Articles from Cass Knowledge

The Global Women's Leadership Programme

The Global Women's Leadership Programme inspires, equips and connects women

The Business School’s Global Women’s Leadership Programme was set up in 2017 as part of a generous donation from the Coca Cola Foundation. Our motto is to ‘inspire, equip and connect’ women – we are here to support students, alumni, and staff as you work towards your version of success, which may include a corporate career, entrepreneurship or even community leadership.

Women are still a relatively untapped resource for leadership roles. There is strong evidence that gender-equity in leadership improves the economic performance of organisations. More effective decisions are made, creative thinking increases, and products and services that capture the needs and wants of a wider demographic are offered. At the same time, excluding women from discussions can exasperate biases already prevalent in society, as we currently see in the development of artificial intelligence (AI).

As a leading educational institution, it is our responsibility to take part in conversations on gender-equity for several reasons. First, we must strive to create an environment where our female students can bring their authentic best to their educational experience and thereby get the most out of it. Second, as an institution that trains the leaders of the future, we must prepare our students for the complex challenges ahead, including those around diversity and inclusion. And finally, we have an opportunity to shape the assumptions, beliefs, behaviours, and norms of society more broadly through impactful thought-leadership.

For these reasons, we have developed several initiatives, which I will now explain further.

Events

We invite speakers from the highest levels of organisations to talk about their experiences as change agents and how they have developed diverse and inclusive working environments. I encourage you to look at our In Conversation events with Dame Inga Beale DBE and Sir Philip Hampton and Denise Wilson OBE. Our panel discussions cover variety of topics from building resilience to intersectionality. Some examples of our past panel events are The privilege of power: how women in business can leverage their leadership to create more equitable workplaces and The value of equality and diversity in the workplace. This summer we hosted an event specifically developed for men. Men supporting women: How to be an inclusive leader addressed the importance of men championing gender-equity. With the start of our virtual events programme this year, we have found we can also reach out more widely to all those interested in women’s leadership. We will continue to offer a portion of our events online in the future.

Skills-based workshops

Our exclusive skill-based workshops help you hone your leadership and communication skills. Our offerings are determined by the feedback we receive from you. Past workshops include The Power of Influencing, Negotiation and Executive Presence, as well as the Female Founder Breakfast series.

Scholarships

We offer several scholarships across a range of programmes. Please do share these opportunities with your female friends and family members. The scholarships offer female students financial support, as well as giving them an opportunity to lead the programme as an Executive Board member. Our board members develop and lead our activities and events and help set our long-term vision.

Research

We support, sponsor, champion and disseminate the research of Bayes academics on gender-equity and female leadership. I am proud to say that we belong to an institution that offers world class research on these issues. We support thought leadership by providing opportunities for our researchers to share their knowledge through our collaborations with initiatives such as the Financial Times (FT) Women at the Top event or the Hampton-Alexander report.

Network

In 2021 we piloted a successful peer to peer mentoring programme to support students. We also have a LinkedIn group with nearly 800 members which is open to students and alumni interested in women’s leadership – join us there.

I am incredibly proud to have been at the helm of the programme for the past four years and I am delighted to be welcoming Dr Janina Steinmetz as our new Programme Director. I do hope that by now I have convinced you to follow our activities  and encourage you to use the Programme to help you achieve your professional goals. We look forward to seeing you at future events.

Dr Canan Kocabasoglu Hillmer, Reader in Operations and Supply Chain Management, Global Women's Leadership Programme Executive Board and Programme Director 2017 - 2021