Five ways in which I have benefited from the WIG Women’s Leadership Programme (WWLP)

Five ways in which I have benefited from the WIG Women’s Leadership Programme (WWLP)
by Tina Vifor, Head of Marketing

I embarked on the WWLP last year, at the encouragement of my line manager, and I confess, it was not without some hesitation. ‘A programme for women only…’ – I thought at the time, ‘Why the niche approach, and how could that possibly benefit my personal and professional growth?’

It has been three months since ‘graduating’ from the programme, and I feel the course was well and truly worthwhile. Here is how I have benefitted:

  1. I have built an invaluable and diverse support network of senior professional women. We are still in touch and plan to meet regularly. Whenever one of us is in difficulty, the others rush in with supportive advice. When one of us has a success, we all celebrate it. Nobody will spur you on quite like a fellow woman leader who has been through similar experiences and ‘gets it’. Equally, these women kept me accountable, and challenged me while on this leadership journey – it’s very easy to procrastinate on your goals, or lose enthusiasm along the way – having a group to answer to can be very motivating and energising.
     
  2. I expanded my horizons by engaging across other sectors. Having a support network and buy-in within your own organisation is useful and important, but an external network from diverse backgrounds, professions, and sectors can really enrich your perspective and deepen your understanding of the wider context in which we operate. This unique ‘spin’ is a game changer, and it alone can justify investing six days out of the office (over nine months) in this programme.
     
  3. I take comfort now in understanding that anyone, no matter how senior or accomplished in their profession, was faced at one point or another with the dreaded ‘impostor syndrome’ – that niggling feeling in your stomach that you are in over your head, or unsure if your decisions are right. Hearing some of my valiant and accomplished course colleagues, and some of the programme’s inspirational female speakers owning up to this has made these impressive professionals feel more human and approachable; it has given us, as a group, courage to push forward, understanding that the impostor syndrome is common and can be overcome.  
     
  4. Some of the influential leaders we had speaking on the programme, and some of the recorded talks we listened to served as inspiration, encouragement, and a great development tool. We learned tips and tools that could be immediately applied in our everyday jobs and in our leadership roles, and had access to very senior and inspirational women: CEOs, senior civil servants, and entrepreneurs.
     
  5. Finally, the programme allowed me to carve out some breathing space, some ‘time out’ to actually consider my career direction, leadership style, and challenges ahead. It’s very easy to get bogged down with everyday tasks and targets, and not take time out for yourself to manage your career. Embarking on a programme like WWLP will certainly create that space to determine the direction of your growth, along with providing you with the support network to really nourish that development.