Every year IADT sponsor two women, one academic and one professional member of staff, to take prat in the Aurora Programme.
Aurora is a great success story. Since the initiative began 4,613 women from 171 institutions have participated, with 1,136 women attending in 2017-18 alone. This highlights the huge commitment of the sector to achieve gender equality and invest in the development of current and future women leaders.
It also represents a unique opportunity to embed strong networks to enable pathways to share best practice, insights and experiences. This innovative development process is for women up to senior lecturer level or professional services equivalent.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Aurora has been introduced to help address the under-representation of women in senior posts in higher education as outlined in the Advance HE’s Stimulus Paper ‘Women and Higher Education: Absences and Aspirations’ by Professor Louise Morley (January 2013).
Many influential stakeholders including vice-chancellors and Office for Students agree the situation calls for immediate action to encourage more women to enter leadership.
Feedback tells us that higher education institutions would like to support more women to apply for leadership roles and feedback from women suggests that early leadership development would facilitate this.
Aurora has been designed to take a partnership approach with universities and higher education colleges. This involves the institution making a commitment to provide mentors and role models as well as participants so that the issues and challenges of leadership progression for women are recognised more widely across the university or higher education college.
WHAT DOES AURORA COVER?
Aurora addresses core areas associated with leadership success:
• Understanding organisations and the sector
• Developing leadership behaviours, skills and knowledge
• Identifying and overcoming barriers and obstacles
• Growing confidence and a leadership identity
• Building networks, coalitions and support processes
Aurora incorporates these areas by using a combination of: development days (four, at approximately monthly intervals); an action learning set and self-directed learning that complements the key themes and supports participants’ own development needs and in-house mentoring.