A New Normal – Where Expectations are High, and Failure IS an option

“The future is in safe hands.”

At the Future Female Leaders Graduation Dinner in 2021 and the most recent Pitch and Networking event, there was no doubt that the girls impressed the Perth professional community in the room. The crowd was in awe at the courageous and confident way that these young women articulated their learnings with comments including; “the future is in safe hands”, and “these girls have reflected, presented and learned in a way that I sometimes don’t see in our adult teams”.


However, when the girls first embark on the program they are far from these accomplished, driven, introspective and professional beings.  


Well, they are.  


It is in there, but they have not yet discovered this capacity within themselves and most start the program with a completely different mindset.  A mindset plagued with self-doubt, where failure must be avoided at all costs, and everything fits within their timetable.


Why?  Because you only know what you know, and this is all they have known.


When I moved from a professional work environment and trained to be a high school teacher, I was amazed at how immersive the school bubble is.  Quickly getting absorbed into the priorities of the assessment structure, reconnecting with young people and the issues that affect them, from conflict with friends, to navigating complex relationships, part-time jobs and juggling after-school commitments.


Furthermore, in an assessment driven environment, they have quite literally been conditioned that failure is not an option.  There is no other context where failure is in fact a learning experience where something has not worked out, and they need to simply rethink and shift direction.  To re-evaluate the strategy and/or the goals while keeping the vision in focus.  


Straying from this ‘normal’ for the girls, when commencing the program and particularly the social impact project, where they have the safe space to make mistakes and learn, presents many challenges:


  • Difficulty deciding on a course of action for fear of making a mistake
  • Difficulty setting meaningful outcomes
  • Fear of being judged and being wrong, so choosing to say nothing and/or avoiding the conversation
  • Difficulty with seeing the possibilities because they haven’t had the exposure to know what is possible
  • A belief that no one will want to help them as they are an insignificant 16-year-old


How Future Female Leaders Program can help.


The Future Female Leaders Program unpacks all these challenges with the combination of experiences that train for and foster problem-solving and decision-making, create accountability with adaptability to change, pivot and grow, and meaningful connection to reinforce and validate the positive outcomes of putting themselves and their ideas ‘out there’. 


The impact that our Professional Mentors have on the girls as they transition from their ‘normal’ to this ‘new normal’, where they are encouraged to make mistakes and learn and navigate new demands and priorities is immeasurable.  


The value of having a professional woman gently steer the girls to refining and making decisions about their ideas and focus, being accountable for their communication and scheduling, giving constructive feedback on when to reign in their ideas and set measurable and realistic targets, is witnessed in the remarkable transformation from high school girl to Future Female Leader.


A professional mentor who not only has their back, but they advocate, encourage, and celebrate their wins with pride.  


When you add to this the group power coaching circles where the girls come together to connect and grow, the self-paced learning with professional experts, the webinars building critical leadership skills, and the experiences to build their support network and showcase their social impact project ideas, it is clear to see that the Future Female Leaders’ Program is a life-changing experience that transforms the girls to the new normal.  


Taking them leaps and bounds ahead in their careers journey.