WATTLE Leadership Program

The WATTLE (Women ATTaining Leadership) Program is a carefully designed residential program aimed at empowering women to attain senior university leadership roles. It is owned entirely by participating universities, including ANU, and builds on the NZWiL Programme that has been running for over 12 years.

As a program partner, the University has reserved places in each of the academic and professional WATTLE Programs. This year the professional program is being held from 17 to 21 June 2024 (Monday to Friday).  The academic program is being held from 25 to 29 November 2024 (Monday to Friday). Both programs are held in Melbourne. Participants will be chosen based on nominations from Deans, General Managers or Portfolio Leads (depending on the candidate’s work area) with final selection of participants being made by a committee.

The academic program is designed for academics at Associate Professor or Professor level who aspire to be in leadership positions such as College Deans, Research School Directors, Chairs of major university committees, principal investigators on major research projects, and ultimately, Pro Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor roles.

The professional program is designed for women in or aspiring to be in senior professional staff leadership positions, which involve significant budget and people responsibility for University or College-wide service divisions or units. This might include, for example, Directors or Managers of Student Administration, Student Services, Facilities Management, Finance and Procurement, International, Communications and Marketing, Student Recruitment, Human Resources, Legal Services, senior University Library staff, College General Managers or School Managers heading up administration services in large Schools. These participants would be in approximately Senior Management Level 1 roles and above, up to recently appointed executive level positions, in the central University or College administration areas of ANU.

During the program, participants hear from industry and government executives on topics ranging from leadership development, personal branding, sponsorship and managing change, to inclusive leadership, mindfulness in the workplace and navigating organisational politics.

The program will empower participants to reflect on their own careers by hearing from inspirational leaders and discussing with them the known inhibitors of career progression for women. The participants will become members of a network of women from different backgrounds, who, through this program, will get to know and trust each other and provide support across universities.

  1. Deans, General Managers and Portfolio Leads are invited to nominate female leaders to participate in the program;
  2. Nominees complete an application form, endorsed by nominator;
  3. Short-listing/eligibility checking of nominees is undertaken by the People and Culture Division;
  4. A selection committee chooses the final four participants from the short list.

Further information can be found on the WATTLE Program website.



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