UOW raises the bar for women’s leadership
Celebrating diversity and empowering women to recognise their values in leadership.
The University of Wollongong has today (Thursday, 18 May) celebrated the successful completion of the inaugural Leadership Program for Senior Academic Women, during a lunch in the McKinnon Dining Room on the main Wollongong campus.
The pilot program, involving 21 senior academic women representing all faculties, was an initiative of the Workforce Diversity Reference Group and Athena Swan (Science in Australia Gender Equity) pilot, in consultation with the Senior Academic Women’s Leadership Program Reference Group.
The program served to enhance the leadership skills and capabilities of senior academic women in their current and future leadership roles.
This was achieved through senior academic staff mentoring, peer coaching, self-reflection, facilitated workshops and strengths profiling.
Program Manager Lorraine Denny, Manager Professional & Organisational Development Services, Human Resources Division, said the response to the inaugural program had been extremely positive.
“We’re very pleased with the response from participants who have shared the high impact the program has had on them, both personally and professionally.
“Some common themes have emerged including a greater sense of self-confidence and perception, allocating time to identify specific career goals and embracing individual leadership styles and values.
“The program also provided a great opportunity for support, collaboration and confidence in networking,” Ms Denny said.
Program participant Professor Nina Reynolds said the experience had allowed her to recognise leadership is not about the title.
“It’s about aligning your own values with how you see leadership and that’s been emphasised from the very beginning,” Professor Reynolds said.
Fellow program participant Dr Jenny Atchison echoed the importance of knowing your own values.
"Through this course I’ve seen that everyone who is a leader is able to focus on a core set of values and there are many different leadership values, but having that focus and being able to orient your working life through those values is what’s key.
“I recognise more leadership opportunities just in the day-to-day practice of working life and realise those are the ways we practice leadership with our colleagues and they’re as valuable as the formal role you might be given to lead something.”
“I’ve recognised for myself that I am capable in ways that I hadn’t recognised before,” Dr Atchison said.
The celebration lunch was attended by Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Judy Raper and Chief Administrative Officer Ms Melva Crouch.
Following the success of this pilot, Program Manager Lorraine Denny is hoping to run the program again in 2018.