Future Leaders of Nottingham is on a mission to make leadership in the city more diverse and representative of the communities it represents, across the public, private and voluntary sectors.
Since it launched in 2016, this unique professional development programme has helped over 50 Nottinghamshire residents fast-track their careers and now it’s looking for more future leaders to take part.
Future Leaders of Nottingham is coordinated by The Renewal Trust in partnership with some of the city’s leading employers, including Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, Nottingham City Homes, Communities Inc, Futures and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.
The programme was developed in response to the Citywide Positive Action Study 2014, which identified key gaps in diversity at board and senior management level. Since then, it’s gone from strength to strength and been shortlisted for a National Diversity Award, beating off competition from 24,584 nominations to make it through to a shortlist of just 124 in 2018.
Future Leaders of Nottingham is looking for ambitious people who work in Nottinghamshire – in the public, private or voluntary sectors.
To make leadership more diverse and representative, the programme is specifically interested in receiving applications from people who are Black, Asian or another ethnic minority, people living with a disability, or people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or other gender or sexual identities.
To allow talented applicants from all sectors to apply, there’s a sliding scale of fees to make the programme affordable for non-profit organisations and social entrepreneurs.
Future Leaders selected to take part in the programme get access to a range of masterclasses and practical workshops run by leading experts on a range of topics, plus one-to-one coaching and mentoring.
Participants are matched with senior leaders in the city who provide mentoring, advice, direction and the opportunity to shadow them at board meetings, introducing Future Leaders to new contacts and opportunities.
Candida Brundenell, Assistant Chief Executive and Corporate Director for Strategy and Resources at Nottingham City Council and a mentor for the Future Leaders programme said: “Having a mentor will help dispel any myths you hold about leadership. It will open doors by creating new connections in different organisations, and provide a space to try out new ideas with someone who can guide you from personal experience.
“It’s a privilege to support the Future Leaders of Nottingham programme and to give ambitious people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to challenge themselves and be a force for change.”
Future Leaders also get a chance to work on ‘live projects’ as a group. For example, the current cohort of Future Leaders are working on three projects exploring positive defiance in high fly-tipping areas, a leadership programme for young people, and community provision for Universal Credit recipients and those experiencing financial hardship.
Throughout the programme, participants get the chance to attend events, conferences and training, including a behind-the-scenes tour of Nottingham’s leading organisations and infrastructure.
At the end of the programme, Future Leaders are invited to join its Steering Group, to help shape the direction of the programme and select applicants in future years. There’s also a growing alumni network that actively shares opportunities and continues to support each other – year after year.
Cherry Underwood, CEO at The Renewal Trust explained: “Future Leaders of Nottingham is helping to make leadership in the city more diverse and representative by creating a talented network of people to inspire others and drive change. Many of our Future Leaders have used the skills and experience the programme has given them as a springboard to more senior roles, board positions and further training. Because the programme is open to the public, private and voluntary sectors, it also brings different organisations together to share experiences and best practice.”
As well as benefiting those who take part, the programme is also helping employers to develop their staff, improve staff retention and grow a ‘talent pipeline’ of people ready to take the next step in their careers. Plus of course, it’s helping to make Nottingham’s workforce more inclusive at all levels.
Giles Matsell, Head of Equality and Diversity, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The Future Leaders of Nottingham programme has provided staff with the confidence to aspire to senior positions and importantly, to be themselves. We would recommend any organisation looking to deal with similar challenges to become a partner of the programme.”
Future Leader April Chung, Finance Manager at Imara, said: “Future Leaders has grown me more than I could ever imagine, the knowledge and learning I’ve gained has given me the confidence and the resources to develop myself, and also the tools to grow my organisation. I’ve made long lasting friendships, it’s been such a valuable experience and I would recommend this programme to anyone.”
Find out more about the Future Leaders of Nottingham programme and apply before 31 May:
Call: 0115 911 2226