In 2018, Haifa Ghandour started her MASS AWIS presidential term with a very specific objective in mind: to provide effective and affordable leadership development opportunities for women in science. She recruited Dr. Angeliki Diane Rigos and Dr. Cheryl Vaughan to help develop and launch the Leadership program in 2019, and it had been offered annually since (2020, 2021, and 2022).

In 2022, Dr. Angeliki Diane Rigos, saw the need to expand the MASS AWIS Leadership Program to include entrepreneurship. Jocelyn Scheirer, serial entrepreneur, and Dr. Leila Deravi, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Northeastern University and Co-Founder of Seaspire Skincare were also interested in supporting women in STEMM to become entrepreneurs. Together, they formed the MASS AWIS Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Impact (IEI) Program which will be launched in Spring 2023.


In line with the MASS AWIS mission, the Leadership and Entrepreneurship Programs provide professional development to women in STEMM. The programs are designed for women in early- and mid-career stages and serve to further enhance the benefits of MASS AWIS membership. Additionally, the programs aim to:

  • Build leadership skills and professional presence
  • Increase the number of women leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators in STEMM fields
  • Create a strong network of program alumnae

Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Impact (IEI) Program


The MASS AWIS Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Impact (IEI) Program is an introductory in-person entrepreneurship program for women in science. The workshop series is designed not only to help participants to operationalize their ideas, but to address barriers to female entrepreneurship. We will discuss technology and economic solutions, explain market analysis and identify target customers and audiences. We will alert participants to statistics about female entrepreneurs, but rather than simply discussing issues, we aim to provide suggestions and solutions for overcoming them.

We will be meeting on the last Saturday of the month from 10 am – 2 pm EST in the Boston area. The first meeting will take place at MIT. Dates and topics of the program sessions are listed here:

  • Jan 28, 2023 – Program Kick-Off
  • Feb 25, 2023 – Value Creation/Opportunity Evaluation
  • Mar 25, 2023 – Opportunity Development and Operational Strategy
  • Apr 29, 2023 – Wrap Up and Future Directions

Each workshop will include a leadership training component. There will be a minimal reading and reflection assignment for each session to help prepare participants for the discussion.

Application information

  • Interested parties must apply to participate.
  • Applications for the 2023 program must be submitted by December 20, 2022.
  • Applications should include a concept that the participant intends to grow (e.g. a new company, an academic opportunity, a community event or initiative).
  • Applications are open to all female scientists in Massachusetts, from any discipline.
  • Selection process: From the applicant pool, 25 participants will be selected for program enrollment. The┬áselection process will be guided largely by the intention to create a diverse group of participants across fields of STEMM, career stages, current roles, and developmental goals. The content of your essays is particularly important for how we evaluate your application.
  • Each applicant will be notified of their status within the program by January 2, 2023.
  • Upon acceptance pay a program fee of $150.
  • Applicants who do not make it into the program due to size restrictions are encouraged to apply again the following year.

Ready to apply? More program details are listed in the application. The program does fill up, so sign up early if you are interested in participating!

Apply here for the IEI Program – Deadline December 20, 2022.

Leadership Program


In the workplace, becoming an effective leader requires a set of perspectives, skills, and responsibilities that can be very challenging to master without training.
The Leadership Program consists of:

  • 16 hours of classroom training; time commitment is 3-4 hours once or twice a month.
  • The workshops are developed and primarily facilitated by Dr. Angeliki Diane Rigos, with contributions from guest speakers and other volunteer facilitators as needed.
  • Discussion topics include: understanding self/others, communication skills, conflict management, building influence, negotiation, and creating teams.
  • Program sessions are discussion-based and activity-driven.
  • Readings, assessments, and exercises are distributed prior to each session. Additional readings on relevant material will be recommended, and peer learning will be available through a discussion forum with the cohort.

Leadership Program Component for Women of Color

MASS AWIS also offers a Leadership Program Component for Women of Color in association with our Leadership Program. Note that you do not have to be in the Leadership Program to attend the Leadership component for Women of Color events. For more information on these free virtual events, please see: https://massawis.org/mass-awis-leadership-positioning-component-for-women-of-color/

The Leadership program will not be offered in 2023.

Still have more questions about the Leadership and IEI Programs?
Please feel free to contact the Leadership and IEI Committee Chair: Angeliki Diane Rigos.

This event series is exclusive to MASS AWIS members registered with National AWIS, with paid Massachusetts chapter dues or a MASS AWIS student chapter member.

Join MASS AWIS today for access to this series and other exclusive opportunities.