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The Path to Equity #EmbraceEquity

The Path to Equity #EmbraceEquity
By Vivienne Porritt   @ViviennePorritt

Our team of Global Strategic Leaders were thrilled we gained Registered Charity status before Christmas. It was even more special as these are the charitable objects we want to achieve:

  • to promote equality and diversity for the public benefit by eliminating discrimination on the grounds of gender
  • by raising awareness of issues and barriers faced by women educators, particularly those who are or aspire to be leaders in education, and by
  • removing or addressing such issues and sharing steps that can be taken to achieve equality through advocacy, social media, publications, events, and campaigns.

We are very proud that these goals are our path towards equity in education for women leaders. What are your steps on this path?

Think of yourself as a leader

On average, women receive higher performance ratings than men, but receive 8.3% lower ratings for potential than men. This results in female employees, on average, being 14% less likely to be promoted than male colleagues. Knowing this, to me, means that we shouldn't wait for a tap on your shoulder or a colleague to suggest you apply for a post.We need to be #10percentBraver and apply for posts.

Lead as a woman

We absolutely do not have to mimic the stereotype of a strong, male leader. Women are experts in

  • participatory and inclusive leadership
  • clear and strong communication
  • learning from others
  • transparency
  • compassion, empathy, and honesty.

We can also create a vision, lead strategically, be effective in a crisis, lead a large team and all other leadership requirements and we can do it by being ethical, transparent and equitably.

Know your worth

When you apply for a new role, talk about yourself and your strengths positively and with assurance, both in your application and at interview. I have supported many women with their applications and most of this is to replace all the words that potentially, diminish their achievements. So, before you apply, have a look at the video on Applications that get results and get comfortable describing yourself as a capable, effective leader/educator.

Ensure you hone your skills and expect opportunities for professional development.Again, don't wait to be offered these. For senior leaders, you can apply for the Masters /Apprenticeship programme from National College of Education and ask to be in the #WomenEd cohort.

This is how Emer Lesova describes it:

'I love being part of the #WomenEd cohort… So supportive, positive and empathetic. Being surrounded by such brilliant women is so motivating and inspiring.'

Mubina Ahmed sees it as 'Like a big family'.

And the numbers of promotions are through the roof.

To join us, use this link to start the conversation and be part of an amazing journey.

20% of our places in the #WomenEd cohort are reserved for women underrepresented in leadership roles: this is important as the path to equity means employers must adopt practices to promote greater diversity in education leadership.

When you are offered a job, smile, say thank you and then say 'subject to salary and working patterns (or any other specific need). This alerts the employer to think about salary and you are initiating the conversation/emails to follow. Have a look at the Negotiation video!

If you are not offered a role you wanted, be even braver and see it as an opportunity to learn and take feedback. Always ask for feedback and see it as part of your path to equity.

We need to shift our own perspectives in some ways and encourage/expect employers to review their recruitment and progression steps by embracing more equitable positions for all women and for you in education. Embracing diversity as an advantage that enables innovation is the equitable way forward.

So, let's unleash our superpowers and show a way of leading differently.


Further Reading

Women leaders eschew 'macho-man' politics

Potential and the Gender Promotion Gap 2022

We need to rethink Strategic Leadership

How diversity can drive innovation

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Monday, 27 March 2023

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