Women in Leadership Development: Addressing Inequity at Board Level in STEM
As a woman working in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sector, I recently participated in the Women in Leadership Development in the Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics sector (WILD for STEM) program. This program is Australia's premier STEM leadership program, designed to tackle common barriers to career progression and sector retention faced by women employed in the STEM sector. Through a year-long leadership course, the WILD Program provides Australian women in STEM with the qualifications, skills, confidence, and networks needed to attain senior leadership and board positions.
The Learning Experience
The WILD for STEM program integrated multiple elements of learning, including participating in the Company Directors Course from the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a leadership retreat, and a board observership opportunity. These opportunities provided incredible experiences for me to grapple with new content, pushing me into new areas and topics I was unfamiliar with, and challenging me out of my comfort zone. All the while, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in this program alongside 24 other incredible senior leaders in STEM from around Australia.
Application of Learnings
Since completing the WILD for STEM program, I have already applied my learnings over and over. From setting up a board to pitching our company to investors and clients, the benefits of having a constructive setting to learn were immeasurably beneficial. The WILD for STEM program gave me the skills, confidence, and networks necessary to progress to senior leadership and board positions in my career.
Network and Community
One of the best parts of the program was the network of new friends and colleagues that comes with it. Where else would I have had the opportunity to meet CEOs, founders, engineers, and biomedical scientists from all around the world? The founders of the WILD for STEM program channelled the spirit of support and community through the entire experience, making it a truly unforgettable experience.
For any women in STEM looking to learn more about Directorship and hoping to push their executive presence to the next level, the WILD for STEM program is a wonderful program to be involved in. The program is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable skills, build networks, and be a part of a community of like-minded women who are passionate about STEM.
Overall, the WILD for STEM program was an invaluable experience that provided me with the qualifications, skills, confidence, and networks needed to attain senior leadership and board positions in the STEM sector. Through this program, I gained a better understanding of what it takes to be a successful leader, built a supportive network of colleagues, and pushed myself to new heights in my career. I highly recommend this program to any woman in STEM who is looking to take their career to the next level.