Kelly-Ann shares her experience in the Coaching for Women in Digital Program
Why did you decide to take part in the Coaching for Women in Digital program?
I was newly acting in an EL1 role, and wasn’t confident in the way I was leading or even knew the type of person I wanted to be at that level. I was interested in identifying my strengths and weaknesses, and learning how I could work on myself. I was also excited at the prospect of connecting with a diverse range of women who work in the digital profession! This was a great opportunity to meet some of the women who work in digital, while also increasing my network.
What has been the biggest benefit in participating in this program?
Too many to name, but I think the main one was aligning my own personal goals and values with how I show up at work and how I view the rest of my career. I feel a lot more confident in who I am and am excited to develop myself. I also feel like I have a better understanding of the type of manager/leader I want to be, and have some tools now to get me started.
How has this program helped you in your current role?
I remember joining a drop-in session and asking the group about applying for the role I was acting in. I wasn’t feeling confident and the group rallied around me to provide support, shared their own stories and encouraged me to apply. I applied for the role and got it :) I’m also learning about how to become a better leader for my new team, and identifying not only how I can grow myself (particularly around exposure!), but how I can help my team to grow themselves.
Why would you encourage others to be part of the Coaching for Women in Digital program?
I’ve been to a number of personal development courses but none of them equipped me with the skills and knowledge that I have now. The practical elements (pre and post work) really help you understand the content, session structure helps to get you engaged, the sessions and topics are built out in a really logical and cohesive way, and the facilitators are amazing in making you feel heard, encouraging you along the way.
How did you balance both the commitments for the program and the commitments of your job?
My manager was very supportive of me partaking in the program, and I shared that I was enrolled with my team so that they understood any absences from work. When it came to attending the sessions and completing the work required, I treated this like a part of my work day. Blocking out time, adding it to to-do lists, etc. It really helped to fuse the program into my work day and now I’m sad I won’t be doing this anymore!
What is your top tip for new program participants?
Be engaged and leave your comfort zone behind! Engage in the sessions, speak up and share your stories and your voice. In the process not only will you have the opportunity to ask for feedback & share your own, you’ll become a more confident speaker. I also highly recommend doing your pre-work in advance and not the day of your session ;)