On my exit interview yesterday( 28/03) , I was asked to share low lights and highlights of my IQbusiness career experience. So many highlights stood out for me , Agile academy, setting up 2 Cyber academies, changing lives , but the one that made the most difference to ME was the Women’s Chapter Network. I was invited to be a part of this pilot program almost 18 months ago and now running my own chapter within IQ with a wonderful partner and 8 young women within my chapter. Contrary to popular belief, this is not book club or a man hating club.
The purpose of the WCN is to ultimately get more women into top leadership levels . Research and theory indicate that in order to affect real change, the organisations culture must change first. Addressing unconscious bias, stereotyping and deep-seated assumptions, we perpetuate and see in others, is the first step in initiating change to an inclusive culture.
The Mandate: In order to disrupt the status quo and start a movement for change, through the Women’s Chapter Network, we will learn to appreciate and master the business case for balance and diversity in leadership and then learn to navigate the current landscape and harness power for impact within a safe space
What it meant : Through the Women’s Chapter Network, we are experiencing learning’s and a change in culture has commenced. Female colleagues are invited into the Women’s Chapter Network as each wave of the Women’s Chapter Network launch. The third phase of the Women’s Chapter Network will be launched in September 2019 and will be available both internally and to women outside of IQbusiness.
What I have learnt : As women , we may experience similar battles and journeys within the corporate world but as a woman of colour, my journey has definitely been vastly different than that of white women. The chapter has given me a safe platform to view my opinions AND make a shift , even though small one and have those courageous , difficult and uncomfortable conversations with people around me and challenge their views. How do you start a movement ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbaemWIljeQ) , leadership lessons.
Takeaways : It also reminded me that having privilege in a country that lends itself to it for historical reasons, makes a world off difference in experience. Whilst this may no longer be relevant to my children;s experience but I was often reminded at the chapter of how I grew up, the area, the lines of diversity and when they crossed, only at the workplace and how to fit into a society and world I had no idea about.
Diversity, gender inequality , stereotypes , so many things have been highlighted and have been consciously made aware off around and within me.
The chapter plus my experience has taught me to be individualised and speak up and be less complacent ( I wish I had this skill 10 years ago) and call out the BS and imposter syndrome around me. This is sometimes difficult within a working environment but has proven time and time again , that in the end truth prevails.
How else will you disrupt the status quo AND make a change ?
What’s in it for you: start your own leadership journey through this platform – ask me how !