In this presentation, Lily Halliday, Research Project Lead & Program Manager of the Transforming Women’s Leadership Pathways (TWLP2030) program, showcases a novel multi-industry initiative to boost the number of women in leadership.
The inaugural Transforming Women’s Leadership Pathways event (TWLP) in 2020 brought higher education, industry and government partners together to develop action plans to close the gender leadership gap across 10 sectors by 2030. This was the first time a group of top international universities (the PLuS Alliance) collaborated with Industry and Government to tackle this global challenge.
Representatives from 10 sectors engaged in working groups focused on the delivery of an action plan for their specific area. The 10 groups were The Arts, Corporate, Engineering, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Higher Education, Media & Communications, Medicine, Policy & Politics, Science, and Technology. The action plans articulate the practical steps universities, industry and government must take to see more women in leadership by 2030.
Building on previous initiatives, working groups tested recommendations against the guiding principles of intersectionality, sustainability and the changing nature of work to create solutions that are inclusive and adaptive for future ways of working.
To ensure the recommendations put to universities, industry and government were evidence-based and inclusive, each working group was designed to include a diverse group of people from multiple institutions and professional backgrounds.
Pre-reading packs specific to each area and general resources around women’s leadership were circulated to participants to provide a starting point for best practice research, programs, policies, processes and systems. Experts provided custom case studies and participated in the groups.
A Student Ambassador program was developed to engage students from each of the PLuS Universities. This allowed students to connect and network with leading academics, policymakers, and professionals across each sector.
An event website served as a key part of the initiative’s success. It stored supporting resources including session guidelines, technical support, action plan templates, pre-reading, case studies, programs and timetables, event support and contact information, as well as a networking lounge.
The 10 action plans have been published, and TWLP are working individually and in concert with partners from higher education, industry and government to implement the recommendations to drive workplace change and to close the gender leadership gap by 2030. Transparency and the tracking of TWLP’s progress and impact is key to the program design, and outcomes will be shared on the TWLP website.
This novel approach would not have been possible without the buy-in from TWLP’s passionate working group members and leaders. Progress requires commitment from all stakeholders, and the leveraging of networks and advocates.
As TWLP moves forward, they have developed processes and pathways to ensure their community is supported in their efforts to shift the dial, with both people resources and via schemes to fund the implementation of action plan recommendations.