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Scott Bader introduce a Women’s Leadership Development Programme

In October, twelve female Scott Bader colleagues came together at our UK head office to attend the first part of the organisation’s new Women’s Leadership Development Programme (WLDP).  We spoke to Group Learning & Development Manager, Caroline Lewis, to find out more;

Why is Scott Bader running a Leadership Development Programme aimed specifically at women?

We are keen to develop talent in our organisation and support colleagues on their career journey.  This has included leadership training.  However, we recognised that we do not have many woman holding senior positions.  This may mean that women do not see a role model that they could aspire to, and they may even question whether women can operate at senior levels in Scott Bader. We also recognised that the more diversity we could bring to our senior positions in the organisation the better. Ultimately, we decided to run a women’s programme to support women, and to empower them to see they have a positive future.

We chose to partner with Talking Talent, a global coaching consultancy to deliver the programme. Talking Talent work with clients to unlock potential within their business, making company-wide behaviour shifts.

We opened the programme to applications from any women across the Scott Bader Group. We were delighted with the response and received over thirty applications for the twelve places available!

What does the WLDP include?

It is a comprehensive nine month programme which includes face-to-face training on personal branding, presence, impact, beliefs and confidence.  Attendees are supported by a leadership level sponsor in the business, ongoing coaching from Talking Talent and from each other in small groups of three.  There are still two modules to run which will be delivered as webinars as the women on the programme come from six Scott Bader sites.  The whole group are also working on a project that they will report back on mid next year; this looks at how more women can be supported with their development in the coming months and years.

“It is wonderful to see the company showing this much commitment to supporting women in the workplace and I have enjoyed every part of the programme. There’s been so much to learn and I’m so excited to take the ideas and training forward.” – Heather Puddephatt

How is it going so far?

Initial feedback on the programme has been overwhelmingly positive. The women who attended the face-to-face programme were incredibly enthusiastic about what they had covered and the quality of the training.  They have now gone back to their day jobs to put what they learned into practice. This is where the hard work really starts!

“What an amazing experience, an empowering week spent with eleven likeminded colleagues from around the group. As a group we found a bond right from the start and friendships were formed effortlessly. The course was thought provoking and structured perfectly. Each element building on the last. At the end of the course I came away with a renewed belief in myself and what I am capable of – and what I wanted to do for my future!” – Philippa Ayears

Do you plan to run another programme?

This current programme runs through until mid 2020 and if it is successful we may run another programme to support even more women in Scott Bader. Given the initial positive response to this programme I am optimistic the demand is there!

Look out for a follow up blog in 2020 with an update on how the women on our current programme have progressed.