I am passionate about all leadership programmes and have spent many years designing and delivering them. It is wonderful to see cohorts of high-potential talented individuals flourish and move forward in their careers.
I see an incredible transformation in the female leaders who take part in Women on a Mission, my Female Leadership programme.
When speaking with clients who are wondering whether to invest in this type of programme, I am always so happy to help them find the right investment for their organisation.
It is worth considering that leadership programmes like this one are a large investment of time and resources. To bring about positive change, that cohort of leaders will be dedicating time and attention away from the day-to-day running of the business, and towards their leadership development. So there needs to be a compelling reason to invest both the time and the resources!
There is a further question as to whether to invest in a leadership programme for a particular cohort of leaders. It is vital to choose the right path for your team or organisation. Sometimes an all-gender programme is the perfect fit. In my experience, a leadership programme for those who identify as women can have an incredibly positive impact when there is a hunger for this type of support. It impacts not just the individual but the wider organisation too. Evidence shows that female leadership programmes improve inclusion levels and gender equality in the business. It can also help build, develop, and retain the female talent pipeline – not only saving the organisation money but maximising business success. Research shows that all-female networking increases the chances of those women leaders to be promoted quickly and thrive in their new leadership roles.
For me, a female leadership programme can be the missing piece of the puzzle for many women leaders – to help them discover what’s important to them, what their values and strengths are and what kind of leader they want to be. A female leadership programme can be a journey of self-discovery that is enlightening and empowering and the network of supportive women around them that sees them flourish. This is particularly welcomed by female leaders if they are feeling under pressure. It is especially important to those women in leadership who have experienced marginalisation and micro-aggressions, are feeling exhausted or those who are carrying the weight of hidden emotional or domestic work – which in my observation as a women in leadership coach, is the vast majority.
The women leaders I coach are often plagued by self-doubt and imposter syndrome. This is despite the fact that they are incredibly talented, doing a fantastic job and receiving positive feedback from colleagues.
Why am I still hearing about this even after many years of supporting women?
There are many reasons. I believe one of them is marginalisation.
Despite the fact that we are making incredible progress with gender equality I still hear stories every single week (sometimes every day!) of women feeling that they have to be better than their male counterparts to achieve the same promotions. I hear about women leaders feeling side-lined or having credit for their work and ideas taken from them. This is happening at the top of well-respected global organisations that have inclusion as one of their organisational values. This marginalisation has been proven to be a factor in confidence and imposter syndrome.
Women leaders tell story after story of how impactful these journeys are on all-female programmes such as these. They build confidence and personal power, enabling women to re-charge. One of these stories comes from a Women on a Mission alumni, Carmen Reglero Andrés, now a Principal Space Product Manager at Amazon Web Services.
‘’What Women on a Mission has brought me is a lot of awareness. I’m no longer doing things on autopilot. It has increased my confidence.
I came into this very focused on a career/professional perspective, but it has gone beyond that and helped everything to fall into place.
This is possible through an awareness of myself and being able to say with confidence, ‘this is what I want to be; this is my true self; this is the direction that I want to go.’
Previously, I never felt like I needed coaching that was specifically female-focused. Then I read a couple of books looking at the challenges that women can face in the corporate environment, and I had a moment where everything just clicked – I realised I had experienced a lot of these challenges.
It was an eye-opening moment realising that it isn’t just me – that I have these challenges in common with other women.
I would describe Women on a Mission as empowering. It provides you with assignments and tools to define your strengths and yourself. I have already recommended the programme to a friend who is having a lot of issues in a similar working environment to me, in a very male-dominated organisation. I would actually recommend it to every woman looking for career progression.’’
What are the outcomes from great female leadership programmes for the organisation?
Through this kind of investment, you can:
- Produce a cohort of talented, inspirational women leaders who are ‘promotion ready’
- Create a strong female talent pipeline for future successful diverse senior teams
- Build a truly inclusive, gender-equal organisation, with the inevitable competitive business advantage
- Retain high-potential female leaders – save the enormous cost of female talent brain-drain
- Be seen as a great place to work for women, and attract top talent
- See your talented female leaders achieving optimal performance
- Support a strong female ‘high potential’ talent pipeline
What are the outcomes from great female leadership programmes for the female leaders?
Each of the female leaders will:
- Build her empowering and unique Leadership Vision
- Enhance her influence – creating impact with charisma, power, and presence
- Understand her unique contribution, as a values-driven leader
- Fulfil her potential as a high-potential, inspirational next generation leader
- Be a key player in further improving the inclusivity and positivity of organisational culture
- Build resilience in the face of change and challenge
- Create her own career roadmap & action plan
Is your vision to have successful, productive gender-equal senior teams? Would you like to be building an even more inclusive culture, by investing in your female talent pool?
I am always delighted to chat about this topic – I could literally talk about it for hours! I love to hear about different organisations and share my experience of what organisations are doing that is truly effective. So, if you would like a conversation over a virtual coffee, please don’t hesitate to book a call.