Leadership for Executive Women in Water

Leadership for Executive Women in Water specifically addresses the unique challenges women in leadership face within the context of the water sector. It is designed to engage senior female leaders in highly interactive, peer-oriented development, to increase self-knowledge and awareness. Reflection on aspects of style and impact of leadership will be encouraged.

The short course is designed for women in middle to senior management roles in the water sector, with more than five years of management experience. Women from all types of organisations (authorities, utilities, NGO’s and government) are encouraged to participate.

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Leadership for Executive Women in Water

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A course built for executive women

In water utilities, women are just under half as likely as men to be senior managers. In scientific research, more than 60% of staff are women, but women represent only an eighth of the executives. Those in the industry point to three key obstacles to women achieving parity with men – weak retention, a substantial pay gap between the sexes and the under-representation of women in senior positions.

Research highlights that having women in senior roles tends to produce a more holistic analysis of the issues an organisation faces and spurs greater effort and motivation, leading to improved decision-making. Also, a diverse and inclusive workforce, regardless of size and type of organisation, generates tangible benefits, such as increased efficiency, productivity, innovation, creativity and improved employee engagement.

McKinsey and Co. identified a leaking pipeline spanning the entire length of the corporate ladder. At each stage (entry level, middle management, senior management, and the executive level), men are more likely to progress, and this more than doubles at the very top of an organisation. While women are falling behind at every level, this is particularly prevalent just outside the c-suite.

This is a complex adaptive problem, which requires a multi-faced approach to bring about change at a societal, organisational and personal level.

The Leadership for Executive Women in Water short course provides the opportunity for women to further develop their leadership practice, to challenge the systemic barriers that hold them back and develop a strong network that will support them in leading change and innovation.

Course overview

The Leadership for Executive Women in Water short course specifically addresses the unique challenges women in leadership face within the context of the water sector. It is designed to engage senior female leaders in highly interactive, peer-oriented development to increase self-knowledge and awareness.

Delivery format

This is a short residential course, which balances the power of the ‘cohort experience’ with the understanding that women leaders often have a large number of competing professional and personal priorities. Time commitment for the Leadership for Executive Women in Water course includes:

  • 1-hour pre-course coaching session – leadership objective setting to establish a personal learning plan
  • 3-day (2 night) residential course in south-east Queensland
  • 1-hour post-course coaching session – to establish your pathway forward.

The short course is designed to help to contextualise your individual learning requirements, as well as to refine the needs of the collective, to better inform course content and delivery.

During the retreat, activities are undertaken that develop participant connections, which allows the cohort to develop into a tightly knit peer network. By participating with women from across the water sector, you will gain a greater understanding of the strategic challenges different types of water organisations face and learn from the shared experiences of your cohort, and develop strategies to engage and solve problems within your own environment. A strong group dynamic among the cohort is fundamental to the participant’s individual and collective success and greatly enhances the learning process.​

Pre-course and post-course coaching sessions can be conducted face-to-face or online.

Course benefits

This course will focus on agency building activities including:

  • leadership identity
  • creating effective and strategic networks
  • dealing with gender dynamics at the workplace
  • changing mindsets that create barriers for women and how to address them
  • cultivating mental and physical resilience
  • developing a personal presence and brand based on your authentic leadership style
  • developing a personal career plan and examining gender specific career de-railers.

Why a women-only short course?

How do women-only leadership courses differ from mixed gender courses? Simply, they specifically target women in the design and delivery stages. Women-only course take into account several key factors:

  • the socialisation of women
  • the developmental needs of women
  • the experiences of leadership of women
  • preferred learning styles of women
  • barriers to advancement for women.

These differences form the key to why women-only courses achieve far greater return on investment for female-employees in organisations.

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