Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  19 Nov 2008

MANAGEMENT: Leadership Programme for Women


Recent Western Cape Business News

Women business leaders will be given a unique space to grow both personally and professionally when the Women in Leadership programme kicks off at the UCT Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) in February next year.

Course Director Marjolijn Dijksterhuis says the programme is not designed to exclude men or foster an “us versus them” mentality but rather create a space for women leaders to open up and share their experiences.

“We see that same gender groups generally find it easier to open up to each other, which is critical for a programme of this kind. The Women in Leadership course is designed to be a catalyst for personal leadership transformation and participants need to share their challenges and experiences to achieve the desired outcome,” said Dijksterhuis.

“We are creating a platform for personal and professional development by encouraging each participant to work with her individual leadership challenges.

“Some people are sceptical of women-only programmes as they believe they tackle gender-specific challenges and have a narrow focus – but we do not take the stance of tackling general ‘women’s issues at work’; we do not assume that all women share the same experiences,” she added.

The 2009 programme will once again feature prominent international faculty, including network management expert Dr Karen Stephenson, hailed in CNN’s Business 2.0 as “The Organisation Woman” and one of only three women recognised from a distinguished short list of 55 in the Guide to the Management Gurus.

Other leadership experts teaching on the course include Beth Jandernoa, who has taught on leadership programmes at Colombia University, the University of Michigan and the US Government Graduate School Leadership Academy; Liz de Wet, co-founder of organisational development agency Change Moves and Glennifer Gillespie, organisational development practitioner and Senior Associate at US-based consulting company DiaLogos, amongst others.

Women in Leadership is aimed at middle and senior women business leaders looking to enhance their leadership ability at a level beyond that of just technical skills. It takes place over two modules – the first looking at personal leadership and the second focusing on leadership within the broader organisational context.

Dijksterhuis said that empowered, authentic leaders are an “extremely powerful springboard for change” and that achieving personal mastery enables women to influence their organisations in the most meaningful way.

“To be an authentic leader means knowing who you are and living out your values in your professional role, while at the same time understanding and respecting the diverse perspectives of the people you manage,” she said.

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