The opportunity to lead on the Women’s Development Programme gave me the platform to make my bold move
As Talent and Development manager at Channel 4 I had already been heavily involved in looking at ways to grow the pipeline of future female leaders. In 2016-17, I designed and led a pilot project with a group of women in Commissioning developing an ‘inner self, outer self approach’ to these sessions which focused around personal leadership, impact and gravitas, leadership and career management.
This pilot programme was a huge success and I was already thinking about how to build on it when we reported our gender pay gap. This accelerated the search for ideas and initiatives that could address the underlying issues facing women at Channel 4. I felt certain that we could build on the success of the pilot by developing a Women’s Development Programme that could be rolled out to a far greater number of women across the whole Channel. I saw the opportunity and I made my bold move.
Playing to my strengths
There’s one thing seeing an opportunity for development and career progression, but it’s quite another to put it into practice
I already had a clear idea of my signature strengths and my mission was to utilise them all!
Strategic Mindedness: Key here was to position this programme as a way to achieve an organisational aim; keeping arguments at a strategic level helped me to position this work positively.
Collaboration: Throughout I found myself forming allies and using my networks and sponsor groups to give me honest feedback and as a way of testing out thoughts and ideas.
Efficiency: Having robust plans in place, enabled me to approach tasks and achieve planned outcomes in stages and effortlessly.
Developing others: Helping others thrive and supporting their learning is key to my heart and purpose, promoting other people’s learning and development to help them achieve their goals and fulfil their potential.
The Shine effect
Shine pushed me to go bold on the programme – and this really paid off
Selecting Shine for Women as our partners for this project was a really positive decision. Both Anna and Cal share my fundamental beliefs about coaching and pitched their solutions back to us in a really supportive way that met our organisational ambitions for this work.
I had a clear vision of the programme – of all the people I spoke to, Shine for Women were the ones that really understood this. I was particularly convinced by their philosophy that for women to be truly inspired, motivated and successful, it’s essential to consider the whole person, not just the parts that are required at work.
Shine also pushed me to go bold on the programme. After the success of the pilot I would have probably played it safe – and kept to small groups, but they had an approach that could take the coaching principles and scale it for 200 women. Ultimately this meant I was able to elevate my profile by pitching a really large scale project to the business.
What I learnt
Working on the RISE Women’s Development Programme helped me learn a lot about myself…
In particular it made me realise how important ‘excellence’ is to me – this is one of my key values and most certainly one of my main drivers. If I am going to put my all into something then I want to autograph my work with excellence!
This might seem like a very high bar, but it actually helps me to have this as a personal goal as it’s my very own motivational driver. At times challenges occurred and the subject of female development can be a divisive issue. But because I felt confident in my strengths, experience and ability to do a great job, I never let fear take over. Having allies and a formed sponsor group around me, I felt I could navigate around any obstacles that came along the way.