Advance HE has delivered a ground-breaking She Leads+ programme to university staff from across the Middle East. The programme, following on from a pilot delivered in 2021, was presented to around 60 participants who are encouraged to critically question and evolve their awareness, choices and actions for doing leadership to meet and shape their multiple operating contexts.
Championed by Dr Diana Abdul Karim Aljahromi, Director of the Unit for Teaching Excellence and Leadership at the University of Bahrain, the second iteration of She Leads was scaled up, with women from across the Bahraini sector, and beyond, being offered the chance to participate.
The programme comprised four facilitator-led workshops themed as Leadership Perspectives, The Leader Within, Leading Outwards and Higher Education – the Future, all featuring external speakers, along with two ‘in practice’ sessions to give participants the opportunity to put theory into practice and develop their own leadership styles.
In the resulting report about the programme, participants felt the programme was hugely beneficial and inspiring, giving them the confidence to be themselves in their roles. One said: “It made me realise I have to seek opportunity outside my comfort zone.” With another sharing that as a result of an ‘in practice’ session, she would now present to the Crown Prince rather than asking a colleague to do so. Other comments included that the programme had given them ‘positive energy’ and that it was a “nurturing platform for us all to share humbly our experiences and grow”.
Overall satisfaction from participants was 96.3%, a fantastic endorsement of the programme itself but also the facilitator, Suzanne O’Brien who made the programme such a worthwhile and valuable experience for participants. She said: “It was an honour to work with such talented participants; to support them to successfully lead in the Higher Education sector, and in advancing true equality.”