On the 27th of February this year, VM Learning launched its first program of the year; the successful and incredibly popular ‘Women As Leaders’ program, which VM have been running since 1993.

However, despite being over twenty years old the program is still just as relevant. According to the not-for-profit research organisation Catalyst, by March 4th 2015 24 (4.8%) of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies were held by women. Furthermore, 19.2% women held board seats and 25.1% of women are holding executive/senior-level management positions. This in contrast to the 45% of women that hold labour or basic level positions in the same company (Catalyst. Pyramid: Women in S&P 500 Companies. New York: Catalyst, January 13th, 2015).

While it cannot be denied that these statistics have improved over the last ten years or so (in 1998 11.2% of women held board seats and in 2008 15.7% of women held board seats) Catalyst noted that at this current rate of growth, it would take over 35 years for the number of female corporate officers to match the number of male officers, despite a relatively even ratio of male and female workers in labour or first level positions (Catalyst. Pyramid: Women in S&P 500 Companies. New York: Catalyst, January 13th, 2015).

These figures indicate that there is still much progress to be made in order to create a gender balanced workforce in terms of both high levels of management as well as entry level positions. Furthermore recent reports have also revealed that companies with gender balanced boards were better equipped to oversee corporate actions and ensure corporate citizenship standards were met; two aspects which build stronger and more sustainable companies (McKinsey & Company. Gender Equality. 2007-2012.)

Clearly it has never been a better time to focus on creating gender balanced leadership team; it isn’t just an equitable decision, it’s a profitable one.

VM Learning whole-heartedly agree with this, which is why we encourage many of our corporate clients to participate and enrol their female staff in the ‘Women as Leaders’ program. The program has a key focus on addressing current gender statistics, by developing specific strategies for dealing with barriers for women in management. It also aims to make the program more relevant to the individual by analysing current opportunities within the job market and what they mean for both women overall and the individual.

This workshop also takes critical elements of Emotional Intelligence and examines them from a leadership perspective in order to enhance the participant’s leadership capability, so that these participant’s feel confident to either maintain their current management position or apply for a decision-making role. This is crucial as continuing promote and retain women in decision-making roles allow women to become powerful agents of change.

The benefit of this course is evident through the feedback provided from the most recent ‘Women as Leaders’ program, which finished yesterday (the 12th of March).

“The learning environment was very hands-on and encouraged genuine sharing of ideas and experiences”

“There was so much GOLD in the content…I learnt so much!”

“I cannot speak highly enough of our facilitator- she was intelligent, caring, sensitive, able to maintain control, move and adapt and change when needed”

The Women and Leaders program will start again on August 27th and will be made up of four dates: August 27th, September 3rd and 17th of September and 1st of October. Please call 07 3215 8888 to book now and take part in bridging the gap between male and female leadership positions in the workforce.