elle associates graduate from leadership coaching programme

If you’re a regular reader of our blog you may know that Leaders Lab works with The Legacy List Charity (recently re-named Foundation for FutureLondon) and Birkbeck University of London on the elle coaching programme.

East London is home to Europe’s largest concentration of artists and arts organisations, yet retains some of the highest unemployment and deprivation levels in the country. As part of the legacy of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Foundation for FutureLondon is working to redress this balance and help the next generation of aspirational young people make the most of the opportunities available.

elle is a leadership coaching programme to support a group of 12 talented young women to progress in their careers. Drawn from east London’s cultural organisations including Stratford Circus, Bow Arts and the William Morris Gallery the elle associates have to date benefitted from over 25 hours of leadership coaching, have participated in a variety of events and have been introduced to some of the cultural sector’s most inspiring leaders.

At the beginning of this month the first elle associates graduated after a seven-month programme, and it was striking to see just how far they’d come and for all involved to acknowledge the professional and personal breakthroughs of these talented young women.

The coaching programme challenged them to take their leadership to the next level, to be open to new learning and new ways of doing things and to take themselves well outside their comfort zones. The programme is designed to be experiential which means no role play, but a focus on dealing with the real challenges that they faced in their professional and personal lives.

The graduation took place in the Yard Theatre in Stratford, and as well as receiving their certificates, they told us and the invited audience what had really changed in their approach, their confidence and their self-belief since starting the elle programme.

elle associates

photo © Ollie Harrop

They are now part of strong alumni building their careers in the cultural sector, and they are already looking forward to supporting and mentoring the next intake of elle associates later this year.

One of the most amazing outcomes has been the peer to peer group; getting to know people in other positions at other arts organisations in east London. Now as well as the professional development I would love to maintain that peer to peer network, so as we grow in the arts we’re a support network for each other.
Asma Hussain – Theatre Royal Stratford East

An integral part of our vision at Leaders Lab is that alongside working with corporates, we are able to work with young, talented people who might not ordinarily have access to the skills and coaching that we can offer. Working with Foundation for FutureLondon on the elle programme has been a joy for us. The elle associates have been enthusiastic, motivated, open to new thinking and great fun to work with. It has been really rewarding to watch them go from strength to strength over the past seven months. A key objective for us at Leaders Lab when we coach and train is to be a catalyst for transformation.

Being part of elle has reminded me that I count. I count in terms of what I can offer my field and what I can offer others around me. What I say and do impacts others all of the time, so giving the best of me as much as possible is pertinent to succeeding. elle has helped me on a pathway to get the very best out of me.
Natalia Barua – Company Coordinator, East London Dance

We’re very much looking forward to building on this success later in the year, working with a new intake of talented women who are future leaders at the very beginning of their careers.

To browse additional photos from the first elle graduation ceremony, take a look at the elle blog here.