Learning from Empowering Women to Lead Digital Transformation
Claire Welsh recently took part in Empowering You's 'Empowering Women to Lead Digital Transformation' programme. Here, she shares about what she learned and her takeaways from the course.
I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to complete the Empowering Women to Lead Digital Transformation programme. It was different to any other course I have completed, and I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the programme including the workshops, coaching and the graduation.
PDMS has supported a number of the Empowering You programmes in Scotland, including the 2022 cohorts which my colleagues Fiona and Suzanne took part in, and the Autumn 2023 cohort which I participated in.
About the course
I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was unlike any other course I'd done before. The sessions were delivered in person and through sharing experiences and ideas, active listening, and coaching activities rather than using death by PowerPoint which made it really engaging.
The course was made up of four workshops, three coaching sessions and a final group presentation at the graduation ceremony.
During the workshops, we focused on leadership models and what we can learn from them (and what bits are outdated and are to be taken with a pinch of salt). We developed our active listening skills, including picking up on body language and what isn’t directly being said.
We also worked on coaching skills and asking powerful questions to help others find the best solutions to the challenges that they are facing. It was eye-opening to work through these activities using our real-life experiences, giving the content more depth and context.
Part of the course was receiving three coaching sessions with a designated coach which was useful. I was able to outline some challenges I wanted to discuss and gain a new perspective on, and it was really helpful to have someone to work through things with.
The final part of the course was a graduation ceremony with a group presentation. I was in a group of five and our topic was ‘inspiring young girls and women into technology’, which we enjoyed working on. The presentation was in front of lots of people, so it was quite nerve-wracking and probably the most difficult part of the course.
However, once I was up and had started speaking, my nerves faded away and my confidence grew. Our presentation was really well received, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the other presentations. There was another cohort focusing on Cyber Security who were also presenting so it was interesting to learn more about their roles and experiences too.
What I gained from this experience
I learned a lot from the programme. One key takeaway was that lots of the skills I already have are considered key leadership skills in themselves. This has massively improved my confidence and has set me up well to move into a leadership role in future.
I have also gained a great network of women who I will definitely keep in touch with. Working with these women on our presentation, discussing our challenges and sharing experiences was a large part of my experience on the course and it had such a huge impact on my imposter syndrome and confidence.
To find out more about the Empowering You programmes, visit their website