At Women in Leadership conference 2013, NUS equality and diversity consultant Mandeep Rupra-Daine led a workshop on the importance of women recognising themselves as a leader, and creating an authentic leader identity. We spoke to Mandeep about some of the issues her workshop was exploring.
· What exactly is a ‘leader identity’?
It’s all about knowing who you are and what you stand for as a leader and importantly being true to this. It’s about standing up for what you believe in as a leader and acting in alignment with your values and beliefs.
· What values are fundamental to leadership for women?
Values are different to each individual person and their leadership styles. Values represent who we uniquely are, what is essential to us and what brings us alive. A value is an operating principle to inform our decisions.
· What’s the first step for a women who wants to develop a clear leader identity?
Very simply: to begin to understand what their values and beliefs are as a leader, as well developing their leadership purpose and style.
· Would you encourage more women across the student movement to develop their leader identity?
Definitely, a leader identity enables a person to be empowered in their leadership style and more effective. It will allow women to decide what leadership style is right for them and to be confident with it, without feeling the pressure to conform to stereotypical traits that are associated with men’s leadership and behaviour.