I am quite excited to embark on the Aurora Leadership programme. Now that the New Year is well and truly behind us, things are starting to kick off with this, and for the next 6 months I will be attending seminars, meetings, training days, and hopefully coffee mornings with my mentor (looking forward to that most of all).

Aurora is a new women-only leadership development initiative by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. Its aim is to to enable a wide range of women in academic and professional roles to think of themselves as future leaders and to develop leadership skills and strategies. Aurora is helping build a wide network of women interested in leadership and management as a route to career progression, something that is already working for me as I’ve met the other three ladies who are embarking on this journey with me. The four of us have been successful in our applications to represent UCLan, and we are all keen to get started.

It is interesting to note that Aurora stemmed as a response to the LF Stimulus Paper ‘Women and Higher Education: Absences and Aspiration’ by Professor Louise Morley (January 2013), which shows there are fewer women in the most senior positions in higher education than ten years ago. The paper goes on to identify features that could be addressed to change this. An eye opening read, and about time too.

Now to smash that concrete ceiling!