Women Leaders South West Call Out


Covid-19 statement: Women Leaders South West is monitoring the situation regarding the national and international spread of Coronavirus and the impact this will have on the 9 partner organisations and the potential applicants. We remain passionate about this programme and it will go ahead, but we are reviewing the timeline. Please stay in touch via our mailing lists or website and keep talking to us about the programme. We will be extending the application deadline and will publish new information soon.

Diverse City is one of eight arts organisations involved in Women Leaders South West (WLSW). The project aims at empowering women of all backgrounds to be leaders in the arts. WLSW are looking for sixteen women ‘associates’ with a unique perspective on arts leadership to join the programme.

Click here to watch a BSL video of the call out.
Click here to watch a BSL video of the FAQs.
Click here to listen to an audio version of the call out.

Click here for a Large Print PDF version of the call out.

Logos for The Point Eastleigh, Arts Asia, Diverse City, The Arts Development Company, Kaleider, Pavilion Dance South West, Activate Performing Arts, Strike A Light. Supported by University of Southampton, WOW Women of the World Festival and Arts Council England.
Logos for The Point Eastleigh, Arts Asia, Diverse City, The Arts Development Company, Kaleider, Pavilion Dance South West, Activate Performing Arts, Strike A Light. Supported by University of Southampton, WOW Women of the World Festival and Arts Council England.

The Challenge

Women are under-represented at a leadership level across all art forms in theatres, festivals, galleries, and museums. Racism, ableism, transphobia, homophobia, economic constraints and caring responsibilities also create barriers to career development and leadership opportunities. 

Women Leaders South West want to understand these barriers and subsequently develop tools to tackle them. The programme will challenge people’s ideas of what a leader is and brings excellence, excitement and strength to the arts. It will support all ideas and voices in order to learn together with women from all backgrounds.

What WLSW Mean By Leadership

We think of leaders as people who:

  • Enjoy making things happen.
  • Are creative.
  • Solve problems.
  • Care for others.
  • Motivate, energise and support others.
  • Take responsibility.
  • Have ownership of their ideas and projects.
  • Have skills and ideas they want to share.

Leadership takes many shapes and forms and does not always come ‘from the top’. We may lead in some scenarios and not others, and at different times in our lives. Leaders, particularly perhaps women leaders, often need help to recognise their leadership qualities.

What WLSW Are Looking For

WLSW are looking for 16 women associates. You may have creative ideas that you want to see happen for yourself or your community. You will be invited to take part in a leadership training programme and be supported on your leadership journey.

WLSW are particularly interested in working with women from groups who are most under-represented in leadership roles. This includes D/deaf and disabled women as well as women from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. You do not need a higher education qualification to apply.

WSLW want to hear from you if you are:

  • Passionate about arts and culture.
  • Over 21 years old.
  • Have at least 2 years work experience (your work does not have to have been in the arts).
  • Based in the South West region (Bournemouth, Christchurch Poole, Plymouth, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Southampton, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Gloucestershire BANES and Bristol).
  • Rooted in your local community.
  • Interested in developing new skills.

What You Will Get

  • A relationship with a host and partner organisation – to involve you in workplace experiences.
  • Mentoring – a learning exchange with associates and hosts.
  • A Living Allowance/training bursary of £12,000 to cover ten months of training, paid in ten monthly instalments (or in line with your bespoke programme).
  • Additional support to meet your individual needs across the whole programme e.g. childcare, BSL interpretation, support worker, travel costs.
  • Online and face to face training and career development opportunities with Southampton Business School.
  • Connection with women from across the world through the WOW Foundation and Jude Kelly who started the organisation. 

What You Will Do 

You will be involved in a co-designed flexible training programme equivalent to 10 months. You will either work intensively over a concentrated period, or less intensively over an extended period.

1. Host organisation programme

You will be paired with one partner organisation who will be your host, but you will have the opportunity to work with the other seven arts organisations when possible. During your time with a host you might:

  • Shadow or work with existing women leaders.
  • Work on an existing project with your host or one of the other arts organisations.
  • Create your own arts project using the team as support. For example, organise an event, workshop or talk series.
  • Identify a need and work with WLSW to create a new initiative.
  • Bring support and challenge to the team – helping reflect and plan.
  • Enable someone else or a community to achieve something.

2. Residencies and International Symposium You will need to attend one 3-day and one 2-day residency to research and learn about leadership. You will meet the other women leaders of the eight host arts organisations and will be part of an International Symposium. 

3. Training with Southampton Business School You will attend a series of seminars and lectures on topics such as business planning, marketing and income generation. These will be online and face-to-face and will be timetabled during September 2020 and June 2021. 

4. Meetings You will attend four face-to-face meetings with sixteen other women in the cohort.

When You Will Do It

Your training programme will be scheduled between June 2020 and December 2021. WLSW will be as flexible as possible to fit around your commitments and design a timeline that works best for both parties.

Autumn 2020: Residency at Dartington Hall in Devon.
June 2020 – December 2021: Host Organisation Programme (equivalent of
10 months’ training, at any time in this 18-month period).
September 2020 – June 2021 Flexible learning delivered by Southampton
Business School.
November 2020 One day review, reflection and future planning.
September 2021 Evaluation residency (2 days).
November 2021 International Symposium (2 days).

About You

You can be employed or unemployed to take up this opportunity and can not be in education. You may need a flexible working agreement with your current employer to take part. Through this programme you might want to develop your:

  • Understanding of how things work in the arts.
  • Understanding of leadership.
  • Network of people to support you.
  • Self-awareness and confidence.
  • Creative and critical thinking skills as well as empathy.
  • Entrepreneurial skills (particularly social entrepreneurial skills).
  • Practical knowledge and understanding e.g. social enterprise, business models, management, new ventures, marketing.
  • Future direction and next steps.

The programme will support you to work out what’s next for you.

How To Apply Or Nominate Someone

Please check out the Frequently Asked Questions before applying. You can apply in writing via the online form below or you can send us a video/audio link that answers the questions. Applications are open until Monday April 20 at 9am.

  1. Click here to make an application.
  2. Click here to nominate someone.
  3. Complete the very short and confidential monitoring form.
  4. For video and audio applications, complete the application form and paste a link to your video or audio file.

We understand that people might not recognise their own leadership potential. Therefore, you can apply for yourself or you can nominate someone else for the programme. You can apply directly to the programme via one of the hosts’ websites. You must name your preferred host organisation on the application form and may give a second choice if you wish to.

WLSW offer open days and application workshops for you to find out more about the hosts, the programme and how to apply. They will happen in early March 2020 – look out for dates on the host organisations websites.

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Diverse City is an award winning organisation committed to diversity and equality in the arts. We are an engine of artistic and social change.
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