Next Generation Program Testimonials

Next Generation of Female Leaders' Program



Manami Ray (2017 graduate)

To say the program has changed my outlook is an understatement. My confidence and capability have both increased and I continue to grow and learn. The coaches and mentors were wonderful to work with and of course, working with our Melbourne Syndicate was life changing. For me personally I loved the quality and range of guest speakers and the business strategy training with Dr Margaret Byrne.

Kathryn Finlayson (2017 graduate)

The program provides a great introduction to the key leadership skills necessary to be effective in senior leadership roles. The opportunity to speak with business and community leaders about their experiences was invaluable and something I will treasure. Sharing the journey with an amazing group of senior women is simply a bonus! 

Fiona Daly  (2017 graduate)

I want to express how beneficial and enriching the Next Generation of Corporate Female Leaders Program is. It’s a unique blend of theory and practice and an unparalleled opportunity to access the wisdom of Chairpersons, NEDs and senior executives of some of the country’s leading enterprises. It’s also an incredible opportunity to work with motivated and intelligent women from a variety of different business backgrounds, which brings fresh perspective to the way you approach your own business operations. Congratulations on putting together such a game changing program. 

Maree McPherson, Coach, Mentor, Facilitator, Trainer (2017 interviewee)

Claire, I was interviewed today by two of the Next Gen group. It was such a delight to meet them. Congratulations to you and to Ruth on such a wonderful program. WOB has really exploded. Great stuff.

Lindell Mottee, formerly Diversity Manager South Pacific, BOC (employer)

Women on Boards development programs provide niche support to our existing suite of BOC talent development programs. Critically they offer an ‘outward-in’ perspective that adds much value beyond our traditional internal focus. During 2014 membership period two BOC Women Niamh Hogan and Rebecca Zeus were selected to join the Women on Boards’ Next Generation of Corporate Female Leaders program. This presented a golden opportunity for both Rebecca and Niamh as well as for BOC. The program offered them an opportunity to interview Chief Executives, Company Directors and liaise with high calibre women from different industries. Working in a group format they formed networks, collated interviews, reflected on key messages and reported on recommendations. They each took from this process unique experiences and perspectives that they were able to share with BOC leadership team and apply to their own personal leadership paths.

BOC applaudes Niamh and Rebecca as well as other women who have successfully completed the Women on Boards program. We see this program of enormous value and our leadership team are keen to extend this offer to talented BOC women for the Women on Boards 2015 and onwards intake. 

Nicole Wildman, Manager ( 2016 graduate)

This Next Gen Corporate Female Leaders Program has been a personal development exercise like no other. I am grateful for the opportunity to meet with many inspirational executive leaders across a variety of industries. The interview process has been incredible. This program has allowed me to build external networks and gain exposure to what other organisations are doing in these adverse times. It was enlightening to see working cultures and practices which differed from my experience thus far. I have a greater awareness of my professional presence and increased confidence in my ability to operate at a senior level.

Jenny Barnett (2016 graduate)

I feel privileged to have been part of this program. Gaining access to Board members and senior leaders has provided such valuable learning and insights to illustrate what it takes to be a senior leader today. This, coupled with the speakers throughout the program, has instilled things that will stay with me throughout my career. The way we approached our team project reiterated the importance of setting a team up successfully at the start – it was an example in itself of creating a diverse team and inclusive environment.

Joanne Richards (2016 graduate)

This program has come to me at the exactly right time of my career. I was looking for personal development and growth and I have to say that over the last 9 months I have achieved this and more. Interviewing CEO’s, Board Directors and Senior Leaders from my own organisation and other’s sectors has been an unbelievable experience and the highlight of my development. How often do you get the opportunity to connect with inspiring leaders to gain their personal insights on leadership? I have developed confidence and learnt so much as every person I spoke to was so open and honest. The most important tips I learnt was to be yourself and develop your own leadership style. It will be your experience that shapes you and as you develop you will get more comfortable and clear of what it takes to be a great leader. Be prepared to move out of your comfort zone, back yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for advice. This program has been instrumental in helping me to identify my next career steps as well as identify the type of leader I want to work for and those that I don’t. 

Leah Ratcliff (2016 graduate)

The Next Gen program has reinvigorated my sense of the importance of diverse networks and relationships: it is important to bounce difficult decisions off a range of people and to both seek and give counsel. I have become better at fostering relationships and working hard to maintain these during difficult times. Lastly, the project has given me energy. It has been a joy to work with my team and to meet a range of senior leaders. As a consequence, I have become more resilient. 

Nektaria Zois (2016 graduate)

I have found the Next Gen program thought provoking and very beneficial to my leadership development.  It enabled me to self-reflect on my leadership career to date, evaluate my potential and consider how to better leverage my strengths including my cultural background.  It also provided me with tools to understand and influence other leaders in my organisation and more importantly it has provided me with skills to assist in the development of my team members.  Working in a very male dominated industry, I have really enjoyed developing networks with other female leaders in other industries and organisations across the country. I have enjoyed sharing stories/advice and I hope that the relationships will continue beyond the program.  The organisers, coaches, advisors and presenters impressed me with their strong competency in their respective fields.  Overall a very rewarding experience.

Jacinta Barnes (2015 graduate)

The Next Generation Program provided extensive exposure to leadership theory, the opportunity to hear from leaders across a range of industries and opened many doors to thought leaders across the broader business community which we interviewed as part of the syndicate project work. The combination of the course work, one-on-one coaching sessions, plus the insights gained from the leaders I interviewed and guest speakers who spoke during the program, enabled me to reflect on my own leadership journey to date and the type of leader I want to be. I have used these insights to focus on my strengths and build a roadmap for the next chapter of my career. I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in and contributing to the Women on Boards Next Generation of Corporate Female Leaders program. I would recommend this program to others who wish to enhance their leadership skills, broaden their perspective, experience accelerated personal and professional growth and learn with an inspirational group of like-minded women. 

Di Beauchamp (2015 graduate)

The Next Gen Program has kick started a career repositioning process and much more for me. The WOB combination of powerful workshop sessions coupled with the opportunity to access some amazing senior leaders for interview and fact finding has been extraordinary.  The group work was highly challenging, these session provided opportunities to argue ideas, share the latest theories and opinions.  The learnings have been deep and transformational. I can’t remember when I  last met so many intelligent people with such compelling  ideas, opinions, experience and knowledge all in the one place. I was challenged from the outset, have left inspired and with the access to great career coaches and the wider network this inspiration is fast turning into action.  Next Gen has been amazing, exhausting and a real opportunity for career and personal growth! 

Emma Coppin (2015 graduate)

The opportunities provided the Next Gen program have far exceeded expectations.  The program has provided the perfect balance of working on growing yourself, working collaboratively with other intelligent, ambitious and commendable future female leaders, as well as creating a passage to some of Australia’s best and most successful and generous current leaders. During Next Gen I have learnt so much about where my personal strengths lie as well as what my weaknesses are.  I have gained an understanding of when I have the most influence, produce the highest quality work and am most motivated, inspiring and bold. I will continue my personal development by setting goals for myself and ensuring I achieve them.

Elise Hogan (2015 graduate)

The Next Gen program has enabled me valuable time to reflect on my current performance and hone my skills and potential through the valuable insight of those that I respect and admire in their leadership journey, and the invaluable interaction with a group of inspirational women that I am proud to have come to know. Of special note for me is at the very heart of this program “If you are not learning, you are a liability”. This course has challenged my thinking and ignited my hunger for continuous improvement. I entered the Next Gen program envisaging a neat short program that might enhance my performance in my current position, and make me more competitive for future promotion or extended responsibility. I exited the program, inspired by a group of tremendously talented women, and with clarity gained from the opportunity to interact with a group of inspirational leaders through project getting ahead.

Leanne Brown, Director Organisational Development, La Trobe University (employer)


La Trobe was interested in this program for a number of reasons. Seeing the presentations from the 2013 program impressed upon me the impact and depth of the program on its participants – so we knew it was potentially a strong and well-formed program. As I listened to these presentations, I was really impressed with the access participants had to a range of senior women in business and political spheres. Participants were taking this experience and gaining not just new perspectives on leadership generally but had built a confidence in their own abilities to step up or change career paths through these successful engagements. Working in project teams helped with the learnings - by sharing their personal insights and understandings they were more deeply and profoundly changing their view of how their own futures could play out. The program increased the exposure of high potential women to other industries, other leaders, their peers in a range of diverse organisations and in turn, broadened their thinking. I wanted this opportunity for our women.

Niamh Hogan (2014 graduate)

The program was an intense personal journey. The various components, including coaching, interviewing leaders and working with peers, complemented each other to provide stretch, build my confidence and give me a strong boost in terms of career development. I have been able to apply the external perspectives and wisdom gleaned along the way to better lead my team. As it was such a positive experience, I would recommend it to others who are looking for a program that will challenge them and result in sustainable improvements to how they operate.

Rebecca Zeus (2014 graduate)

I came out of this program much more confident and capable, and with clarity of next steps regarding my career. One aspect of this program I found so powerful is that skills are embedded rather than told. Each topic was explored in depth, then applied to ourselves and our own current situations, and we were given time to reflect, share and draft action plans. One-on-one coaching sessions along the way maintained motivation and momentum and held us accountable to intermediate goals. In parallel was the team project; the personal conversations with CEOs and Directors, who modelled authenticity and humility even in their high-profile roles, were inspiring and motivating. My own aspirations felt more achievable, and when reflecting on these discussions I identified some key areas I need to develop in order to succeed. My biggest personal takeaway is confidence to step outside my comfort zone.

SooJin Yoon (2014 graduate)

The Women on Boards programme brings together an amazing group of female leaders across different industries and sectors from all around Australia. It is an invaluable opportunity to meet and learn from inspiring leaders from all walks of life. The programme is carefully tailored to support and boost individual learning and networking opportunities. All different components of the programme—lectures, workshop activities, individual coaching, syndicate project and presentation—work together to develop and fine-tune leadership skills. I highly recommend the programme to other women.

Lesley McKarney (2014 graduate)

The key benefits of the program included having the opportunity to meet and interview leaders with varied backgrounds that I would have never have dreamed of accessing under other circumstances, mixing with high-achieving women on the program who were inspirational, and taking away a range of key learnings on what good leadership looks like in practice and how I can demonstrate it. I certainly hope that others have the opportunity to undertake the program. I’m very grateful that I could.