Harold G Walker recently joined forces with Successful Women Ltd, a training company owned by ex-chief superintendent of Dorset Police, Gill Donnell MBE, to deliver the award-winning Springboard Women’s Development Programme.
Gill worked in Dorset Police for 30 years. Since leaving in 2011, she has put her skills to good use by creating a training business for women.
The Dorset based law firm is the first in county to join forces with Gill and sponsored eight women to take part in the development programme.
Harold G Walker’s managing partner, Nicola Lowe, says, “When we heard about the programme we saw the potential, and we wanted to lend our support. We are a local business, we care about the Dorset community and its development, it is our aim to help and encourage more women into business and into the workplace.
“Statistics, even now, show that few women make it to become a partner in a law firm, or break into positions of power in the working world, yet we often see huge potential in women and many of them are treading water. We are already committed to support more women in the development programme next year (2015) as we have seen first-hand how much has been achieved.”
Nicola goes onto say, “I didn’t train to be a lawyer until I was in my 30s, prior to that I was in the care sector and I had three children in education. I came from very humble beginnings to get where I am today, and that is why I am so passionate about helping other women to realise their full potential.”
The criteria for the successful candidates was that they had to either work in the voluntary, charity or community sector, be a full-time carer, or they were looking to return to work after time spent at home (perhaps as stay at home mum) or were about to retire or were retired and wanted to return to the workplace.
The lucky women were Lyris Nicolet from the Butterfly Foundation, Helen Bromley from LV=Streetwise, Anna Maycock from Dorset McTimoney, Sandy Weatherburn a Dorchester Ambassador, Kirsty Worth from Dorset Reclaim, Tracey Farwell and Tammy Sleet volunteer with Wimborne Radio.
Sandy Weatherburn said, “The course, for me, was, life changing, inspiring, and insightful. When I put myself forward, I must admit, I needed some direction and was feeling a bit adrift. By the time I arrived for my second day of training I had drawn up my plan and goals. The course was brilliant for me across many levels, I made some great friends and I have learnt some important skills to help me identify and achieve my potential; none of this would have been possible without the support of Harold G Walker or without the guidance of Gill Donnell and the other candidates in my training group.”
Gill added, “Everyone has untapped potential that can be developed and through our sponsorship and bursary programme, we work with partners to provide development opportunities for those who would otherwise be unable to obtain the benefits of one-to-one coaching or single gender training. Some of the women who would gain most from dedicated support and personal development are those least able to afford it, they have untapped potential and with the right support, they could well be the next managing director of a FTSE 100 company, a partner in a law firm or a head teacher in a school.”