A guest blog from our lead facilitator, Kerri Blackstone:
Our very first Women in Management program kicked off in February this year at our Sydney office with a group of 63 enthusiastic women from a diverse range of industries. Our mission was twofold. First, we wanted offer the Diploma of Management qualification to a group of aspiring managers and those wanting to further themselves. Secondly, since we already have this program on scope for a mixed group, we wanted to offer an additional program designed specifically for women wanting to find ways to manage some key ‘female’ challenges with confidence and poise.
The generous feedback we received after the program was quite overwhelming. Here is a sample of the feedback from the first group:
“WOW, I have looked ‘inside’ me for the first time in a long, long time... listening and the circle of influence have transformed my approach to my team.”
“A really practical, engaging course where you can take ideas straight from the classroom to the office”
“It has been an experience to be involved in such a program.. Thank you for taking me on this journey!”
“Excellent guest speakers and facilitator, fantastic stories from the other students... worth every cent!”
“Inspiring, exciting and provides real food for thought!”
“I wish every Woman in a Management role had the opportunity to do this training!!!”
It was because of the number of success stories we saw and heard about in the first group that we decided to invite a second, third and fourth group. In each group, we have been inspired by guest speakers like Edita Torpy from Ernst and Young, Ronni Kahn from OzHarvest, Drenka Andjelic from Construction Assignments, Heidi Pollard from Leading Ladies International, Janice Perlov who consults on dress and Cheryl Bart OA
We have altered each Women in Management program slightly to be customised to suit the individuals in the room. Each group extracted its own key lessons that resonated loudly during the program. We definitely strove to push through obstacles and overcome some deep seated negative or self destructive thinking. At no point did training workshops transform into therapy sessions. Instead we found that within each group a board of trusted advisors quickly formed to help tackle an issue and then just as quickly disbanded. Depending on the issue, the board would change. This has been the trend in each group.
We’ve seen women take control of their lives, change the direction of the careers, strengthen their networks and learn valuable skills to develop their teams and advance in their roles. All this happens in e fun, extremely active and safe learning environment.
We have to this date enrolled close to 50 additional women on this program. The group on the Central Coast was particularly colourful and extremely proactive. We’re currently working with a smaller group in Sydney at our MCI headquarters in the Sydney CBD.
It has been a privilege to have been part of such an enriching learning experience. Each women who has written to me or approached me for advice or to share a moment of victory, has been etched in memory forever. Each woman has arrived with her unique story and has left with a bagful or insights and confidence. Some have even transformed their lives or careers. I hope that we continue to strengthen women in our society and find ways to draw strength from one another.