New course launched on supporting women in the boardroom

A new course aimed at supporting women who make it to the boardroom of finance firms is launching in September.

The Changing the Landscape at Board Level course has been put together by the Financial Skills Partnership in consultation with industry and is described as “a unique development programme for women whose next step is to board level or who are already there”.

It is aimed at women who report to an executive director or those who have just had their first board appointment and will address the areas that women say hold them back.

The core programme comprises three elements in three parts – building leadership presence, gathering intelligence and driving results and holding your own. The first two are residential and provide the opportunity to meet leading women at evening sessions. The final day consolidates the learning and provides the springboard to put personal plans into action.

The building leadership presence element examines beliefs and expectations about board-readiness and board-worthiness, also in the context of women as leaders. This includes mental attitude and addressing the fact that whilst women like to be liked, this is not always possible and needs to be accepted. It also looks at how different elements of women’s energetic, vocal and physical presence either attract or detract attention from their strengths, capabilities and contributions to the business.

The gathering intelligence and driving results session covers strategic communications, branding and gathering and using good quality information via personal networks for use in self promotion. The course brochure states: “We will cover how most women who are already at or near the top of their organisations have achieved this by initiating and driving change, and by increasing their leadership impact they can also improve their ability to influence more easily.”

Holding your own examines the principles of boardroom dynamics and behaviours and the driving forces at hand. This includes research into how gender issues in communication affect board dynamics and expectations and how awareness of this can be used for greater influence in the boardroom.

The course also offers opportunities for one to one executive coaching and optional workshops on areas such as leading in strategic planning.

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