I feel that this program was a defining moment for me. I know what the kind of leader I am and what may work and may not work with my character towards the people I/will lead. This program has given me a chance to revisit my career path, I now feel passionate to lead and take opportunities to come.
A lot has been looked at by university (e.g. women in leadership, inclusivity) and there’s still more to be realized if this programme continues. I observed a lot of changes at Faculty of Engineering and hope the leadership changes and transformations are throughout UJ. Fears of failure by women in leadership positions seems to be diminishing and I believe it is the effect of programs like this one. It assisted me to look at my schedules and raise my hand where possible to participate at faculty level. I stood to be
- Faculty Ethics and Plagiarism Committee chairperson
- Faculty higher Degree Committee Member (FHDC)
I feel very much empowered to say from there I did not see a need to shy away from serving at Senate Higher Degree Committee (SHDC) since the committee required someone who served at FHDC. However, I must also say that during this program I appreciated the fact that my career growth at University is as important, therefore I continued publishing to also apply for Associate Professorship (which is successful).
I was personally impressed by how facilitators grappled with diverse issues, problems and challenges including strategic planning prior dwelling much in how we (participants) view leadership in academia. They gave a board overview of many issues around women in leadership across industries. I feel that they were versatile to suit our particular situations as well as to cater for the group’s emotional complexion. (E.g. do we want to be there or not?).
Facilitators were also good in recording group’s ideas actions and information in formats that were practical, simple, useful and can be readily taken up and acted on after sessions. They provided report back after to brief the group after the event. They were easy to understand (my views) and would engage group were necessary, most importantly facilitators would change models and frame works if majority would feel a little uneasy about a particular approach.
I must say they were
- Inclusive and engaging – helped group to reach workable agreements and allowed use of dialogues which helped introverts to voice out.
- Dealt with dynamics the best way that the group was one
- Made me feel that they’re action oriented – all our sessions ended with action planning and event tracking activities that ensured agreements on actions and priorities
I really feel that this was the defining moment for me and I do not regret any time spent on the program. I can talk waya-waya about this program as I noticed so much transformation at UJ – I however want to say that willingness is the key – We must be the change we want to see. Start with yourself if you want to see change in any organisation.
Prof M. Elizabeth Makhatha, HOD Metallurgy, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg