My work in promoting and nurturing leadership roles for women reached a milestone this week with the publishing of a new book “Women Leading”.
I co-authored this book with Professor Amanda Sinclair, a friend and colleague.
Amanda was a Professor at Melbourne Business School for over 25 years. Her speciality was Diversity and Change. We met in 2001 when a mutual friend suggested Amanda would like to conduct research with me in my role as police commissioner. This research would require that Amanda would become a”fly on the wall” by sitting in on all my corporate meetings for several months. Naturally, in some quarters this was seen as very radical. However, such was Amanda's discretion and professionalism, she was soon accepted. We have been friends ever since since and have taught together presenting workshops for women.
We wrote this book for a range of reasons. Firstly, we wanted to celebrate the leadership of women over the centuries, we wanted to bring attention to the ingenious ways that women have found ways to lead, given their lack of access to formal positional authority.
We wanted to encourage women to continue to lead and claim the leadership roles and positions that they are rightly skilled, capable of and deserve to hold.
We wanted to share experience, insights and research we have gleaned from thousands of women and men on how to deal with change, difficult conversations, a crisis, how to influence and persuade, and to effectively manage people.
We wanted women to become comfortable with power – how to find it, use it and own it. To recognise that in a prominent leadership position their bodies will be judged, generally harshly. That they understand what factors and influences make them who they are, the stages and transitions of life and how to deal with them.
Finally, we wanted women to understand the risks in leadership and how to manage them, how to be resilient and how to flourish in their leadership work.