Originally designed for the BBC by the Springboard Consultancy, it is delivered through a network of licensed trainers. To date over 230,000 women in over 40 countries have participated in the programme.
The programme has been running in the University since 2013, supporting the work undertaken by the Equality and Diversity team to address women’s development and career at levels 6 and 7, after analysis showed a steep decline of women at these levels in the University. Professor Catherine Pope, Professor of Medical Sociology in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Pam Morgan, ILIaD Development Manager became licensed trainers in Autumn 2014. They have further boosted the total number of women participating in the programme since 2013 to 272 across the University. The programme has been offered to women in academic and professional services roles and is always highly subscribed with 82 on the current waiting list.
“The programme has an amazing track record for developing untapped potential and helping women to become more fulfilled at home, at work and in the community. Some people say it is life changing and some have made personal changes that they wouldn’t have made before. Ten years on, many women are still using skills they learnt on the course.”
The Athena SWAN Charter recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology in higher education and research. Springboard represents one of the ways that the University supports its academic women to reach their full potential.
There are lots of hard business reasons why it makes sense to invest in Springboard. It helps women become more effective in their jobs by being more assertive, improving their goal setting and encouraging them to represent themselves more effectively.
“Women attend four workshops and are required to work through the Springboard workbook in between the sessions. One of the most important aspects of the programme is the support network women create during the workshops and beyond.”
Professional services staff member, Marika Stone said of the course:
“This programme has made all the difference. I wouldn’t have made the progress I have without it. I applied for two jobs within the University during the programme and got to interview stage. It also resulted in an internal job move.”
Vesna Perisic, Senior Teaching Fellow in Mathematics, said:
“It gave me confidence: confidence to put myself forward, confidence to express my views when appropriate. I also met many nice and inspiring women that work for the University and so extended my social and support network.”
“I definitely behave with more confidence and my engagement with the University has increased: I became a member of the University senate and I I feel it is more likely I will apply for promotion in one of the next rounds.”
New dates are under discussion and will be promoted on the University Springboard website.