Advanced Leadership Program for Female Leaders

  • 16 June, 2021
  • Sharon Piening

During the past 12 months, I was fortunate to be able to complete the Advanced Leadership Program run by Women & Leadership Australia.

The program, specifically designed for female leaders was developed to equip women for leadership roles in business and address the significant gender leadership imbalance that exists in Australia.

It was a rewarding and amazing experience!

Advanced Leadership Program – Is It For Me?

When it was suggested, I participate in the Advanced Leadership Program, I was quite daunted and questioned whether it was for me.

Fortunately, after speaking to colleagues, I overcame these reservations and submitted my application.

In hindsight, I am so grateful I didn’t follow my initial feelings of doubt.

Advanced Leadership Program – What is Involved?

The Advanced Leadership Program is designed for female leaders at all levels, be it within the corporate world, or like me, a business owner, and Board Member of CAFBA.

The Program is run for over 12 months.

The course content includes:

  • 8 self-paced learning modules
  • 6 virtual workshops
  • 10 Interactive Webinars
  • 4 “Leader as Coach” sessions
  • An Adaptive Leadership Challenge

It also includes a psychometric test at the outset which provides insights as to you’re:

  • Characteristics
  • Personality
  • Values
  • Strengths
  • Things that can derail you

To assist you throughout the Program, you also have four sessions with an Executive Coach which I found to be invaluable.

Advanced Leadership Program Content

Central to the Advanced Leadership Program is a personal “Game Plan” is which designed to provoke reflection and includes:

  • Practical models, strategies, theories you can use
  • Your values and vision
  • How to manage stress using different models and tools
  • How to deal with your “inner critic”
  • Communication. How to empower teams and have “tough conversations”
  • How to deal with conflict
  • Managing change
  • Facilitating diversity

And much more…………..

I Don’t Have Enough Time!

A concern I had when it was suggested I participate in the Program, was practical – “how would I find the time to do all that was required on top of a very busy lifestyle running my own business?”.

I suspect this would be a concern for many female business leaders.

Certainly, some planning and allocating time are needed. However, the Program structure, including the use of webinars and online workshops, made the process very manageable from a time demand perspective.

CAFBA – Supporting Professional Development

CAFBA has supported this program over the last 6 years, to date awarding over 60 scholarships.

It is a core strategy of CAFBA to create female leaders (like our state champions). This strategy is a continuation of our support for women in the industry to help them unlock their full potential and become future leaders.

Scholarships have been awarded in the Leading-Edge Program, the Women’s Executive Ready Program and the Advanced Leadership Program.

Many member firms, who have had employees undertake the courses, have commented on the benefits derived including, increased confidence, motivation and productivity.

All courses are arranged through Women and Leadership Australia and conducted through the Australian School of Applied Management.

The courses are funded through a combination of government grants, the generous support of some of our Affiliate Members and CAFBA. All of whom are committed to addressing this industry imbalance.

Powerful and Practical

One thing that became apparent to me from early in the Program, was a commonality amongst participants as to the issues and challenges female leaders face. The realisation that it “wasn’t just me”.

I loved that the Program was tailored specifically for female Leaders and provided not just theory, but practical tools and approaches that can be used in the daily workplace.

If you are a female leader, looking for ways to enhance your effectiveness in the workplace, I encourage you to enquire about the Program.

If you would like to chat about my experience or find out more, don’t hesitate to get in touch.