Vanessa Explores Diversity and Growth with LeadershipWA
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Vanessa Explores Diversity and Growth with LeadershipWA

7 March 2024

Vanessa Williams, Manager Service Delivery PwD, recently completed the Rising Leadership Program offered by Leadership WA. Proving that leadership isn’t just about calling the shots, the program offered a chance for self-exploration and growth, rather than being a series of management tips.

What set the program apart for Vanessa wasn’t just its aim at mid-level leaders, but the mix of people it brought together. From day one, she found herself working alongside a diverse group of people from across different sectors and regions of WA. Despite initial doubts and the very real challenge of imposter syndrome, Vanessa excelled in an environment she says was both humbling and enriching.

The course was an amazing way to learn about yourself. I thought it would be about managing situations, but it was more about understanding myself, my gifts, and how these can look in different situations.

Vanessa's push to participate in the program sprang from a keen interest in deepening her leadership skills. Aware other staff at Rise had found the course helpful, she discussed it with Senior Manager Jason Burgess who was very supportive of the idea and encouraged her to apply.

A key project during the course, "No Poverty", allowed Vanessa and her cohort to tackle real-world problems, connecting disused smartphones with children in the foster system. This project not only showcased the practical application of their learning but also highlighted the power of diversity in problem-solving.

"Recognising the value in diversity, and giving people a voice where there is diversity, means you can benefit from all the different experiences and views," Vanessa reflects, emphasising the importance of diverse perspectives in enriching discussions and outcomes.

After finishing the program, Vanessa said she found it was important to “put what you’ve learned into practice and reflect on it quickly”. So, that’s what she now plans to do. With the program behind her, Vanessa's ready to prove that investing time into your own personal and professional growth always pays off.

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