Bhutan Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials poised to break down gen­der bar­ri­ers

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

Se­nior Bhutan Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials plan to counter gen­der stereo­types and break down bar­ri­ers to women’s par­tic­i­pa­tion as de­ci­sion-mak­ers in the work­force af­ter com­plet­ing an Aus­tralia Awards Short Course at The Univer­sity of Queens­land.

The Aus­tralia Awards Women in Ex­ec­u­tive Lead­er­ship De­vel­op­ment Short Course was de­liv­ered by UQ In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment (UQID), draw­ing on the man­age­ment and lead­er­ship ex­per­tise of UQ Busi­ness School. The Aus­tralia Awards Short Course for South and West Asia is funded by the De­part­ment of For­eign Af­fairs and Trade.

The Short Course is de­signed to pro­vide prac­ti­cal ideas, tools and ap­proaches to help se­nior level ex­ec­u­tives com­bat chal­lenges faced by women in lead­er­ship roles.

Dal­las Dowsett, UQID Deputy Di­rec­tor, said the eleven fe­male of­fi­cials and five male of­fi­cials would utilise the knowl­edge and skills gained from the course to de­velop and im­ple­ment a Re­turn to Work Plan ap­pro­pri­ate to their work con­text in Bhutan.

“The course is tai­lored to en­sure con­tent ad­dresses the spe­cific chal­lenges women ex­ec­u­tives face in the Bhutan pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors,” said Ms Dowsett.

“Through a cus­tomised and ac­tion-based learn­ing ap­proach, Awardees are de­vel­op­ing ne­go­ti­a­tion, con­flict res­o­lu­tion and change man­age­ment skills to help them man­age dif­fi­cul­ties and over­come road­blocks in their ca­reers.

“The course also fa­cil­i­tates op­por­tu­ni­ties for the group to con­nect with lead­ing aca­demics and in­dus­try lead­ers who pro­vided in­spi­ra­tional ways of think­ing about lead­er­ship is­sues rel­e­vant to fe­male man­agers.

“I’m con­fi­dent the Awardees will re­turn home with en­hanced ca­pac­ity for lead­er­ship, and will act as men­tors and coaches for emerg­ing fe­male lead­ers in their work­place.”

Mr Chimi Dorji, Deputy Au­di­tor Gen­eral of Bhutan’s Royal Au­dit Au­thor­ity, be­lieves the course has pro­vided him with the in­sight that there is a def­i­nite dif­fer­ence be­tween a leader and lead­er­ship.

“Al­though lead­er­ship can be a nat­u­ral tal­ent, with­out train­ing such as this you can­not be ef­fec­tive. This train­ing means that we can ap­ply th­ese qual­i­ties and be­come more self-aware in our de­ci­sions, es­pe­cially in the ar­eas of adap­tive chal­lenge and un­con­scious bias,” he said.

Ms Phuntsho Lhamo, Chief Ed­u­ca­tion Mon­i­tor­ing Of­fi­cer of the Bhutan Ed­u­ca­tion Mon­i­tor­ing Di­vi­sion, said the course had been hugely ben­e­fi­cial in en­abling her to ap­ply tech­niques that could make small, in­cre­men­tal daily changes.

“For now, I need to cre­ate gen­der balance in my team. Then once I have achieved this, I need to fo­cus on the big­ger chal­lenge. I now need to take men on the jour­ney and show how we can col­lab­o­rate, en­rich and come together,” said Ms Lhamo.

The third and fi­nal com­po­nent of the course will be com­pleted in May 2018 in Bhutan.

The Aus­tralia Awards Short Cour­ses of­fer the next gen­er­a­tion of global lead­ers an op­por­tu­nity to un­der­take study, re­search and pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment in Aus­tralia while build­ing peo­ple-to-peo­ple links with Aus­tralia and our neigh­bours in the In­doPa­cific re­gion.

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