At the Women In Super (WIS) luncheon with investment leader and philanthropist Chris Cuffe last week, it was announced that WIS, in partnership with the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) @ UNSW Business School, will continue its scholarship program, with all WIS members eligible to apply for the AGSM's Executive Education Short Courses to further their learning and leadership capabilities.
We speak with one of last year's scholarship winners, Ciara Gaffney of First State Super, who shares her learnings from last year's program and the benefits of being a WIS member.
(Pictured: Sandi Orleow, WIS NSW Representative with Chris Cuffe at last week's WIS lunch.)
Speaking on the scholarship program, NSW Chair of WIS, Lata McNulty said:
“Our partnership with AGSM gives our NSW members a wonderful opportunity to pursue their professional and personal development through the scholarship program. Since its introduction, a number of women from our industry have had the opportunity develop their own management skills through this and other programs. With the continuation of the partnership with AGSM announced today, we can now provide the same opportunity to another four talented women.”
For more information regarding the scholarships available and how to apply, please visit the WIS website on www.womeninsuper.com.au.
Senior Legal Counsel at First State Super.
As one of the 2017 winners of the NSW WIS scholarship you were given the opportunity to complete one of the AGSM's Executive Education Short Courses. Which course did you choose and why did you make this choice?
I chose the leadership course at AGSM, the Authentic Communicator: Activating Presence.
I applied for the course after attending a Women in Super event, where the key speaker was also the course lecturer. The presentation was very engaging and energising and I submitted an application for the scholarship that afternoon. The course was extremely practical and was taught in a very positive and interactive way. It more than lived up to expectations: it was fantastic.
What was the greatest benefit that you received from completing this course?
One of the greatest benefits was having the opportunity to learn practical leadership skills which would help in engaging and influencing key stakeholders. As a senior legal counsel these skills are enormously helpful to draft and manage relationships.
Is this new skill something that you’ve been able to bring to your role at First State Super?
Yes. I’ve used what I’ve learnt and feel I’ve become more effective when working with the business on projects and when negotiating agreements with third parties. It’s important to understand what’s important to stakeholders, and our business, in order to draft agreements that are workable.
Other than receiving your scholarship, what benefits have you received from being a member of Women In Super and would you encourage other women to join?
There are many benefits of being involved with Women in Super. Primarily, it’s an opportunity to hear from leaders and others working in the sector who are from different backgrounds and who have different experiences, observations and points of view. The events, hosted by Women in Super, have also provided me with the opportunity to connect with highly skilled women throughout the superannuation industry in Sydney. I would definitely encourage other women to join.