UCT spearheads women’s leadership program to improve public sector service delivery

With the launch of the Local Government Women’s Leadership Development Programme, the University of Cape Town (UCT) is in a prime position to develop a cadre of women leaders who are empowered, trained, capable and equipped to make authentic, innovative contributions. and sustainable to the spaces they occupy in South Africa.

UCT’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, in partnership with Zenande Leadership Consulting, a consulting firm committed to developing women in leadership positions, developed the course for women leaders in municipal and local government institutions. Its aim is to enhance your leadership capacity and amplify your impact as leaders in various roles in the public sector to improve service delivery outcomes.

The course is part of the school’s suite of executive education programs that offer training through a variety of delivery modes including short courses, implementation workshops and labs, webinars and masterclasses, and individual and group coaching.

“Through this program, we hope to support women in middle and senior management positions to enhance their impact and increase the pool of women available to fill these positions.”

“Through this program, we hope to support women in middle and senior management positions to enhance their impact and increase the pool of women available to fill these positions,” said Hannah Diaz, Program Manager: Executive Education. “This will drive systems-level transformation efforts, change ways of working and improve the quality of work to ultimately improve service delivery.”

UCT News spoke with Diaz to find out more about the program and how it is expected to benefit women in leadership positions in the public sector.

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Niémah Davids (ND): Who commissioned the Women’s Leadership Development Program and why was it necessary?

Hannah Diaz (HD): The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) appointed the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance to develop this program to help them develop strong women leaders in local government organisations.

Public servants in our country face enormous challenges, especially when it comes to developing and implementing development public policies and delivering programs that enable lasting positive transformation. Women in the public sector also face additional barriers, including less access to leadership development opportunities to thrive and advance their careers as representatives of public leadership.

There is a deep need for this type of training and development, and we hope that this program will be the first of many such interventions: investing in women leaders to enable them to successfully navigate the complexities of their contexts and amplify their impact in the government space. local.

ND: What makes this show unique?

HD: This leadership program is designed as a journey of personal, interpersonal, and organizational transformation. Delegates are encouraged to engage at all three levels to develop the agency and increase its capacity and resilience.

The program was specifically designed for women who hold positions in local government at both the political and administrative levels. It has been designed to foster greater understanding and more effective collaboration between the two groups. The program has not been designed on a one-size-fits-all basis. Instead, it is based on a comprehensive needs analysis, including a context mapping exercise, and is designed to be highly responsive to the needs and context of the training audience.

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ND: How will this program benefit delegates in the short and long term?

HD: In the short term, delegates benefit from increased self-awareness and emotional intelligence. By implementing the skills they learned during the program, these leaders should be able to positively change their engagement within their workplaces and communities, and especially within their teams. We believe that by facilitating supportive and collaborative work environments, leaders will develop emotionally intelligent, innovative and engaged teams.

“The strong network of women leaders established during the program also connects leaders from across the country.”

In the long term, by consistently implementing the strategic, innovative, adaptive, and ethical leadership principles and skills acquired through the program, delegates will contribute to transformation and improve organizational processes and practices in local government organizations. The strong network of women leaders established during the program also connects leaders from across the country and from different cohorts, now functioning as an important structure of mutual support.

ND: How many delegates signed up for the inaugural program?

HD: More than 450 delegates applied to participate in this program. However, we were only able to accommodate 80 of them due to resource limitations.

In response to the overwhelming request for training, we have developed webinars and online masterclasses for this broader audience to enable women from local government institutions across the country to have access to highly qualified expert presenters in each of the their fields. This expanded the reach of the program far beyond those who formally signed up and created a library of leadership development resources for delegates to freely access.

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