Representatives of the Village Leadership Development Initiative - Training of trainers facilitating a training for the female employees of Samoa Airport Authority. Photo credit: UNDP/J.Mareko/2019

Following the success of the Village Leadership Development Initiative (VLDI) Training of Trainers in July 2019, two representatives from that training organised and facilitated a training for female employees at the Samoa Airport Authority (SAA) for seven days from 21st – 29th October 2019.

15 females from the Samoa Airport Authority had the chance to participate in this programme as part of their capacity building in a male dominated area. The main objective of the seven-day training is to build the capacity of women to accelerate as future leaders for a sustainable and inclusive working environment within the Samoa Airport Authority. Also, to ensure there is a clear understanding across the organisation of policies and procedures and what challenges they are facing in the work place, this is also to ensure that the decisions they take in the future as leaders are informed and comply with the SAA policies. Currently there are only two (2) females in the Middle Management Level as Principal Officers in SAA.

According to one of the participants, she stated; “The platform that is being given to us this week, is quite overwhelming and the training is interesting because we get to learn new tools as a leader every day, it is good to learn to accept that our mistakes and our fears can be addressed by identifying them, acknowledging that they exist and act upon them to ensure a successful workplace for SAA”, Pesio Tamati, Senior Compliance Investigation Officer, SAA.

The participants continue to share their learning in terms of understanding their professional and social profiles, taking into consideration their invisible inner values/strengths and acknowledging their fears as individuals and as a team.

“From the beginning of the week, the methodology that stood out for me is the sharing. There is a set culture in some organisations in which the leader dictates what must be done instead of listening to the opinions and ideas of the employees, and one of the most important things that I have learnt from the 5 days is sharing information. To be able to receive the information without pre-judging and to be open-minded, this is what resonates with me going forward. For me it opens opportunities for improvement in terms of the relationship between the leader and the employees, to ensure there is a sound and similar understanding between them.” Lilia Chang Wong, Air Traffic Control Officer, SAA.

The training for the SAA is delivered by Peseta Afoa Arasi Tiotio and Palanitina Tupuimatagi Toelupe and is made possible through the partnership of the Samoa Airport Authority and the World Bank Project.

The two (2) trainers completed the Village Leadership Development Initiative (VLDI) Training of Trainers supported by the Women in Leadership in Samoa (WILS) Project, a three year joint project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women with funding from the Australian Government in partnership with the Government of Samoa.

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