The Hot Seat: Charlie Temperton (Sussex Students' Union)

Monday 13-02-2017 - 11:22

Charlie Temperton, Societies Coordinator at the University of Sussex Students’ Union, was a participant on last years’ Aspiring Women Leaders Programme. Seven months on, Charlie shares her thoughts about the course with us, tells us what she’s learnt, and how it has helped her in her career so far.

What motivated you to apply for the Aspiring Women Leaders Programme?

A woman in leadership that I admire, the Head of Activities & Engagement at my union, recommended it to me. The course content looked really inspiring and it came at a crucial time in my personal development journey. I was feeling lost and didn’t have a lot of self confidence or belief in myself.

What has been the most useful thing you've learnt, and how has that impacted your leadership journey since the course?

The course helped me to discover my leadership style, as well as how to notice and work with other people’s different styles. It has given me an appreciation and understanding of the way I work, and why certain things motivate me and certain things don’t!

It has helped me to be my authentic self, and as a result be open about this with my colleagues and peers, and give myself a break when things are getting on top of me.

Why do you think a leadership course designed specifically for women is so important?

The course opened my eyes to the structural inequalities that women face, allowing me to explore ideas in a safe space where I felt comfortable to contribute because I was surrounded by people who have a shared experience. It was also so inspiring to meet lots of women from different students’ unions at different points in their journeys and hear about their experiences.

As both a Woman and a LGBT+ member of staff, have you faced greater barriers into leadership? If so, how?

In previous jobs, yes, I did not feel I was respected or taken seriously. At Sussex Students’ Union I’ve been really lucky to have supportive women Heads of Department, and I hope that I can inspire LGBT+ colleagues and students to see themselves in leadership positions by being a role model.

What advice would you give to other aspiring women leaders who are thinking about whether to apply or not?

Go for it! I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate and learn from so many great women leaders in the student movement.

I learned so much about myself and my leadership style, and it has given me so much more confidence in myself and my abilities.

Are you interested in joining our Aspiring Women Leaders programme? You can find more information online here.


Features, Union Development, Women

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