'Women in Leadership Development' program expands with 'Advance'

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The Brandon BioCatalyst-managed Women in Leadership Development (WILD) program has announced the latest cohort of participants and confirmed additional funding from the federal government.

The new funding will allow the program to be extended to feature 'WILD Advance' which will focus on providing women with an extended one-year board observership experience.

Women represent 27 per cent of the STEM workforce but hold just 8 per cent of CEO roles.

The WILD program is entering its third year. It consists of three parts - completing a nationally recognised company director’s course, an executive leadership retreat and participation in board meetings for a STEM-related company.

“I’ve spent many years being the only woman in the room,” says Christine Higgins, a tech entrepreneur and successful applicant to this year's WILD Program.

"In all my computer science classes there was always one woman to ten men. When you are the only woman in the room, you tend to question whether you belong.”

The new WILD Advance program will provide a further 50 women with an extended one-year board observership experience. A pilot of the program is underway with six participants.

Both the original WILD Program and Advance were developed by WILD Women founders Dr Nadine Brew (Portfolio Manager, Brandon Capital), Dr Lauren Giorgio (Chief Operating Officer, GPN Vaccines) and Dr Udani Reets (Director Partnerships, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre).

“We are welcoming a brilliant cohort of women to participate in our third year of the WILD Program and in our WILD Advance pilot,” said Dr Brew. “There have been some encouraging results from previous years, with 45 per cent of the 2022 cohort already achieving career promotions and new roles. We are excited to see how the addition of WILD Advance will further our mission of seeing more women in senior executive positions within STEM.”