Saturday, April 20, 2024

Women graduate to Next Level with AWDT programme

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Six-month programme taught leadership and governance development.
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The latest graduation of the Agri Women’s Development Trust Next Level programme in Christchurch celebrated 14 women ready to lead progress and change in New Zealand’s food and fibre sector.

Next Level is a six-month leadership and governance development programme empowering women to grow their leadership.

Programme governance specialist Dawn Sangster said many women face challenges or feel unsure how to evolve their skills to gain greater influence and impact in the contributions to their rural communities and the wider NZ sector.

The Agri Women’s Development Trust (AWDT) recognised this and designed the Next Level programme as an opportunity to help women break through barriers and grow skills and courage to lead through change and achieve their goals.

Next Level is a progression from the AWDT Escalator Programme.

With support from professional facilitators and coaches, the women learn the theory and psychology of leadership and communication, the fundamentals of governance and how to apply that knowledge in their areas of interest.

They may already be involved in leadership but wanting to be more effective within their role, interested in leadership and prepared to step up for the benefit of their own business, industry, community and NZ.

Next Level attracts women of all ages and from all walks of life, across all farming sectors of arable, horticulture, sheep, dairy, beef, deer, and animal welfare, biosecurity, apiary, wine, fishing, forestry, support and professional services and the corporate sector.   

“There was so much demand for Escalator that clearly indicated the need to design Next Level,” Sangster said.

“It’s just amazing to see the difference. They come into the programme lacking confidence and six months later at graduation they have their five-year goal and just so much personal growth.”

The programme includes self-study modules, online coaching, Zoom meetings and facilitated block workshop learning.

“These women have discovered the why and built courage to lead and influence in the food and fibre sector and rural communities.

“It’s just a fantastic opportunity and is making a huge difference to the agricultural sector.

“Without the backing of many generous sponsors and the supportive partners this would not be possible so a big thanks to everyone who contributes to make this happen,” Sangster said.

The guest speaker at the graduation ceremony, Farmlands chief people officer Becs Edwards, presented a motivational address, inspiring the women as they “head onwards and upwards”.

Applications are now open for Next Level 2024 beginning on May 7.

For more information and to register go to:

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