Confidence and sponsorship – a winning combination for women in leadership roles

  • By AusIMM


AusIMM is proud to partner with like-minded organisations sharing our commitment to support women in their careers. As part of our International Women’s Day Event Series, we’re showcasing inspiring stories from our sector, and initiatives that are making careers in mining a reality for women around the world.

Pioneering aviator Nancy Bird-Walton.

Named after one of Australia’s pioneering aviators, the women participating in KPMG’s Bird-Walton program have been empowered to be more confident in leadership positions.

KPMG’s executive team were determined to see more women in senior leadership roles and believed a different and more progressive approach was required. A program to help empower women with the confidence to take action to pursue career opportunities was designed and delivered by Dr Jess Murphy.

The program is known internally as the Bird-Walton program, honouring pioneering aviator and champion of women’s advancement Nancy Bird-Walton. The program recognises that one of the greatest impediments to the advancement of women is their lack of access to senior sponsors, especially men.

‘By harnessing the power of sponsorship, the participating women became more comfortable and confident in their unique potential and what they could personally bring to senior leadership teams.’

The program challenges male partners to experience the workplace through the eyes of the women they sponsor. Similarly, the participating women are exposed to the dynamics of senior leadership and given the tools, knowledge and capabilities critical to becoming an effective leader.

Dr Murphy’s program brought together 24 of KPMG’s high potential women and 24 male partners as their sponsors to participate in a six-month experience involving interactive workshops, coursework and one-on-one sessions.

Post-program research showed that by harnessing the power of sponsorship, the participating women became more comfortable and confident in their unique potential and what they could personally bring to senior leadership teams.

The program continues to influence KPMG’s high potential women and senior leaders to believe in their own capabilities, and to value the contribution they make to the firm and each other. The transformational leadership impacts resulting from the program are fast-tracking KPMG’s vision to be a workplace that champions and demonstrates ‘diversity of thought’ at every level.

KPMG is a Gold Partner of AusIMM’s International Women’s Day Event Series. Register now for our luncheons being hosted across six Australian Capital cities from 2-6 March 2020. Find out more at iwd.ausimm.com.

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