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Elevate Leadership and Development Programme

The Elevate programme is aimed at women from all job families in grades 4 to 8 from Black, Asian or Minority ethnic backgrounds and who identify as female.

The programme

Applications for the Elevate programme for 2023/24 have now closed.

Elevate is a creative personal and professional development programme that acknowledges and celebrates the history, culture and diverse lived experiences of its participants. It encourages participants to reflect, explore and grow through connecting and building solidarity together.

The programme creates a unique opportunity to meet, share, support and learn together. Elevate is a safe space where leadership concepts and ideas will be introduced, while exploring strategies that support the navigation of systemic practices which have tended to historically fix the professional identities of women from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Elevate recognises that prospective participants are ready to embrace and take on leadership responsibilities, but face differentiated lived experiences in employment, education and in wider society from their white counterparts.

Elevate will be transformational and will centre on the lived experiences and development needs of women of colour. You will be the key focus!

'This programme has been overwhelmingly transformative, giving me a space to reflect deeply on what I have achieved in my professional and personal life, as well as how I would like to go forward with developing these areas.' - Elevate 2022 participant

Who the programme is for

The Elevate programme is aimed at women from all job families in grades 4 to 8 from Black, Asian or Minority ethnic backgrounds and who identify as female.

The Elevate programme welcomes trans women and non-binary people who are comfortable in a female centred community.

The Elevate programme brings together colleagues from across six universities in the South West of England and South Wales: Bristol, Bath, Bath Spa, Cardiff, Exeter, and UWE Bristol.

Elevate will:

  • create spaces for participants to explore the development of their leadership and critically evaluate their professional position in Higher Education
  • introduce different leadership styles and approaches, and encourage participants to develop their own authentic leadership style and to increase their influence in institutions
  • support participants to reclaim strengths and talents as well as acknowledge their development needs and commence an action plan to meet their needs
  • empower using culturally informed methodologies including recapturing oral histories, storytelling, live capturing and centralised voicing
  • centralise participants as women of colour in the learning context, exploring their identity

'The programme will be like nothing you have ever experienced and you will be thankful you participated. Enter the programme with an open mind and be open to be challenged. You are a co-producer of the experience and so show up. Carve out the time to be present as much as you can. Be fearless, vulnerable, and lean into the experience.' Advice from an Elevate 2023 participant

Programme structure and mentoring

Elevate is co-designed and co-facilitated by a team consisting of:

  • Yvonne Field, a serial social entrepreneur and recent lecturer at Goldsmiths
  • Dr Peggy Warren, Researcher with an interest in gender studies and Leadership and Management Development Consultant
  • Hyacinth Fraser, a trainer, consultant and coach with 30 years of leadership, management and organisational development experience (Action Learning Facilitator)

Elevate will offer an engaging and bespoke combination of interactive in-person and online sessions and resources, Action Learning sets, cross-institutional mentoring, and an individual project. More information about all of these elements will be provided in the programme handbook.

You will be connected with a mentor from one of the other participating universities, to give you a breadth of insight and experience. It is expected that you will meet online with your mentor approximately four times during the programme.

Programme dates

  • The programme will run between January and June 2024
  • Participants are expected to attend all sessions of the whole programme
  • All applicants must ensure they hold all of the programme dates in their calendars

We understand that there may be unforeseen circumstances whereby a participant is unable to attend a programme date. If this is the case, please notify the team as soon as possible via

Session Date Time Venue
Modules 1 & 2 Wednesday 24 January 9:30am - 4:30pm Engineer's House, Clifton, Bristol
Introduction to Action Learning Tuesday 30 January 10:00am - 12:00pm Online
Action Learning Set 1 Monday 5 February 10:00am - 12:00pm Online
Module 3 Thursday 22 February 9:30am - 1:00pm Online
Action Learning Set 2 Tuesday 27 February 10:00am - 12:00pm Online
Modules 4 & 5 Tuesday 19 March 9:30am - 4:30pm Engineer's House, Clifton, Bristol
Action Learning Set 3 Tuesday 16 April 10:00am - 12:00pm Online
Module 6 Thursday 25 April 9:30am - 1:00pm Online
Action Learning Set 4 Thursday 2 May 10:00am - 12:00pm Online
Module 7/Final Day Tuesday 18 June 9:30am - 4:30pm Engineer's House, Clifton, Bristol

Please note that times may be subject to change. Please carefully check the programme information you will be sent before each session.

As a guide, the overall time commitment to engage effectively with the programme averages approximately 1.5 days per month (including scheduled and unscheduled activities).

You will be invited to an informal introductory 1:1 with one of the programme facilitators before the start of the programme. You will also receive a programme handbook with further information about the facilitation team and the various different elements of the programme, to help you to prepare.

'It's helped me feel empowered to do everything I want to and make steps to achieve the goals I have set for myself. It has also helped me re-evaluate what is most important to me and will help me become a better leader.' Elevate 2023 participant

Line Manager/Sponsor participation during the programme

Managers and supervisors of participants play an important role as part of the Elevate community − their active engagement facilitates the success and sustained impact of the programme.

Alongside the participants' programme, line managers/sponsors will be invited to participate in two bespoke, complementary workshops. This gives them the opportunity to engage directly with Elevate and experience the context of this transformative learning environment. These will be led by the Elevate programme facilitators, Dr Peggy Warren and her experienced team from the Ubele Initiative.

Elevate applicants have been asked to confirm an identified sponsor as part of the application process. This should be someone who has direct responsibility and influence with regards to your work, career progression, development and wellbeing. This would normally be your line manager, but you may choose an alternative sponsor to support you on your development journey if you feel they are more appropriate to the context/local structure.

Please contact us at if you are unable to identify a sponsor.

Participants from the University of Bath (2022/23)

  • Taghried Abdelmagid
  • Kodi Andrew
  • Shasha Du
  • Jemima Pereira
  • Kritika Ramachandran
  • Shamin Sadrafshari

Contact us

Please do get in touch if you have any questions about the Elevate programme.

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