Students Staff
University of Essex

August 29, 2018

Aurora: A Leadership Development Programme For Women

Filed under: Aurora — Mohammed Alam @ 11:30 am

Aurora is a women-only leadership development programme created by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education in the UK. The aim of the programme is to help address the under-representation of women in senior posts in higher education.

The Aurora programme is targeted to all women up to senior lecturer level or professional services equivalent in a university or higher education college. The programme is aimed towards women who are ambitious for a career in the sector and interested in exploring leadership and management as an option for progression. It is designed to introduce fundamental leadership skills in 4 workshops (1 workshop = 1 day) with networking opportunities and guest speakers at each event. Furthermore, on-going support is ensured through action learning (1 day scheduled for this as part of the programme), online resources and institutional level support including mentoring and institutional Aurora Champions.

In 2017-18, the University produced 5 funded places on the Aurora Programme. We were able to catch up with Dee Hardcastle (pictured on the left) on her success in the programme. She has kindly provided us with her experiences with Aurora.

Our successful delegates

About me

I am the Faculty Careers Adviser for Science and Health, a position I’ve held for 7 years! My role involves teaching career development in the curriculum, working closely with departments to coordinate and develop this, as well as providing one-to-one guidance and advice for faculty students. in addition, I contribute to the central services of the Employability & Careers Centre such as delivering workshops, supporting Open Days and Fairs and writing for the blog. I also line manage a Careers Information Assistant.

What’s your view of Aurora?

I saw Aurora as an opportunity to develop confidence in my existing leadership skills and learn how to develop a broader skill set in a supportive learning environment. I have worked with many great leaders in my career, both female and male, but there’s something liberating and empowering about exploring skills, qualities and issues in an all-female environment. I also found it beneficial from a networking perspective, I got some great advice and insights by participating in the programme. I was also paired with an excellent mentor at the University and my meetings with her helped me to explore some of the more personal ideas and issues I had around leadership and get some valuable advice.

How has Aurora impacted you?

It certainly fulfilled my goal of feeling more confident in my leadership skills and helped me to recognise areas for improvement and development. Since completing the programme I have made the decision to relocate to where I grew up so while I am sadly leaving the University, I will take what I have learned with me and am considering setting up my own business. I also hope to return to working in Higher Education in the future or at least working with the sector in some way.

What does it mean to be a Successful Aurora Delegate?

For me, it felt like an acknowledgement of my potential and it was encouraging to be selected for this excellent development opportunity. The programme is 5 days over 5 months but there are lots to do in terms of time to prepare for each session and reflect afterwards. As part of my feedback on Aurora, I have suggested that an internal network would be valuable to ensure that successful delegates have the opportunity to prepare effectively for participating in the programme and to make the most of their learning when they return. There seems to be interest in this idea from other past delegates so I hope it will come together!

 

You can find more information for the Aurora Programme here. For more information and how to apply for the next programme, please contact ldev@essex.ac.uk.



November 10, 2017

Aurora – Leadership development programme for women

Filed under: Athena SWAN,Aurora — Tags: , — Mohammed Alam @ 3:47 pm

Aurora is the women-only leadership development programme developed by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education in the UK to help address the under-representation of women in senior posts in higher education.

The Aurora programme is targeted at those who identify as female up to senior lecturer level or professional services equivalent in a university or higher education college, ambitious for a career in the sector and interested in exploring leadership and management as one option for progression. It is designed to introduce key leadership topics and skills in 4 workshops (each x 1 day), complemented by networking, role models and guest speakers at each event. Further, on-going support is ensured through action learning (1 day scheduled as part of the programme), online resources and institutional level support including mentoring and institutional Aurora Champions.

In 2017-18, the University are committing to make available up to 5 funded places on the Aurora Programme commencing in London on 8 March 2018, with attendance on 4 further dates: 24 April 2018, 17 May 2018, 12 June 2018 and 5 July 2018.

Last year's Aurora delegates

Last year’s Aurora delegates

Please email ldev@essex.ac.uk to request further details including an application form.