WLA and Hort Innovation offer $150,000 for women's leadership grants

A fresh round of funding  has been launched for women working in the horticulture sector to gain access to a range of leadership development programs.

Co-funded by Hort Innovation and Women & Leadership Australia (WLA), the scholarship grants cover up to 60 per cent of the cost of the courses. The funding program is specifically designated for women working in the horticultural sector who are emerging, mid-level or senior leaders in the industry and workplace.

Four fully funded places are also available for women to undertake the Leading Edge Program, with thanks to the Vegetable Industry Advisory Fund. 

Suzi Finkelstein, Director of Leadership and Advocacy at WLA, said the tangible difference that the initiative was making to the horticulture sector is exciting.

“I consistently hear that our coaching sessions, skills development and networking opportunities are tremendously valuable for women working at all levels of the horticulture industry,” Ms Finkelstein said.  

“We congratulate Hort Innovation’s support of women in the industry, and encourage all horticulture sector women to apply.”

Hort Innovation CEO Matt Brand said the Research and Development Corporation was dedicated to empowering women across the sector and was proud to co-fund the initiative.

“Australian Horticulture is a $13 billion a year industry. In order for us to maintain and grow, it is imperative that we invest in the leaders of tomorrow,” he said.

“Agriculture has, for a long time, been a male dominated industry, but we are seeing a shift in the hands on the ground and the level of talent and innovation coming from our women in industry.

“It’s our role to harness that talent and help drive it forward so Australian Agriculture can be a $100 billion industry by 2030.”

Scholarship applicants can choose from three courses: the Leading Edge Program, the Executive Ready Program and the Advanced Leadership Program. The blended courses are delivered on a part-time basis over four, seven or 12 months respectively.

Participants learn skills such as reinforcing resilience and wellbeing, engaging with challenge and conflict, creating future focus, leading authentically and driving performance. The vast majority of the programs are delivered online; there is a small but important face-to-face component which is delivered out of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. 

Ashlea Schott is a recent graduate of the Leading Edge program, having undertaken the course as part of the Hort Australia and Women & Leadership Australia partnership. She said of the experience; “Undertaking the leadership program with Women & Leadership Australia has been an amazing experience and provided me with an opportunity to develop the skills and confidence I need to be an effective leader. I thoroughly enjoyed learning alongside a group of motivated women and I now feel empowered to lead a team, coach others and lead innovation and change in my organisation.”

For more information and to apply, visit here.

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