Women... Build Your Confidence and Take on the World!
Be a better leader
Feedback from our NEW Stepping Up program has confirmed there is a real need for a forum such as this, a forum for women to understand the context of being a better leader, where they can explore ways to overcome the barriers and reach their potential.
The attendees have ranged from early to middle managers looking for ways to build their confidence, be more visible at work and get the support they need to progress. The pre-course survey suggested that most of their workplaces make an effort to support women, to a greater or lesser extent.
Still, these women wanted to understand what they could do to advance their careers and the careers of other women.
“I have attended lots of courses that have taught me things that helped me DO better. This program has inspired me… it will help me BE better. Eye-opening and inspirational. Thank you.” (Michelle Marcelo, Service Level Lead, Sydney Airport Corp. Ltd)
No longer a "nice to have", an innovation mindset is a core competency for all employees, especially leaders, in any contemporary workplace.
That's why the program starts by taking women through a process of analysing their strengths using our Innovation Mindset framework. This demonstrates that everyone has strengths and can perform in a range of roles, behaviours, skills and tools. The activity puts the right words around skills and attributes that are hard to describe―those soft skills of the future―which women often have in abundance. Not only that, the analysis focusses on their individual contribution within their business. Multiple studies point out that women consistently underestimate themselves and attribute their success to their team, luck or an external factor. Innovation Mindset helps participants claim their successes and articulate their unique strengths that add value to businesses. Many women commented that they found the act of telling their own story really empowering and confidence building.
“The audience participation kept things dynamic and interesting. I feel like I learnt as much from the discussions with other attendees as I did from the course content and examples.” (Jessica Green, Digital Communications Officer, NSW Health)
The Catalyst Chat Sheet, a tool based on our See Think Do process, provides participants with a scaffold for effective problem solving and decision making… two of the attributes most highly valued in leaders, yet which women are marked down on. This tool highlights the questions needed to reframe the problem, observe the gaps, identify creative solutions and experiment to refine. Participants reported that this tool will help them communicate with their teams and peers, and change their approach to problems so that they make better decisions.
“It was an excellent, insightful course for women aspiring to be leaders of the future.”
(Jai Waters, Career & Change Specialist, Chandler Macleod)
Many of the participants could see the problems in how their teams work but didn’t know what to do about them. The Team Health Check (adapted from the Atlassian Playbook) identifies the elements required for healthy teams, provides some key criteria and creates a way to talk about them. The participants used the Team Health Check to analyse their own teams, so that they understood how powerful the tool is for improving team effectiveness.
On day two, participants explored the barriers for women in a work environment, such as the notion of merit, and conscious and unconscious bias. They also reflected on their own behaviours to discover their own self-limiting patterns. Through a series of exercises, they identified ways to overcome their own biases, be more assured in how they present, become more visible and more proactive in seizing opportunities. It was great to observe the mindset change with the discussion focussed on how they can help other women as well as themselves. The room was full of excited women who had found their voice embarking on rich conversations and interactions.
In the afternoon, they explored different styles of management and then practised strategies for managing conversations.
The day provided lots of opportunities to step out of their comfort zone, to challenge their assumptions, and to test new tools and techniques.
After just two days, participant reflected on their career aspirations, what they really want to do, what their purpose is and how they can achieve it. To consolidate and embed the learnings a follow-up conversation and/or coaching session was arranged to further their thinking and planning with actionable outcomes for the future.
“A fantastic way to engage with other like-minded women and empower each other. Content and material was engaging and thought provoking. Best course I’ve ever done.”
(Samantha Robinson, Programme Manager, Sydney Airport Corp. Ltd)
The Stepping Up program provides up-to-date research, challenging and engaging activities but, most of all, it provides a safe place for women to explore, practise and empower themselves to create fulfilling and exciting careers.
For future Stepping Up dates and locations, as well as online registration, visit Hargraves Institute's events page.
 Sandberg, S. (2013). Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. London: WH Allen. P. 38
 Sanders, M., Hrdlicka, J., Hellicar, M., Cottrell, D. and Knox, J. (2011). What stops women from reaching the top? Confronting the tough issues. [online] Bain & Company. Available at: http://www.bain.com/offices/australia/en_us/publications/what-stops-women-from-reaching-the-top.aspx