When I signed up to the Aspire women in leadership programme....

Wednesday 16-03-2016 - 16:06

This is a guest article by Nish Kumar


When I signed up to the Aspire women in leadership programme, I was rather unhappy of the progress I had made in my career and in my life in the past 5 years. I was really torn between who I thought I needed to be to be 'successful' and who I am really. Believe me when I say that this constant internal struggle did nothing for my confidence. So I arrived on the first day of this women only training,  not to sure what to expect... 

I was greeted by 2 coaches from Aspire. Carolyn was this really soft spoken introvert person whilst the other an extrovert outspoken person, really contrast to each  other. Other women from different parts of the sector joined us in the room that day, different stories, different yet similar internal struggles that I felt. 

As we started in this journey we were asked a few questions that would shape my experience giving me the opportunity to develop an understanding and acceptance of my qualities, values, and strengths. The programme was divided in modules which were spaced out that gave me time to reflect and implement what I was learning. I also signed up for the mentoring scheme and my mentor helped me to create changes in my habits and find motivation in places and people I hadn't not thought of.

Thus this programme helped me craft my identity as a leader and in doing so breakdown mental barriers, stereotyping and misconceptions. It also gave me a range of tools to become resilient and an authentic leader. It made me reflect on my impact and influence on others as a leader. 
Having these tools came in handy when I , rather suddenly, had to take on the role of interim Head of Governance and Student Engagement within my Union. 

As I look back over the past year I feel that I have been through a discovery journey of learning to know myself and if you are considering whether or not to sign up to the Aspire Women in leadership programme I will say... Do NOT hesitate. You get tools to support you as a leader, discover who you are and above all OWN your identity!!! Along the way you will get role models, discover the possibilities of sponsorship and make some awesome friends!

How do I apply?

If you are a woman non-student staff member and would like to apply to take part in the programme, please complete an application form and equal opportunities monitoring form and send them to by 12 noon on Friday 25 March.

For more info, click here.



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