Aspire: Women's Leadership Development Programme

Diversity at the top leadership table correlates positively with better organisational performance, so why are more women not in senior leadership roles?

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The under representation of women in senior leadership is a challenge that exists worldwide. In response, many organisations are implementing targeted initiatives to develop their women leaders and address the particular obstacles faced by women in the workplace.

The Aspire programme recognises the differences for women in their path towards the top table. It focuses on areas most likely to hold women back and equips them with new skills and tools to address internal and external barriers head-on.

Aspire enables current and potential women leaders to move into the driving seat of their leadership journey, less constrained by unhelpful limiting beliefs and more aware of their potential. Equipped with new knowledge and skills, they can then make deliberate choices about how they lead their lives, and the difference they want to make through their leadership.

By the end of the programme, you will stand more confidently in your own space as a leader and have a solid platform for your career progression. You will have increased clarity of purpose, and greater impact and effectiveness as a leader. And, crucially, you will have a network of like-minded women to offer continued support. Your organisation will gain a more confident, resilient, focused and effective leader.

Michele Obama in her recent memoir “Becoming” issued a challenge: Who are we and who do we want to become? “There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice.”

Our programme creates a space for women to explore their unique story and begin writing the next chapter.

Benefits for you:

  • increased confidence in who you are as a leader and the value of your contribution
  • increased clarity of purpose and intent
  • greater influence, impact and profile
  • better relationships with your colleagues
  • improved wellbeing and resilience
  • enhanced career prospects.

Benefits for your organisation:

  • increased productivity through improved staff engagement
  • increase in credible female applicants for leadership roles
  • increased number of female leaders as role models
  • greater diversity in the leadership team, contributing to improved decision-making
  • healthier group dynamic in leadership team
  • improved organisation culture

Who should attend:    

Any woman who aspires to lead in any capacity would benefit from this programme. It is relevant for women in public, private and NGO organisations.

Course outline:

Session 1 - Who Am I? Self-awareness and thinking about life and career
Session 2 - Who Am I At Work? What’s my impact in the workplace?
Session 3 – Mindset of a Leader. Growth mindset, limiting self-talk, reframing
Session 4 – Power and Influence. How to increase impact and get noticed.
Session 5 - Growth Conversations. Coaching and career development
Session 6 - Tricky Conversations. Assertiveness and a collaborative approach
Session 7 - Resilience and Personal Change. The difference between pressure and stress. Becoming more emotionally resilient when facing difficulties
Session 8 - What Now? Strategies for continuing to grow, develop and make our unique contribution

Course format:  

The Aspire programme is delivered through eight half-day workshops held on Monday mornings over four months. The format will consist of pre-work, theory, guest speakers, peer learning, practical exercises and career advice. The programme will be based on action learning principles.

There will be up to 18 participants per programme.

Recommended pre-reading:

The Art of Deliberate Success, Dr David Keane, Wiley, 2013
Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg, W.H. Allen, 2013


“The Aspire course gave me a huge confidence boost and understanding of leadership, especially for women in the workplace. It was inclusive, engaging and enjoyable - and I now have a great toolkit to up my leadership game.”
Susie Ferguson – Presenter, Radio New Zealand

“The Aspire course changed my world in many unexpected and positive ways. It made me reframe my thinking to enable me to tackle challenges in much more positive and constructive ways.
And one of the biggest a-ha moments for me was recognising that I am not alone in my feelings around imposter syndrome and negative self-talk, and even the most outwardly confident people struggle with this too.
The course has enriched both my personal and professional life and given me life skills that I will always be able to draw on.”
Kirsty Gemmill – Inland Revenue

“I enrolled in the Aspire Course hoping to pick up the skills to take more of a lead in my team at work. By the end of the course I was more than ready to step into that team leader role, but the practical “how to” stuff ended up being the least of what I took away from the course.
I loved the opportunity to regularly spend time with a group of brilliant women, reflecting together on all aspects of our lives and what might be holding us back from achieving our goals. After the course, I not only felt confident leading at work, but was also empowered to pursue what was important to me in other parts of my life, as a writer, parent, and community member.”
Holly Walker - Office of the Children’s Commissioner


Karen Waitt and Trish Lui and Paula Feathers

Further details:
If you would like more information about this programme, please contact us on: 
Ph: 64 4 463 6556 Email:

Customised workshops:
Victoria Professional and Executive Development are able to customise many of our workshops to meet specific individual or organisational requirements. Please contact us for further information.








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