Fast-tracking Careers for Women in Education

Fast-tracking Careers for Women in Education

Get to know the senior women executives of elite learning institutions who will talk about actionable strategies for fast-tracking a career in education


The Women in Education Leadership Summit 2020 is bringing together women leaders of remarkable achievement from institutions like Harvard, Princeton, the University of Western Australia among others, to ignite passion and ambition for women in education. 


The summit will focus on preparing women for the increasing challenges of education leadership – from entry level management all the way up to the executive suite. Our key speakers will talk about their experiences as well as the strategies to help women move forward in their own leadership journey, wherever stage they may be. 


Check out some of our impressive headliners speaking at this year’s Women in Education Leadership Summit. 



Embracing Challenging Leadership Roles Deborah Jewell-Sherman

Deborah is the first woman professor of practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). She served as superintendent of the Richmond (VA) Public Schools and built a reputation as one of the most successful urban district superintendents in the US. 

In her half-day workshop, Deborah will guide you along the 5 essential skills to navigate the growing complexities and demands of leadership in modern education. 



Developing strategies to cultivate diverse and inclusive campuses Rochelle Calhoun 

Rochelle has been responsible for overseeing all student services, including athletics, residential life, leadership activities, religious and spiritual life, among others. 

Her workshop will center on shaping student and staff experiences to build inclusive communities, enabling the success of all staff and students and building a self-sustaining community around your education institution 



Improving the path to leadership for Indigenous students and staff Jill Millroy 

Jill has more than 30 years of experience in Indigenous higher education, developing programs and support services for Indigenous students. 

Inclusivity is at the heart of Jill’s message. In her talk, she will be elaborating on the strategies for building inclusive campuses for Indigenous students and staff and advancing Indigenous education outcomes through strong leadership. 



Becoming an advocate for women: Sponsoring others Marcia Devlin

Marcia is leading a project to transform VU’s Academic Program of the Future in order to prepare students to navigate the increasingly complex world of work. 

In her session, Marcia will be focusing on how to embed sponsorship in your organisational culture to create more opportunities for women. She will also cover how to manage the impact of unconscious bias in the sponsorship process. 



Can we eliminate unconscious bias in education? Fiona Godfrey 

Fiona is the first woman to be Principal of Radford College and a recipient of the South Australian Businesswoman of the Year, Community and Government Award. 

As a long-time educator, Fiona understands the work it takes to unite learners of diverse backgrounds under a common purpose. On day 1 of the summit, she will be leading a discussion on how to cultivate a truly open, diverse and inclusive work culture. 



It’s high time for women in education to invest in their own leadership and executive training. Sign up for the Women in Education Leadership Summit 2020 and grow in your ability to drive successful innovation in the business of education. 


Women In Education Leadership Summit May 2020

How Companies can Help Women Advance in Leadership

How Companies can Help Women Advance in Leadership

In the modern workplace, there’s still an under-representation of women in executive level positions – the small percentage who made it with the right combination of abilities, decisions and actions.


What these stats tell us is that there’s a “broken rung” in the ladder of most organisations. Fixing it will help more women arrive at the c-suite because ambition and individual effort are not enough. 


Here are a few steps that companies can do to fix the broken ladder of succession and give more women opportunities to rise to senior level positions. 


STEP 1 – Aim to train a larger number of qualified women candidates for manager positions

Setting aggressive targets for hiring and promoting women will significantly increase their representation in the corporate ladder. Consider this ratio – “For every 100 men promoted to management, only 72 women were promoted. If women are promoted and hired at the same rate as men, there will be 1M more women in corporate America over the next 5 years.” 

(Source: 2019 McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org ‘Women in the Workplace study) 


STEP 2 – Avoid “tokenism” – having a sole female member in any team just for show 

When women are grossly outnumbered in a group they will be sidelined and ignored. By contrast, having an equal number of men and women will form a cohesive group identity where gender differences become less important and members regard each other in terms of individual ability and contribution.


STEP 3 – Establish fair review and recognition criteria 

Companies need to have the right evaluation processes and tools in place to avoid any bias from sneaking into hiring and performance reviews. For example, collecting objective and measurable feedback are considered generally more informative than arbitrary scales and assessments. 


STEP 4 – Establish family-friendly HR practices  

Support for women as caregivers through flextime, job sharing, telecommuting, childcare, elderly care, etc., provide for an enriching experience at home and in the workplace. Such benefits allow women to thrive in their career ambitions and balance the difficult demands of family life.  


The bottom-line 

Leaders who fix the gender gap in their organisation foster a thriving workplace culture that generates success and wealth of opportunity for all.  


Australia’s pioneering businesswomen are coming together to help more women rise the corporate ladder or start and grow their own company. Join them by reserving your spot for The Empowered Woman Summit 2020 on 26th March. 


The Empowered Woman 2020

How To Set SMART Goals For 2020

It’s that time of year again when we all evaluate every area of our lives and think about what we want to achieve in the year to come. From career to health, family life to finances, many people daydream about what they want to do and hope it will magically happen or come to them, but that’s very far from the truth.

The only way to make all your dreams for the year come true is to set SMART goals for 2020. Not just any goals, they need to be SMART. If you want something, you have to go out and chase it! You need to be clear on exactly what it is you want to achieve, be able to measure it, work out whether it’s achievable and realistic, and put a time frame on it.

You have to make a plan and make it happen. You only get out what you put in, and if your dreams were easy everyone would be doing it, wouldn’t they?

So, the first step for working towards your goals for 2020 is to break down your dreams into goals. Start now, grab a pen and paper. Let’s write SMART goals together.

What are SMART goals?

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time framed

Start with a list of everything you want to achieve in the year, let your mind go wild!

Once you’ve workshopped some ideas, you can start with the first criteria – specific. Let’s take a goal that 98% of people want to do at the start of the year – ‘get healthy’. Having a goal to ‘get healthy’ is not specific. What does this mean? Is it weight loss, is it muscle tone, is it eating more vegetables?

Let’s assume it is weight loss. Specifically, how much? You have to put a number on it. Same for muscle tone, or even eating better. 10kgs? 20% more muscle? 5 healthy dinners a week?

From here, we take the next criteria – measurable – can you measure your goal? If it’s specific you should be able to measure it – any of the examples above can be measured and tracked. That’s what you want, something that makes it very clear to know whether you’ve achieved your goal or not.

Is it achievable? Did you say you want to lose 30kgs by March 31? Now, this probably isn’t achievable without drastically restricting your life or making massive changes and it’s tied to the next step, which is realistic. Given how you run your life now, considering all lifestyle factors and knowing we all only have 24 hours in a day, can you achieve what you have set out to do in the timeframe available?

And that’s how we arrive at the last criteria – time framed. You probably can lose 5kgs by March 31. That’s probably realistic and achievable, but not 30kg!

If you take all of your goals on your list from all areas of life and apply these criteria to it, you should come up with a few that you can commit to achieving. Or even one. One is better than none!

You should keep track of your efforts. It will be easier to stick to your goals if you can both see what you are doing and visibly recording the results. Seeing yourself get some small wins can be amazing for motivation! Tell someone about them – verbal commitment is hard to break, and we are social animals – social proof can help you stick to and achieve your goals.

If your goal is career orientated, say getting a promotion, setting and tracing your goals can help prove that you’re worth it. You can take your goal tracker into your next performance review. Metrics are hard to argue against, especially if they have proven results. They show initiative and commitment, what employer doesn’t want to see that?

Well there you have it, my top tips on how to set SMART goals for 2020. I wish you all the best with your goal setting and I hope you enjoy the process!

If you’d like to learn more about career goal setting, The Empowered Woman is the event for you! To be held in Sydney on March 26, you’ll learn how to break down your career goals into achievable steps and gain the tools to support your journey to the job from Australia leading businesswoman. Tickets for this one-day event will sell out quickly, so don’t miss out. Get your tickets today!

Do You Have a Growth Mindset?

Do you have a Growth Mindset?

Learn the difference between Fixed and Growth Mindset and figure out where your perceptions, beliefs and attitudes about success land.   


Mindset informs our perceptions which determine our actions and decisions. In short, mindset is everything! It shapes how we experience the world.   


In her 2006 book, Mindset: The New Psychology of SuccessStanford Professor Carol Dweck identifies two opposite mindsets – Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset. 


Success belongs to those who adopt the Growth Mindset. But if you feel that your mindset leans on the fixed side, the good news from Dweck is, you can recalibrate your thinking –  


“Mindsets are an important part of your personality, but you can change them. Just by knowing about the two mindsets, you can start thinking and reacting in new ways.”


Refer to the guide below to understand the difference and to figure out where your perceptions, beliefs and attitudes about success land.   


Fixed vs Growth Mindset - Comparative Table


We have lined up trainings and events all-year-round featuring globally recognized leadership and management thought leaders. Sign up for any of our Professional Development Events to learn the success formula for leadership.  


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Why the Leader-Manager is the Ideal Executive

Leaders and managers are distinctive but complementary roles. One cannot function without the other in executive leadership. 


When it comes to preparing yourself for high-level roles, the prevailing belief is that you should stop acting like a manager and be more of a leader.  


Author and business professor, John Kotter suggests that – management and leadership are different but complementary skill sets. They need to work in tandem as you mature into an executive role.  


Knowing these fundamental differences between a leader and a manager, according to Kotter, will help you understand why one cannot function without the other. 


(Source: What Leaders Really Do by John P. Kotter, December 2001 Harvard Business Review )


 Leader vs Manager


Invest in your success by sharpening both your leadership and management skills. Reserve your spot today for the Authentic Leadership Summit and elevate your executive development. 


Authentic Leadership Summit 2020 - March 17 to 20



How to Get More Women to Advance in the Workplace

How to Get More Women to Advance in the Workplace

Ever tried climbing a ladder that had a step missing? It’s difficult, right?


Well, according to the Women in the Workplace 2019 study, there is a “broken rung” or a gap in the succession line of women at first level management positions.


The leadership ladder, it seems, is missing a step and is proving difficult to climb for women.


According to the authors, “fixing it will set off a positive chain reaction across the entire pipeline. As more women become managers, there will be more women to promote and hire at each subsequent level. Put another way, more entry-level women will rise to management, and more women in management will rise to senior leadership.”


In a previous post (Forget Mentors. What Women Need Are Sponsors.), we identified “sponsorship” as a key strategy to get more women to advance in leadership roles.


But what more can be done to fix the broken rung that is keeping women from reaching top level positions in companies?


Sponsorship is a fantastic example of how women in senior positions can help those rising through the ranks (it’s a concept that gets discussed a lot at our Women in Leadership Summits)


But the great news is that everyone, regardless of seniority or gender, can do something to influence diversity in favor of more women rising in your organisation’s hierarchy.


Here are 4 practices you can implement right now.


1. Refer more qualified women candidates


60% of successful hires come from referrals. Actively support your company’s hiring and promotion efforts by referring more qualified women in first-level management positions. Your leaders will surely appreciate your loyalty and regard you as someone who is fully invested in the company’s future success.


2. Nominate more female co-workers for advancement opportunities and initiatives


Studies have revealed that women generally hesitate to put themselves forward when there’s an opportunity for a promotion, a high-profile initiative or any chance to shine in the workplace. Give your overlooked but talented coworker her much deserved kudos. Sing her praises every chance you get for your leaders to take notice.


3. Speak up against unfair bias


No matter where you are in your organisation, you should feel safe to call out bias and act accordingly when you see it. Consequently, you should feel empowered to objectively question policies and systems like performance evaluations, if you observe them to be biased and unfair to women.


4. Start a peer-to-peer training initiative


Training is crucial in preparing women for management roles. If your company does not provide structured training to support and grow a pipeline of female talent, band together and organise a group on your own. Women helping each other to advance their leadership education is an effective way to get the experience they need, raise their profile and be tapped for leadership opportunities.


Australia’s pioneering businesswomen are coming together to help more women rise the corporate ladder or start and grow their own company. Join them by reserving your spot for The Empowered Woman Summit 2020 on 26th March.


The Empowered Woman 2020


How to Take Stock of Your Career Using a SWOT Analysis

How to Take Stock of Your Career Using a SWOT Analysis

Do you check in on yourself? Do you weigh in on how you’re going? What went well? What didn’t? And where you want to go? Career introspection is a necessary exercise that we do not do often enough.


But if you approach taking stock of your professional and personal development in the same efficient way you do business, then you can better figure out the answers to these big questions.


Organising your personal inventory using the classic SWOT tool below will give you a better sense of what you have to offer and how your goals might fit into that. Writing down your own Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats can help you understand who you are in depth, strategise your professional growth and uncover your true potential.


Let’s dive in —



  1. Which opportunities should you pursue?
  2. What activities should you spend more time on?
  3. Name the things you need to – a) start doing and b) stop doing now?
  4. What current skills do you need to brush up on?
  5. What new skills do you need to pick up?


Taking stock of your abilities using SWOT is a powerful tool that can help you make smart and informed decisions. To learn more on how you can take your career to the next level, sign up for The Empowered Woman 2020.

The Empowered Woman 2020

Forget Mentors. What Women Need Are Sponsors.

Understanding Sponsorship and Why it’s the Best Strategy for Women to Advance in Leadership 


The latest Women in the Workplace Report by McKinsey & Company highlights an increasing number of organisations who are seeing the value of having more women in senior leadership roles. While this is a move in the right direction towards gender diversity, women continue to be underrepresented at every level. 


The study has identified that the biggest obstacle to women advancing in their careers is not at the “glass ceiling”, but at the lower rungs of the corporate ladder – the first step from staff member to manager.


To fix the “broken rung”, women need stronger support to access stepping-stone jobs. A more deliberate focus on career sponsorship is one strategy to help more women rise to the top and achieve gender parity. 

Mentor vs Sponsor: What’s the difference


Simply put, mentors advise while sponsors advocate. The difference is also in the level of support. According to Herminia Ibarra, Professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School and author of Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader –  


“In a mentoring relationship, the mentor provides personal advice and support privately, with no more at stake than the time invested. While a classic sponsorship relationship, the sponsor advocates for an individual, typically in a succession contest for a significant role, with his or her reputation at stake.” 


A sponsor can certainly make or break a career much more than a mentor. Here’s a quick guide to help you understand the difference and strategise your career growth.


Mentor vs Sponsor - What's The Difference?

Career Checklist 


Take stock of your career and determine whether sponsorship is the right approach to your professional development by answering these questions – 


  • Who is the highest-ranking, most influential leader in the organisation who knows you? 
  • Do you work well together? 
  • Would they be willing to vouch for your talent? 
  • If those who know you and your work are not powerful enough, can they connect you with someone who is? 
  • Who can you approach for high-level assignments? 
  • Who can introduce you to high-level decision makers? 
  • How will you advance to the next notch? 
  • Who can help you get there? 


On the flip-side, becoming a sponsor yourself might even be the better strategy to advance in your career. If you build a reputation for sponsoring other women to succeed in your organisation, you are more likely to rise to the top as well. 


And so, ask yourself –  


  • Who do you bring along with you on the way to the top? 
  • How will you help sponsor more women to succeed?  
  • Have you identified high potential women proteges to sponsor within your team?  


Learn how you can sponsor and empower the next generation of female leaders from the country’s most influential women in business. Reserve your spot for The Empowered Woman 2020.


The Empowered Woman 2020

How To “Ultralearn” and Accelerate Your Career

How to ultralearn and accelerate your career

To be successful in the modern workplace, you need to be constantly learning and growing. Accelerating your career demands that you stack up on knowledge and skills and learn them rapidly while fulfilling the daily requirements of your job.   

Successful companies like Google, for example, view learning and development as an essential part of the culture with the 20% rule which requires all employees to assign dedicated time to learn a skill.  

With or without the support of your organisation, it’s still possible to create the space and make learning a habit. How do you do it?  


Hello ‘Ultralearning’  


Scott Young, author of Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition and Accelerate Your Career, achieved fame for teaching himself the four-year MIT computer science curriculum in just 12 months.  


The same rapid and focused type of ‘ultralearning’ according to Scott, whether it’s to develop skills from coding to foreign languages, to public speaking, is possible for all of us.  


In his book, he lays out the techniques for how to teach yourself exceptionally quickly. Aside from charting his ultralearning journey, he studied people who have accomplished impressive self-directed learning projects.   


5 Steps to Start your Ultralearning Project  

If you are learning on your own for the first time, it’s ok if you don’t know exactly what you need to learn or how to do it. So, before you crack open a book or sign up for a course, take these steps to get your ultralearning project off to a good start –  

1. Identify the specific skill you want to acquire and that you can learn within a short period, say 1 to 2 months.  

2. Research how other people learned that skill in the past.  

3. Do a simple Google search to identify what learning resources are available.  

4. Find people who have learned the skill and have a conversation about the resources they used. This step is extremely crucial because you can’t waste time with resources that are not the best for the type of skill you want to learn.  

5. Schedule dedicated time for learning. Using Google’s 20% rule as an example, set aside Friday’s for weekly learning.  


5 Ways to Transfer Ultralearning  

Transfer learning is when you learn something from a book, an online course or a classroom and apply it in a different context, like in the real world, for example. Here are five ways to make the most out ultralearning and successfully transfer new knowledge into serviceable skills – 

 1. Just do it.   

Obviously, you need to start practising and failing forward to gain confidence in your new skill. If you’re trying to learn a new language, for example, start training by having more conversations.  

2. Mock projects  

While you’re still in the process of building competence to be functional in your new skill, work on mock projects such as a test website if you’re trying to learn how to create one.  

3. Space repetition  

If studying requires intense memorisation like learning tax codes or human anatomy, for example, use the flashcard technique to recall vast amounts of information effectively. 

4. Over-learning  

It’s the method of applying your new skills in a more challenging context. For example, using your newly acquired knowledge of coding by performing website troubleshooting, is the fastest way to gain mastery. 

5. Master and apprentice model   

Learning a new skill in tandem with someone who actually knows the skill can help you get quick feedback. Learning this way enables you to get from studying to performing super-fast.   

Live training and events a
llow you to “ultralearn” through the knowledge and experience of certified experts. Start your learning plan and accelerate your career by reserving your spot for any of our expertly curated content and speaker lineup in 2020.  


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How Women Can Negotiate To Get What They Want

Negotiation For Women

A quick guide for women to develop the skills to become their own best advocate 

Rachel, who works in a medium-sized finance consulting firm, was excited to share the news of her promotion from Marketing Manager to Director. When asked whether she was happy about the pay rise, she said she received a modest bump.  

As she stepped into her new role, Rachel slowly came to realize that she was underpaid. And compared to her predecessor, the Marketing Director role grew significantly in scope and complexity. 

Rachel was blindsided. She could have asked for a better salary package by leveraging on her future capability. But like most women, she was only too happy to accept the promotion without negotiating.  

Rachel’s story is all too familiar according to the study by the Melbourne Business School on 
Women-focused Negotiation Training: A Gendered Solution to a Gendered Problem – “Women are reluctant to initiate negotiations in the workplace. When women do negotiate, they ask for too little, they are too willing to accept early offers, and they are too quick to accommodate. As a result, women are repeatedly disadvantaged in salary, developmental opportunities, and other resources that they need for successful careers.”  

The study compiles the interview responses of 84 women from primarily large organizations with more than 500 employees. Their responses highlight their experiences in workplace negotiations – what were the negotiations about, who they negotiated with and the effect on their work relationships and self-esteem. 

The interviews have uncovered the roadblocks that keep women from becoming their own best advocate. But the good news is – women can strategize to vanquish these roadblocks and negotiate the best outcome for themselves. 

Below is a summary of negotiation challenges according to the study and the recommendations on how to overcome them.

Negotiation Training For Women - Summary Guide

Develop smart negotiation skills and earn your ideal salary. Sign up for The Empowered Woman Summit and learn from Australia’s leading power businesswomen.  


The Empowered Woman 2020