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Favourite women leaders and superpowers shared by Aurora role models for International Women’s Day

06 Mar 2020 | Advance HE Michelle Obama is the leader of choice for our Aurora role models and empowering others is their top superpower.

Around 7,000 women have taken part in Aurora, Advance HE’s leadership development programme for women and those who identify as women in higher education. One thousand of those have continued their involvement with the programme by becoming a role model.

Our role models support women to take the first step on their leadership journey. They  provide invaluable information and give new Aurora participants the opportunity to build contacts with women leaders who have forged a successful career for themselves within higher education. They truly make a positive difference to women in HE, enabling those women to help create a gender equal world. 

We asked more than 250 of our Aurora role models who they admire as a leader and what their own superpower is to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March.


Who do you admire as a leader?

Top Five

  1. Michelle Obama, Former First Lady and lawyer
  2. Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister
  3. Female colleagues in HE such as Deans, Vice-Principals, Directors, Heads of School and line managers
  4. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
  5. Greta Thunberg, environmentalist


What is your superpower as a leader?

Top 10

  1. Empowering others
  1. Listening
  1. Empathy
  1. Resilience
  1. Calm
  1. Compassion
  1. Emotional intelligence
  1. Enthusiasm
  1. Authenticity
  1. Communication


International Women’s Day

The campaign theme of International Women’s Day 2020 is #EachforEqual. Advance HE and our Aurora programme is proud to support gender equality. Strike the #EachforEqual pose to motivate others and support #IWD2020.


Register to be an Aurora role model. 

Find out more about one of Advance HE's other women-only programmes Senior Women's Leadership Development Programme designed specifically for women in senior positions in HE to help them take the next step up or extend their role, profile and impact. 


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