I was recently asked to talk at a meeting about why I think we are still not seeing women coming through into senior leadership roles, especially in the context of needing to grow the UK’s engineering and technology resource. The invitation arrived just as I had read two very interesting pieces related to this issue: ‘Closing the confidence gap’ by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman in The Atlantic, and ‘The invention of difference, the story of gender bias at work’ by Binna and Jo Kandola, Pearn Kandola. Reflecting on my reading and the discussion at the meeting, I felt there was a lot more we could be doing at Aston to ensure that women (and men) succeed. My talk was called ‘Confidence is what turns thought into action’.
How can we help women succeed in environments where they are underrepresented – so engineering and technology in particular, but senior management and leadership roles more generally? I want to touch on four interrelated areas, starting and finishing with confidence.
Confidence is what turns thoughts into actions - a phrase that sums it up for me. I hope we can get everyone at Aston thinking about what we need to do to improve the confidence of our students and staff.
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