Posted: 22 October 2018
During #EmbraceDiversity month, we hear from Maria Hamood, who recently completed our Moving Up Programme. She offers an insight into why she undertook the programme, what she has gained and why she thinks other people should get involved.
Maria is the Adult Principal Social Worker and Mental Health Act Manager for Bristol City Council, specialising in adult care. She is an integral member of the senior adult care leadership team and has responsibility for maintaining the quality and standards of social work practice across Bristol City Council Adult Care.
She recently undertook and completed the Moving Up programme which aims to support managers seeking to move up into senior management, especially those from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
What did you hope to achieve from the Moving Up programme?
I was drawn to the Moving Up programme because I am from a Yemeni background and feel I have a different communication style to others in my organisation. I wanted to remain true to myself and still be able to operate effectively in the work environment. I feel there is a fine balance between fitting in and remaining authentic to yourself.
I also wanted to develop my skills and strengthen my profile within the organisation after being given the opportunity to progress in a complex development role in the council. I wanted to prepare myself for future opportunities and understand what to expect in a senior role.
What were the benefits from undertaking the Moving Up programme?
The programme allowed me to learn and bring a different voice and perspective to the organisation. I gained support from my Service Director, the HR partner and the management team making me feel very valued. The main benefits that I gained from undertaking the programme were;
- acceptance and recognition
- mentoring and support
- role preparation.
The programme gave me a fresh perspective on my new leadership role and gave me valuable thinking time to prepare for it and I was able to showcase my skills.
What was your best memory of the programme?
The speakers were inspirational and I knew that I had made a good choice undertaking the programme. My mentor, who was an ex-director of adult social services, was really supportive and challenging, offering me invaluable coaching and advice that I still draw on. The time on the programme was very well spent, it gave me a reflective space with people who were facing similar challenges.
Would you recommend the Moving up programme to others?
I was determined to seize the opportunity and would encourage others to do so. I wanted to carry out a project to showcase what I could really do and show my capabilities. I think it would have been much more difficult to have progressed within the organisation without the opportunities the programme gave me, especially in a climate where leadership and management development is hard to come by.
Find out more
The Moving Up programme has been running since 2011 and over 130 people have undertaken the programme. It aims to give practical support to BAME leaders to develop the skills and knowledge they need to lead at a senior level.
The next cohort starts in November 2018 and includes workshop and residential development sessions, group mentoring and coaching, action learning sets and networking opportunities. Find out more about how to take part in the programme.
During October we’re embracing diversity in adult social care. Click here to keep up to date with the campaign and join the conversation on social media using #EmbraceDiversity