Generation of Leaders.”
Recognizing her own privilege in having had all of these learning and professional growth opportunities, Katie aims to pay it forward, inspiring one woman, one girl, at a time – to change the world. Because empowered females change the world.