Malta has progressed a lot over the years but unfortunately it’s still lagging behind when it comes to women in actual leadership positions, with men absolutely dominant in places where major decisions get taken.
Challenges for women seeking a path to the top have been well-documented, but now a solution has arrived, and it’s come in the form of Malta’s first-ever specialised course for women in leadership.
Fully accredited by the National Commission for Further and Higher Education at MQF Level 6, this course will give women in leadership roles the confidence and skills they need to keep on progressing in their career.
Who is offering this course?
It’s the brainchild of Learning Works, a further and higher education institution which forms part of the Vassallo Group, one of Malta’s most renowned business groups.
What started off as a training academy for carers has recently expanded into a fully-fledged education centre, complete with a campus in Qormi, which offers courses in everything from catering and management to sports and Maltese for foreigners.
Over 1,000 students have passed through its walls and it has managed to attract some top lecturers, including Sandra Hermitage, a British life coach with several years experience who will take charge of the Women in Leadership course.
What will you learn?
Spread over six modules, this course will teach you leadership skills and tricks, such as strategic communication, emotional intelligence, negotiating skills, and presenting business cases.
You will learn how to tweak your own leadership style, develop a work-life balance and create your own personal development plan.
And while some of these skills are necessary for all leaders, others are very much tailored towards women – such as how to navigate a room full of men and how to deal with any overt or subversive discrimination you may encounter.
Each module will come with its own assignment, but the programme itself is mostly practical, and participants will be encouraged to share and discuss your real-world experiences.
All the modules will lead up to a final assignment, a business case that participants will present at the end of the year.
Who can apply?
Obviously, you have to be a woman for starters. However, this isn’t a course for beginners and assumes a certain level of knowledge in key management skills.
You must therefore either be in possession of a relevant MQF Level 5 qualification or have five years of work experience in a managerial position. It is open to women leaders from all walks of life – you can work in a hotel, a bank, a government department, an NGO, you can even be a councillor or an MP.
Leading by example, the Vassallo Group will sponsor some of their own employees, as potential female leaders to join the programme when it kicks off next year.
Other than that, what’s most important is that you have a healthy dose of ambition and passion, and a willingness to share your own experiences with the team.
What are the benefits of this course?
Besides its actual content, the Women in Leadership course is designed for working women, with courses delivered in the evening when most workers are likely to be available.
While around 20% of the lecturers will be delivered physically, the remaining 80% will be fully virtual, adding an extra layer of convenience. To maximise individualised attention to students, class sizes will be limited..
You will also get to learn on the job, with the course expecting you to put your skills into practice at the workplace and discuss it at the next lesson.
Moreover, the course falls under the government’s GetQualified scheme, meaning you’ll be able to benefit from a 70% tax credit of the costs incurred.
And most importantly, this course will help both yourself as an individual and Maltese society in general.
Gender imbalance in leadership roles is still a big problem at workplaces, and this could be feeding into society’s perceptions and expectations of women, creating a vicious cycle in the process. It’s time to break the chain, and a course like this is a pretty good way to start.