I was fortunate to be a table facilitator at the #uLead17 #womenEd preconference. As a result of this, I engaged the courageous and committed women leaders at our table in a range of provocative questions regarding educational leadership through the lens of being a woman. The questions and discussions challenged participants to consider issues in their own contexts as well as the broader landscape of education.
Here is my synthesis of the points raised in the discussion around Confidence. The question asked was:
How can we nurture, inspire and empower women in education to become women leading in education?
Our discussions centred mostly on the broad issues of:
· Conditions of Employment
· Models and modeling
We need to reach out and support each other to ‘rise up’.
We need to bring men into the conversation about privilege and inequities.
We need to open-up more collaborative leadership roles so women feel welcome.
We need to know when to show vulnerability and with whom.
We need to create more opportunities for women to network to share stories of leadership.
We need to nurture the women in our own contexts.
We need to empower other women by role modelling, mentoring and sponsoring.
We wonder how we can provide more opportunities for ‘job sharing’, flexible leadership options – so women don't feel they need to finish having a family before they are ready to pursue or assume leadership positions?
We wonder how we can raise awareness of the issue of inequity in other women?
We wonder how we can encourage principals to foster leadership in women teachers?
We wonder how we can embolden women to apply for leadership positions even when they don't feel they are ready?
We wonder how we can create leadership and aspiring leadership groups in schools?
It seems that with greater role flexibility, intentional mentoring, role modelling and support from leaders (both present and future), women can find the confidence to take the leap into leadership!