The bespoke THRIVE (Together Honouring Relationships to Inspire Vision and Empower) female development program has been running for one year, and it is already having a big impact on course participants.
“This program presented an amazing opportunity to meet supportive, like-minded women from different parts of the business, to engage in networking opportunities and learn from a vast array of speakers and facilitators,” Sophie Sangster, Head of Commercial and Risk in Facilities, said.
“I have found it to be incredibly rewarding and I have already enjoyed personal and professional growth as a result of my participation.”
That personal growth includes having the confidence to seek out career development opportunities.
“Without the THRIVE program, I would have never had the courage to speak to my manager about a promotion,” Sophie said.
“Women may sometimes need to feel like someone is in their corner before they work up the courage to put themselves forward, be vulnerable and make themselves available for new opportunities despite not feeling ready, worthy or sufficiently experienced. This is what the THRIVE program inspires you to do.”
As a mother of four young boys, Sophie enjoys her busy life, but found the THRIVE program a chance to reflect.
“The THRIVE program is also an opportune time for personal reflection and for women to give themselves some credit for managing to balance the inherent demands of their professional and personal lives. The THRIVE program is one of the top-down commitments to developing a strategy for women to access key growth positions in the organisation which may be achieved through networks, female-only leadership development programs and mentoring.”
Other THRIVE participant feedback from the first year of the program includes:
“It’s hard to put into words just how excited and inspired I am. I have never felt so ‘seen’. It was empowering to know we are not alone in how we feel and that the challenges we face are similar to others.” – Brisbane participant.
“Had it not been for the content we worked through in Block 3, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to put myself forward for a promotion within Downer. Thank you so much for making the program available to people like me who could really use a little bit of a confidence boost (and a kick in the pants) to take the next step in their career. It has literally changed my perceived career path and I’m very grateful.” – Brisbane participant.
“Meeting strong women from diverse ages, backgrounds, cultures and Business Units was my highlight – sitting next to someone from a different sector was a game changer.” – Perth participant.
This initiative demonstrates Downer’s contribution to achieve the following Sustainable Development Goals: