Coaching for Women in Digital benefits managers and teams

Find out more about the skills, learning outcomes and benefits for participants, teams and agencies who take part in Coaching for Women in Digital.

The Coaching for Women in Digital program is part of the Digital Profession. It helps develop the leadership skills of talented Executive Level 1 (EL1) female, female-identifying and non-binary professionals in digital.

We spoke to past participant, Helen Jones, and her manager, Magda Hribar, on the positive impacts of the program on personal, team, and agency levels. Helen is an Assistant Director and Magda is a Director in the Biosecurity Integrated Information System team at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Identifying strengths and building confidence

Helen was new to the digital field, and her experience thus far was that it was very male dominated. Helen thought this program would help her navigate and understand some of the challenges.

‘I thought it would provide a supportive environment and network. But it also made me take time out for myself which I have never really done before. It was a very supportive environment.’

The biggest benefit for Helen was understanding her strengths. ‘I realised I can make the most of my strengths, which are legitimate and worthwhile. I’m more confident to pursue what I’m interested in, and that I’ll get greater job satisfaction through better alignment to my values.’

Building strategic and proactive digital leaders

From Magda’s perspective, the Coaching for Women in Digital program presented a great opportunity for Helen to further enhance her knowledge and skills, so she would feel confident and comfortable working in this environment. She said, ‘Helen has made many significant contributions to business outcomes over the years... I thought a coaching program such as this would support her to continue her career development generally, as well as digitally’.

Magda has observed the program’s positive impact on Helen. By focusing on strengths, the program has given her more awareness of her strengths and preferred ways of working, and acknowledgement that this is both valid and valuable.

As a result, this has empowered Helen to provide more leadership within the team and across the program on research, analysis and evaluation. This has led to a more strategic, proactive approach rather than being reactive. It has benefited Magda as a manager, as she can now comfortably step back from some of these areas. Helen has demonstrated that she is confident and capable in this digital leadership role.

Being nominated and supported by her work area to participate in such a program has really encouraged Helen. ‘It was a significant investment, both time and money, and I think Helen appreciated the recognition of her contribution to business outcomes,’ said Magda.

Developing role models and future mentors

Through the agency’s investment, Helen now embraces a digital leadership role. Magda sees Helen as an exemplary role model, and possible mentor, for other women aspiring to succeed in the digital professions. This means Helen adds even more value to the department in terms of both productivity and quality of her work.

Supporting women to pursue careers in digital

For Helen, this program not only signals to women that digital is a valid place for them but offers the support to pursue that career choice. As she says, ‘‘Women are still underrepresented in certain professions. There is still a culturally complex experience for many women that affects confidence and career choices.’

Magda agrees. ‘It sends a positive message that there is a place for women in digital, even if the numbers are still low. That’s good for women and their agencies.’

‘Helen encourages others to join the program. She says, ‘it really does try to get you to be self-reflective in a positive but realistic way. The focus on strengths was a revelation for me. It has allowed me to share my knowledge, enthusiasm for learning and support my team more confidently.’

On a final note, Helen has a tip for new participants. ‘Give yourself the time, embrace the approach and enjoy the experience!’

Applications for the Coaching for Women in Digital program close on 9 August 2021. Register now so that you don’t miss out.