Public servants have, for the first time, joined their private sector counterparts at an intensive program for emerging women leaders, honing their leadership skills to contribute to a more inclusive Papua New Guinea.
The Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct has supported eight women to participate in the Business Coalition for Women’s Certificate IV in Leadership and Management, which is designed to prepare high-potential employees for management roles.
Lesieli Taviri, Chair of the Business Coalition for Women (BCFW), said involvement of women in any decision-making capacity across sectors and the community promotes more inclusive nation-building.
“Higher levels of female participation are closely linked with improved organisational performance,” Ms Taviri said.
“The BCFW leadership program provides targeted training suited for PNG women in the PNG environment and that’s what makes it unique.”
“The diversity of participation from all sectors encourages a wider and more dynamic scope of learning. This exposure benefits the participants; it helps to enhance their thinking and challenges them to apply their learning.”
Priscilla Mais, Acting Executive Director at the Department of Education, was one of the public servants who commenced the Certificate in March and said the program has boosted her confidence and changed her approach to management.
“I feel empowered and invigorated in my role as a manager, as a team player and as a public servant,” she said.
“Knowing ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses, and how we present ourselves as leaders are all important.”
“The course made me realise that all views are important for a team to work effectively. As leaders, we must be open minded, be open to criticism and be ready to accept different views from different people.”
Ms Mais has led the Department of Education’s Project Management Unit since it was established and wants to work with her team to come up with creative ideas on how to improve the Department, specifically in delivering school infrastructure.
She said the training provided insights in to how small changes can make a large impact on professional and personal development.
“This training has helped me to improve many things which I took for granted,” Ms Mais said.
“Simple things which we do not always see as significant contribute to an effective working environment and, in the end, improved service delivery. This includes courteous telephone manners, being conscious of ethics and codes of conduct, responding positively to clients and listening to views from subordinates.”
“We tend to ignore the small things, but I now see that these small things help us to achieve what we want to achieve – at our workplace and in our personal life.”
The Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct is a partnership between Papua New Guinea and Australia that supports the development of ethical, capable public sector leaders.
The Business Coalition for Women is a group of companies who are working together to drive positive change for women and businesses in Papua New Guinea.