We hear from Ingeborg Dietz, SIE Programme Director 2019-2021, on why she believes leadership training has the power to lead women into a more equal world.

Q   What does ‘leadership’ mean to you?


A   To me, someone who strives to be a good leader has to be honest, inspiring, intelligent, and stand firm for what she believes without backing down.


When referring to our Leadership Academy, leadership means creating a unique programme for young women, which develops their leadership potential, prepares them for management positions and provides them with networking opportunities.



It is about self-respect and self-confidence. It is about being ready to learn new things that are not always taught in schools. It is about taking on challenges and enjoying them; being inspired and inspiring others.


Q   How does the Soroptimist Leadership Academy (SLA) help young women to grow in today’s world?


A   The SLA helps young women to grow by sharing our knowledge in all kinds of professional and life experiences, and acting as ‘role models.’ This type of unconventional education encourages young women to be courageous and enables them to stand up for themselves by developing a voice and being different.



The SLA results in building bridges and expanding current educational programmes, such as mentoring and scholarship. In the future, the SIE Board plans to implement Leadership Academies for young women across the Federation, to help even more young women grow in today’s world.



Q   What do you think are the 3-key takeaways that participants learned during SLA and took back with them?


  1. ‘Will’ must be stronger than ‘skill’ – fear is never an option.
  2. Be curious, structured and ensure you stay on the radar of the people you are interested in.
  3. An honest, empathic and appreciative management style is one of the keys to success in order to gain trust from a team and to achieve goals.


Q   Are you planning to organise another Soroptimist Leadership Academy in the near future?


A   The SLA has proven to be of great benefit for all communities involved and there are plans to expand it across the Federation. This is partially due to it being based on exchange and collaboration between the Unions and because its core concept is that of a win-win initiative.


In fact, there are benefits on each SI level:


  • Clubs become better known in their region
  • Unions gain public attention and new connections
  • SI Europe keeps in close contact with the unions to provide guidance throughout the process


The next SLA will be a face-to-face event held by SI France in 2022.  It will bring together women from other unions in the SIE Federation and make their dreams come true.



During this biennium 2019-2021 I tried to do my very best to implement a long-term win-win project across SIE. As the end of my service as SIE PD-officer is approaching I do hope that my successor and her team will continue and stabilise the inter-European programme work of the SIE Leadership Academy in order to lead it into a prosperous future.



Ingeborg Dietz

SIE Programme Director 2019-2021



Are you and your club feeling inspired to implement a Leadership Academy in your region? Contact our Programme Team and we will provide you with the support and network you need:



Stay tuned for September’s THE LINK, where we hear from SLA participants about how leadership training has impacted their futures.  Subscribe now and never miss a LINK:

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