When Advita Patel and I created A Leader Like Me, we believed we were filling a gap with a program we wished we’d had when we worked in organizations. I have to admit that the program has taken on a life of its own and has the potential to become bigger than we ever imagined.
Our first cohort, that began in July, brought together a community of 30 women of colour from six countries in Europe , the Middle East, North America, and the United Kingdom. What struck me was the haunting similarity of the stories and experiences despite the diversity of country of residence, profession and type of business.
We have heard from our members that A Leader Like Me is needed and is appreciated. It’s like nothing they have experienced before and here’s why:
Self Reflection – Although there are similarities to why our members joined and what they have experienced, we encourage an examination of what makes each individual unique. The program explores purpose, brand, and values. This process has created a lot of ‘aha’ moments on alignment and sometimes misalignment when it comes to skills and strategies.
Skills Development – A key focus is on skills development. What is it that you need to move up through management ranks? How do you have courageous conversations and handle impostor syndrome? We give them courage and confidence and and also encourage life-long learning and a passion for continuous improvement.
Safe Space – Unlike in-house programs where the lack of diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging can cause some to hesitate to bring up issues or use their authentic voices, A Leader Like Me provides a safe space to explore and discuss experiences, microaggressions and ideas. The group provides third-party feedback that requires our members to explore the facts and support the way forward.
Support Community – Most importantly, our members love that they have colleagues who ‘get them’ and support them through their situations. When many of these women get put into talent pipelines, because of today’s hyper-focus on diversity, they will still look around and not see leaders like them who can relate to their experiences. This support network is integral to drive sustainability in diversity initiatives for both the members and their organizations.
For our next subscription drive, we are ready to expand the opportunities for women of colour and organizations to engage with us: A subscription-only offering to get access to the support network and safe-space; the traditional 12-week leadership program for self-reflection and skills-development; and a Coaching program that adds 1:1 time with a certified coach. Find out more at our information session on September 9, 2020.
We’re also excited about our upcoming conferences that explore #DiversityinPR and #DiversityattheTop with stories and strategies shared by those most impacted by diversity programs. We welcome everyone to join us for information, insights and inspiration.
In the ramp up to 2021, we’ll be looking for partners who can provide services and support to this network. A special thanks to Guild for access to an incredible private platform and Jackie Le Fevre at Magma Effect for her special member offer to help each discover their values.
Stay tuned for speaker opportunities for our subscription community. Contact us if you have a presentation to inspire A Leader Like Me subscribers. We will also be looking to expand our coaching team.
For updates and more information on A Leader Like Me, subscribe on our website.