Female Leadership Initiative (FLi)

FLi creates a reflective and supportive space for participants to develop their self-awareness, personal agency and confidence. It considers not only individual impact but also how to develop an authentic leadership style that works towards an inclusive and progressive workplace culture. FLi offers the opportunity to reflect on leadership capabilities and to help provide clarity on future career goals. Participants will identify ways to build strategies for developing personal resilience, and create strong, supportive networks that will sustain them during and beyond the programme.

Female Leadership Initiative logo

Who is this programme for?

The Female Leadership Programme (FLi) is aimed at Academic and Professional Services staff, at any career stage or grade, who identify as women. The FLi programme welcomes trans women and non-binary people who are comfortable in a female centred community.

Learning Objectives

FLi participants will:

  • Develop their self-awareness and understanding of their own leadership style, approach and mindset
  • Explore their impact and influence on others and develop practical ways to enhance their working relationships
  • Identify how to foster an inclusive environment and challenge the structural and cultural barriers in working towards this
  • Identify strategies for developing personal resilience and navigating changing and challenging circumstances
  • Hear insights from a range of leaders at different levels, and apply learning to their own specific context
  • Create strong, supportive networks that will sustain them during and beyond the programme

Programme Structure

This is a highly interactive programme, in which you will be expected to engage in discussion, individual exercises, self-reflection, and Action Learning, as well as discovering a variety of leadership models and tools and hearing from guest speakers.

Over the course of three modules, the programme explores:

  • Realising Self: understanding your leadership style, approach, strengths, and values
  • Showing Up: reflecting on the role of mindset in how you impact and influence those around you
  • Occupying the Ground: maximising your effectiveness to lead through uncertainty and complexity

The modular programme incorporates a range of learning modes, including:

  • Online seminars: to introduce each module theme, explore leadership models and consider how they can be translated into practice
  • In-person workshops: to dive deeper into models and ideas through group discussion, activities, and guest speakers
  • Action Learning: small group sessions to explore specific leadership challenges in a supportive and confidential space, whilst developing coaching skills
  • Mentoring: to help you to explore your individual learning in a supportive 1:1 environment, and gain maximum benefit from the programme
  • Feedback tools: including a ‘360 review’ to help you to understand how others experience the tone and climate you create

The programme is led by our internal leadership development team, with some sessions delivered by external facilitators. Alongside frequent guest speakers, this facilitation approach enables participants to draw on a rich variety of expertise throughout the programme.te that times may be subject to change. Please carefully check the programme information you will be sent before each session. 

Programme dates

The core programme modules will run from February to June 2024, with a Reflective Review session in October 2024. 

  • Participants are expected to attend all sessions of the whole programme.  
  • All applicants must ensure they hold the programme dates in their calendars. 

You will be provided with resources for individual learning between workshops, and we encourage participants to plan time outside of the scheduled sessions to allow you to reflect on and apply your learning in this way. As a guide, the overall time commitment to engage effectively with this programme averages approximately 1.5 days per month (including scheduled and unscheduled activities). 

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

In person workshops will be held at Engineers House, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3NB.

How to apply 

Applications for the 2024 Leadership Programmes will open on 25th September 2023.

To apply, ‘enrol’ onto the Leadership Programmes 2024: application form in Develop (you must be logged into Develop for this link to work). 

For details about the application process, please read the Leadership Programmes: How to Apply, Terms and Conditions webpage.   

If you are unsure which programme to apply for  

  • Read the programme webpages carefully 
  • Speak to others who have participated in the programme 
  • Attend an Information Session – see details on the Leadership Programmes 2024: application form in Develop (You must be logged into Develop for this link to work). 

Programme fees 

Each participant's Faculty/Division will be charged a participatory programme fee of £520 to cover costs. 

Normally, the programme fee will come out of a staff development budget within your faculty / school / division / department. Speak to your line manager, if unsure. 

How to apply

Applications for the 2024 Leadership Programmes are now closed.

Information Sessions

We will be holding Information Sessions for colleagues who are considering applying for one of our programmes. Click on the link to enrol via Develop.

I feel as though I know myself better, both strengths and areas I need to develop. I feel more equipped with tools and strategies for negotiating my leadership journey. Overall I feel happier and more confident as a result of being part of the programme.

FLi participant 2023


We strive to ensure that our development programmes are accessible for all staff and meet your learning needs. If there are any factors which you feel would be a barrier to you accessing or participating in any elements of this programme, please get in touch to discuss with a member of the team sd-leadership@bristol.ac.uk

Support for staff with caring responsibilities

If you have caring responsibilities / work part-time:

The University has made provision for staff to be reimbursed for childcare to attend training outside their normal working days/hours. Please see the "What you can claim for" policy for details.  

Information for line managers

Information is available for line managers supporting a team member who is applying for one of the leadership development programmes.

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