The importance of leadership courses cannot be understated for women looking to advance their careers.
That’s the upshot of a recent panel discussion at the Worldwide ERC Global Workforce Symposium, which invited several female leaders to discuss their experiences and insights into workplace progression.
Titled How To Grow Your Career: A Female Leadership Perspective, the panel included Elizabeth Perelstein, chair of School Choice International, and Denise Clemens, senior vice-president of people resources at Corner Bakery Cafe.
Ms Perelstein said she made several short and long-term investments in her own leadership development in order to remain relevant in her industry.
She took leadership programs and business courses, including individual and group coaching scenarios, the Houston Chronicle reports.
However, she said it is important for women to follow up on their training to get the most out of the experience.
“By following up, I don’t only mean taking notes or doing homework, but really doing the hard stuff, which is putting in place what you’ve learned,” Ms Perelstein stated.
Ms Clemens agreed, stating that formal education and additional training can be vital in climbing the corporate ladder.
“If you want to aspire to a VP or above role, I think you definitely need [education and training] in today’s environment,” she explained.
The pair also offered general advice for women in the workplace, with Ms Perelstein urging females to surround themselves with people who complement their own skills.
“Know yourself. Know what you do well and what you don’t do well,” she said.
Ms Clemens said women need to continually test themselves to help with leadership development.
“Make sure you’re not always comfortable. Once you start getting comfortable, you have to push yourself outside of that zone and you have to seek new opportunities,” she stated.
Their comments followed a recent study by the Australian Human Resources Institute that leadership training is the most effective form of development in the workplace.