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Diversifying Leadership: from delegate to delivery

22 Jul 2021 | Advance HE Two former participants on Diversifying Leadership join the delivery team.

Advance HE’s programme for developing Black, Asian and minority ethnic leaders in higher education has appointed two new members to the delivery team for the next cohort running from 20 October 2021.

Sanchia Alasia, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at London South Bank University, and Dr Melissa Jogie, Lecturer and Student Success Coordinator at the University of Roehampton, first took part in Diversifying Leadership as participants in cohorts 6 and 10.

They now join us as joint programme directors to help tackle the under-representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic leaders in UK higher education institutions, following the departure of Jannett Morgan whose programme directorship has spanned 12 cohorts over five years. Advance HE and the growing Diversifying Leadership alumni community are grateful for Jannett’s work on the programme.

Diversifying Leadership is designed to support early-career academics and professional services staff from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds progressing in leadership roles. It explores themes of power and influence, demystifying leadership, cultural identity and cultural capital, increasing visibility and authentic leadership and features leadership stories from high-profile higher education leaders.

Sanchia said, “I am really excited to have joined the DL team as co-programme director with Melissa. This comes at an exciting time to work in equality, diversity and inclusion and a pivotal moment where universities are now in a place to have a real focus on addressing the under-representation of BAME at the senior levels.

“Under-representation has been an issue for many years, but I am heartened to see many universities engaging with Diversifying Leadership and supporting their staff to navigate their leadership journey.

“It is crucial for the institutions engaged on this programme to also work to dismantle the barriers and discrimination that their staff face so that they truly will have the opportunity to thrive. There is rich learning that participants will want to share and engage with their institutions, and I would encourage universities to be open to hearing from the lived experiences of their staff, as they work to provide not just equality of opportunity, but of outcome for all.

“As we take participants through Diversifying Leadership, they will have the opportunity to explore authentic leadership and what that means for them and how they can work with their sponsors to navigate the labyrinth of leadership in their institutions.  As an alumnus of DL, I remember the practical takeaways that helped me to really think about where I wanted to be, and the leadership lessons that enabled me to understand what type of leader I was. I look forward to now leading on those elements and seeing the participants develop their leadership pathways.”

Melissa said, “Diversifying Leadership uniquely speaks to candidates in different ways depending on where one is on ones’ leadership journey. When I started DL programme in 2019, I had already taken inspiration from various mentors, and so I was clear about what I needed to work on. DL provided a safe, communal space to learn from others and set fresh personal challenges to navigate my aspirations through the terrain of higher education.

“Since completing the programme, I have reimagined my leadership potential and gained the confidence to join University Senate, lead on several research grants and champion for the unheard voices of marginalised higher education students and staff. It is now a great privilege to be caretaker of this space and be able to actively listen and support others to build on and share their own experiences. I look forward to engaging and connecting with the new participants as we continue to grow our DL family.”

You can find more information about our programmes and events in our new Developing Leadership in Higher Education programmes and events brochure for 2022-23, supporting those new to leading or wanting to enhance their leadership practice.


We feel it is important for voices to be heard to stimulate debate and share good practice. Blogs on our website are the views of the author and don’t necessarily represent those of Advance HE.

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