Derry/Donegal ladies leading the way!

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Ambitious women from both Derry and Donegal have recently bolstered their leadership skills by completing an eight-month intensive Strategic Leadership Programme, organised by Women into Public Life.

The aim of the programme was to increase the number of women leaders in key decision-making roles in the North West by enhancing their skills, knowledge and leadership capacity. It was the first of its kind to be accredited to Level 5 OCNNI and attracted women from both the statutory and voluntary sectors across the region.

DemocraShe, an agency based in Belfast, delivered the programme which was organised by Women into Public Life, the cross border project funded by the EU’s INTERREG IVA programme, which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

Sessions focused on topics such as equality, leadership, the media, strategic thinking, decision-making, influencing change as well as gaining greater understanding of politics and policy making.

Such subjects were brought to life by guest speakers which included journalists, politicians and policy makers as well as women holding key leadership positions in the region. The programme realised very positive outcomes for participants, one of whom, in the course of the training, was successfully recruited on to a state board.

A two day visit to Brussels was also included in the programme where participants met with MEPs, representatives of the FEMM Equality Committee,

the European Women’s Lobby and the European Trade Union Congress. The visit also included a tour of the European Parliament.

One participant commented that she was empowered when the “realisation that we (our group) have the capacity, intelligence, education and skills to represent our country at this level.”

Another learner felt that she gained a “greater understanding about how decisions are made, how they are influenced and how issues can be brought to Europe to create pressure for change at home.”