Enterprise launches Leadership Development Course for female managers
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are not just buzz words at Enterprise. “Our Doors are Open” is one of our founding values and remains a constant focus for us.
We caught up with Diane Mulholland, General Manager for Scotland & Northern Ireland, on the seven-part Leadership Development and Mentorship course she has just launched.
Particularly targeted at female Area Managers, its ultimate goal is to actively address gender imbalance at management level.
I’ve been very lucky to have joined a company such as Enterprise. Throughout my career here I’ve had the support of so many colleagues –believing in me and my abilities and actively helping me achieve the goals I set for my career.
I’m so thankful for this support that I wanted to pay it forward by establishing a Leadership Development Course aimed at the female Area Managers that we have in our UK and Ireland regions.
Ultimately, I want to make sure that every single one of those women have the tools, resources and connections to be the next Group Rental Manager or General Manager, if they so wish.
Organised over seven sessions, the course is designed to give our Area Managers the unique opportunity to interact with the people who will have a potential impact on their careers moving forward, eventually creating a supportive, encouraging and nurturing network around them – a community if you will.
This was slightly controversial as stereotypically females don’t like sharing what makes them great, but I am keen to challenge that way of thinking. The course will go full circle and we will end up where we started, so each one of the Area Managers can see just how much they have progressed from stage one to stage seven.
We’ve also taken the opportunity to link the course to the recent Employee Opinion Survey ran by Gallup.
The Survey data will really help our Area Managers become better engagers of their teams, so that they can actively help their team members reach their full potential.
Gallup also shared their Clifton Strengths Tool as part of the Survey. This describes an individual’s top five natural strengths. We’re now using the tool to pinpoint our Area Managers’ natural strengths and focus on making them better. As Don Clifton said, "There is no more effective way to empower people than to see each person in terms of his or her strengths."
As we set up calls with their respective General Managers to discuss their Clifton Strength results, Neesha – one Area Manager – shared that this was a great opportunity to get to know her General Manager better.
“My GM knows my strengths now,” Neesha said. “They can give me advice, maybe if I am struggling with something they can advise me to lean on a particular skill, or I can ask for support.”
“My GM knows my strengths now. They can give me advice, maybe if I am struggling with something they can advise me to lean on a particular skill, or I can ask for support.”
One other session involved a panel conversation with very senior female colleagues: two General Managers from North America, an Assistant Vice President, a Regional Vice President and our current CEO Chrissy Taylor.
The feedback from that session was almost unanimous. It was great to see how all our female leaders were genuine and authentic. Somebody afterwards mentioned “they were them”, which perfectly summed up the conversation.
This was a fantastic and unique opportunity for our Area Managers. We typically look up to men in leadership positions, and this time it was different – a chance to learn from and emulate authentic female leaders who are already in the business.
Chrissy Taylor commented that “This session would have never happened if we hadn’t embraced technology. We had leaders from Europe and America coming together and sharing lessons on leadership. It was awesome to hear personal experiences and the tools they used and needed to get to the next level.”
“This session would have never happened if we hadn’t embraced technology. It was awesome to hear personal experiences and the tools they used and needed to get to the next level.”
I agree. One of the benefits of this awful pandemic is that we are now all experts in how to communicate virtually, allowing us to react faster and take advantage of unique opportunities. We can fit it in during our working day, and it allows us to be both effective and efficient.
And it doesn’t stop here: future sessions will include external training that focuses on communication skills, pushing people out of their comfort zones but also building on their confidence.
My goal for the future? The course is now being rolled out to our female Branch Managers as well, which will really help in achieving our goal of increasing the number of females applying for leadership positions.
Historically our focus has always been on creating better future leaders at all levels of our business. Now we need to focus on ensuring a more equitable group of people apply: the aspiration is a 50:50 candidates at all levels.