Mindfulness and women’s leadership with Shari Read

7 November 2016

Shari Read is a YWCA Canberra member and has been involved in the She Leads Program across all of our events. She has been facilitating workshops and seminars in wellbeing and self-leadership since 2003 and holds a PhD in social psychology and post-qualification training in mindfulness, meditation, yoga and Buddhist psychotherapy. Here, Shari tells us why mindfulness and women’s leadership are so important.f1lbpuve

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a mum, a wife, and a teacher. I draw on my training in yoga and Buddhist psychotherapy, my doctorate in social psychology, my masters training in clinical psychology and my experience as an entrepreneur and business manager, and integrate these perspectives to help people develop ways of effectively leading positive change in the world.

I’m also a bit of a hippie – I have a vegetable garden, eight chickens and think The Matrix is the best movie ever made.

You’ve been involved with the She Leads Conference, the She Leads Diploma, and the She Leads Workshops a number of times – what do you think makes the She Leads program unique?

From my perspective, the She Leads program is unique in its grounding in a positive, non-radicalised approach to women’s empowerment. It is supported by strong, confident women who themselves know how to lead and how to provide mentoring and role-modeling, an essential ingredient in the development of a leadership identity.

Why do you think achieving gender equality is important?

I would ask a couple of questions in return – why is keeping women on an uneven playing field so important to some people? Why are we being blocked from achieving equality? What are they scared of?

It is important because we are here, we are participating and ‘they’ can’t do it without us.

What can participants expect from your upcoming Mindful Leadership Workshop?

People attending the upcoming Mindful Leadership workshop can expect to have some fun, to learn a bit about themselves, to learn mindfulness techniques or enhance their existing mindfulness practice, and how to apply this to their emerging or established leadership identity. It will be an opportunity for connection, reflection and insight.

You’ve just attended the Mindful Leadership Forum (jealous!), what’s the coolest thing you learnt?

I’ve just come from my second Mindful Leadership Forum run by Jono Fisher and the amazing Wake Up Project team. This year was less about learning and more about remembering, consolidating, reflecting and integrating. My greatest realisation over the two days was that the workplace conditions that give rise to optimal levels of motivation, innovation and engagement are also the same conditions that nurture compassion and create the space for emerging leaders to thrive.

Who’s your feminist hero?

I love Clare Bowditch. She has had a hero’s journey, she is real and makes no apologies for bringing her authenticity to everything she does. She is bold, she is brave and she creates a space for other people to experiment with being messy.

Shari’s She Leads Workshop on Mindful Leadership on November 29 is now full. Please keep an eye out for other opportunities to engage with Shari in 2017! 

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