We know there are some very particular challenges for mid-career women in tech. Mid-career is the limbo land between what you thought you wanted and the reality of working life. It’s the point at which you’re no longer sure if you are on the right path, or indeed any path. When you look at more senior leaders in your organisation or industry you may not like what you see or want to be doing what it seems you need to do to rise through the ranks.
And herein lies the problem. While we want more women in senior roles in tech, we have a hard time keeping them. Contrary to popular belief women at mid-career don’t leave organisations because of the mid-life juggle of family and career, or because they down-grade their aspirations. They leave because they don’t see themselves as leaders, nor have the clarity or confidence to go after what they want.
Beginning early in 2020 TechWomen are supporting a new leadership programme aimed at mid-career women: Growing Greatness for Mid-career Women in Tech. The Growing Greatness programme has been offered to mid-career women in Engineering & Architecture to much acclaim over the last two years, and we now have the opportunity to offer it to you.
The programme is specifically designed for mid-career women. It helps participants cultivate clarity of focus, grow in confidence and enhance their already-proven capability so they are ready for more influential roles. Rather than teach participants the nuts and bolts of leadership, it helps participants consider their gifts, explore the common ailments of mid-career women including perfectionism, being overly conscientious and too easily distracted, and helps participants get out of their own way so they can make the kind of contribution they secretly suspect they could. As one participant observed, “It wasn’t a case of being told how to be great, it was more about understanding that we are great.”
The programme is designed and led by Anne Elder-Knight who has a particular passion for unlocking untapped talent and helping future leaders step up. As one participant observed: “It is the most valuable professional development course I’ve completed over my 15 year plus career. It’s changed the way I view myself, and helped me see parts of myself which I had seen as weaknesses as instead misunderstood aspects of my strengths. At the same time its helped me to clearly identify behaviours which were holding me back, leading me to make better, more logical decisions. As a direct result of the course I’ve moved roles to one which I feel is a better fit.”
There will be three programmes running next year – one each in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch with a maximum of 12 participants per programme. The programme involves four full day workshops, online group mentoring calls and self-learning.
We are currently in the process of finalising the programme details and dates and we are on the hunt for organisations to host the programme in each of the three main centres. The model used in the Engineering and Architecture Programme of having organisations committed to seeing women rise in the industry not only showcases the commitment of the hosting organisations but helps keep the costs down for participants. Hosting involves providing a training room, catering and a small amount of printing for each of the four workshops. The room for the first three workshop needs to be big enough to accommodate 13 participants easily, allowing room for moving into groups. There can be up to 30 people at the final workshop, so a larger space is required for this.
If you are interested in participating in the programme or would be willing to host the programme please contact firstname.lastname@example.org directly for more information.