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Women boosted by leadership course

The first recruits of Digicel and BTCs 2016 female staff training programme have spoken of the strides made as they pursue a top professional career.

The Women in Leadership Learning Power (Will Power) initiative aims to “upskill” female employees for leadership roles across the organisation and is delivered in three phases — a leadership development workshop; executive coaching; and an internal mentoring programme.

The leadership workshop uses simulations to strengthen leadership skills and build personal confidence while the executive coaching element helps with career planning.

The mentoring programme matches participants with senior leaders within the business to help them better understand the skills required at the top.

Corporate care consultant Danielle Burrows attended sessions from January to April and has since been able to expand her role to include head of business support, taking in the company's mobile and ICT functions.

She told The Royal Gazette: “The course is something that has equipped me with the necessary tools to be successful.

“The course prompted me to really dig deep within, to take much time to reflect on myself, my ambitions and my direction.

“There was a very interesting tool we got to dabble in called the predictive index test. That, I thought, was invaluable.

“It helps one to understand how we react within our environment and the people within it and it highlights our strengths as well as areas where perhaps we could improve and better ourselves. That was something I found quite interesting. I was able to take the information and apply it to my professional life and personally.

“During the course we learnt roughly 60 per cent of women do not take the step to propel themselves forward because they feel they are not fully equipped with the skills versus men who will actually take the chance even if they know they don't have the skills.

“Having that new-found confidence in my own abilities was really empowering.”

Ms Burrows also said the course had helped her to better manage her all-female team.

“Throughout the course we went through coaching and mentoring and it highlighted to me various ways I can help to further motivate my team while they are already self driven,” she added.

“It brought certain things to light that will allow us as a team to grow together.”

Anna-Kristine Franklin, also a corporate care consultant for the company, has just enrolled in this year's programme and said she has enjoyed her first session.

“They really took care of us,” she said.

“One of the highlights for me is we told our story and it was great to hear how similar we all were even though we came from different islands. It was a very supportive atmosphere.

“It is very self-reflective — they want you to become the best woman leader you can no matter what market you are coming from.

“My hope is that it will help me to define my role as a leader. This is my first corporate job so I am excited to find where I belong in this industry and to set some personal goals for myself. Whatever department I am in I want to continuously be learning and striving for greater achievement.”

Chief executive of Digicel & BTC Robin Seale said: “We are committed to playing our part in bridging the gender gap and ensuring that all our employees have an equal opportunity to grow and develop to their full potential.”

Equipped for success: from left, Anna-Kristine Franklin and Danielle Burrows. (Photograph by Sarah Lagan)

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Published June 08, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 08, 2016 at 8:40 am)

Women boosted by leadership course

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