Recently we met with Organisational Learning Partner, Jo Westerman MBE and Eileen Barrett to find out how Springboard has helped University of Leeds.

With a background in science, 2 degrees, whilst working at the University of Leeds, Jo persuaded them to open the Learning Opportunities for Gaining Information and Knowledge Centre for staff, and set up all kinds of classes for the staff to develop themselves.

After her first experience of Springboard as a guest speaker, Jo could see that participants were growing in confidence, valuing the safe environment to explore their personal lives and career paths, and learn things about themselves, so Jo became a Springboard trainer.

“Women needed to be nurtured and encouraged more that they had been.”

Jo noticed that Springboard was only offered to women at certain levels and decided that she was going to make this opportunity open to more women.

“Every time that I deliver a Springboard programme, I learn something about myself and the participants”

“I love meeting the women and watching their journey, being involved in it, watching them share their experiences and take the time to think about what is important to them and what their next steps are going be”

Springboard is about people bringing their own agendas and finding out what works for them individually. Everyone has a different approach to diversifying their skills set, and having their own values, aligned with professional and personal goals is what makes them stand out from the crowd and go far.

“There are lots of different ways of progressing and developing yourself”

From running the Springboard programme, a number of women are much more confident to put themselves forward, asking questions and to network.

University of Leeds line managers recommend Springboard to women in staff reviews, because they have noticed the growth in participants. Encouraging individuals learning and development is important to the University because individuals need to be nurtured to progress.

“It’s been a really successful programme for many years, and I’ve met women from so many different places, and seen so many opportunities blossom. I’ve had many participants that have identified what is holding them back – and it’s like they’ve woken up and gone on to achieve their dreams.”

Springboard has helped a lot in achieving awards for the university. Women are more inclined to get involved, to express their opinions and feelings, their open to trying things. The programme gives them the tools to navigate their own path and find what is best for them.

“Springboard encourages you to grab those opportunities. It’s about your whole self.” Says Jo.

Springboard continues to empower the women who work at University of Leeds to be their best self with the help of Jo Westerman MBE.

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