Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Finding the next generation of female leaders

August 19, 2014

Finding the next generation of female leaders

Massey University hopes to address one of the business world’s most persistent issues with a new initiative to encourage female leadership.

The inaugural Young Women’s Leadership Programme will bring over 100 female Year 12 students to the university’s Albany and Manawatū campuses on August 27. The aim is to inspire young women to step up and exercise leadership within their peer groups, schools and communities.

“We have made a deliberate decision to select students not currently in leadership roles,” says the head of Massey’s School of Management Professor Sarah Leberman.

“Traditionally the people who are identified as leaders in school environments are those who are confident and get noticed – the prefects, head girls and sports team captains. They are the students normally offered leadership opportunities and I think we lose a lot of potential because we don’t nurture the more naturally quiet students who don’t fit in that box.”

Professor Leberman says the programme has been designed to build the confidence and networks of the young women who attend.

“After the programme I hope they will put up their hand and get noticed. I hope they feel they can go out into the world and exert leadership in a way that fits them. I want them to know it’s okay to just be yourself and play to your strengths – and knowing what those strengths are is hugely important.”

The initial day-long workshop focuses on the students by helping them to become more self-aware, understand their values, find their passion and identify their own way of exercising leadership. It will also focus on ethical decision-making and the need to develop strong connections with others.

The participants will spend the rest of the year working on a real leadership project that has meaning to them with others from their school. Facilitators from Massey will keep in touch with the students throughout the year and the results of each project will be presented in 2015.

“Hopefully this will add to the talent pool of young women going forward,” Professor Leberman says. “If we can front-foot with leadership programmes in intermediate and secondary school I think we’ll see, over time, a rise in the confidence of young women. And this will be one small thing that can help effect change.”

She says that while there are many organisational and societal reasons behind the relatively low number of women in leadership roles, there is also a “confidence gap” which can be addressed at an individual level.

“We know from the research that women feel they need 80 to 100 per cent of the required skills before they apply for a job, while men are comfortable applying with only 50 to 60 per cent of the skillset,” she says.

For Professor Leberman, leadership is “about being a person of influence and being able to make a difference in an area you are passionate about”. She hopes the participants in the Young Women’s Leadership Programme will go into their own communities and make an impact with their projects.

“I hope it sows a seed for them to grow to be the best they can be,” she says.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

    Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news