In today’s rapidly evolving professional environment, gender diversity and inclusivity have emerged as crucial elements for the growth and success of any industry. However, numerous fields continue to be dominated by male voices, leaving women to navigate unique challenges and barriers in their pursuit of career progression.
To address this and foster a more inclusive work environment, we have been working with National Grid to provide our Springboard women’s development programme in a male-dominated industry.
This case study aims to explore the transformative impact of Springboard women’s development programme on women seeking to excel in traditionally male-dominated sectors. By examining the experiences of participants, we will shed light on the strategies employed to enhance women’s personal growth, leadership skills, and overall professional development at National Grid.
Substation Construction Procurement Manager
Springboard women’s development programme
What were your expectations before the Springboard women’s development programme?
I knew that Springboard covered subjects that are important to me. I have two young children and a husband and wanted to improve my work-life balance, learn how to better manage my time, be more in the moment and take time for myself to reflect.
It was recommended by a friend who is part of WING (Women In National Grid) and I know lots of people who had done it, all of the feedback I had heard was great, so I thought now it’s my turn!
How did you find the Springboard programme?
I found networking important within the programme. National Grid is male-dominated, and in my role I find myself in a lot of meetings where I’m the only woman, so it was nice to connect with other women across the business. I wanted to interact with other women in the organisation and see how they juggle their work-life balance as well as become more adaptable to changes.
I’m very organised, but when things change, my world can come crashing down. With Springboard I learned to change my perspective, and that having time to reflect on myself has opened my eyes to how I can be more present in the moment.
What were your key takeaways?
I enjoyed the guest speakers. Hearing about people’s journeys and how they’ve progressed through the organisation and how they prioritise their work-life balance was useful because I could relate to them and learn new approaches that I could try in my own life – and they’ve really helped! It has made me think about the next step in my career progression – whether it be in National Grid or elsewhere, Springboard has made me aware of how I want to move forward, and what’s important to me.
I learned about how I can influence how people perceive me, and this has helped me in my communication with others. Understanding my own values made me realise what is important to me, and that I can prioritise myself to be able to be more present both at home and at work. Having time to reflect has made a big difference on my mindset.
I met some great people who were very spontaneous and the complete opposite of me, and they have a great reaction to change. We had a discussion about being adaptable, and I realised that I can take a step back and the world isn’t going to end, and that’s thanks to Springboard and the network!
What was your experience of the programme?
Springboard made me reflect on what’s important to me, I think to myself ‘where I am in my career and where do I want to be? Is it the time right now?’. It has made me just stop, pause and think to reflect on where I am now and what’s important.
I made notes in my workbook so I can look back and reflect on how much I have grown and compare the changes I have made from then to now. The programme made me feel much more positive in myself and my career. If I hadn’t participated in Springboard, I’d still be 100mph in my home and work life. Springboard has been therapy for me!
Has Springboard made a difference to your work?
Since participating I have continued to build my confidence and gained a supportive network across National Grid and I’m more focused. I’ve shared what I’ve learned with my team, making sure that they don’t take work stresses home. I make sure everyone’s having some time to themselves to be the best version of themselves, at home and at work so we’ve all improved our work-life balance, and I’ve seen a significant improvement in my team because of it!
Has Springboard impacted your personal life?
Yes, I feel like I’ve now got a good work-life balance. When I’m with my family, I’m not thinking about work and I am reflecting on what’s important. I think to myself, ‘this is important now, that can wait’. I do feel since I started I have been able to put work aside and take time for me.
Springboard opened my eyes to needing time for myself, so that whether I’m at work or home I can be the best version of myself.
The programme felt like self-therapy. Reading the workbook, going to the workshops and connecting with others about where they are in their career, how they’re juggling things at home, what’s important and what I’ve taken away have all made a difference to me. I feel like I’ve done four months of therapy, and it’s already helped me to achieve what I set out to do, and I have a plan of continuous professional development to progress in my career in a way that works for me.
Have you stayed in contact with your network?
From being with the women over the duration of the programme, we learned a lot and opened up together. Hearing about each other’s challenges allowed us to connect and grow as a group. We became invested in each other which has now led to friendships. We speak regularly and support and empower everyone in the group. Some of us have been here for a while, so we like to see how the women new to National Grid are finding their feet, check in and see what we’ve all gone on to achieve and encourage others to aim high. We all want to continue the support we had and it’s given me a new, positive approach because of having our network.
“I feel like I’ve done four months of therapy, and it’s already helped me to achieve what I set out to do, and I have a plan of continuous professional development to progress in my career in a way that works for me.”
By documenting the stories of successful women who have benefited from our Springboard women’s development course, we aim to provide an understanding of the transformative effects the programme can have on women’s professional trajectories, as well as their personal development.
By sharing lessons learned from our Springboard course, we hope to inspire further initiatives that facilitate the advancement of women, foster a more inclusive work culture, and ultimately drive the success of gender equality and inclusion within the workplace.