Migrant Action and Migration Exchange jointly held a consultation workshop in Leeds attended by a host of agencies to explore leadership development in the migration sector. The workshop formed part of a wider national consultation to evaluate the current state of leadership development in the sector and based on its findings, set out a new model for leadership development.
Participants recognized the importance and urgency to develop leadership capacity for people from refugee and migrant backgrounds who have lived experience of migration system. Participants critiqued the acute lack of diversity and inclusion in leadership in the migration sector which they attributed fundamentally to an entrenched ‘systemic problem’ underpinned by the undervaluing and devaluing of leadership abilities and potential of individuals from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
Participants recognized the positive ‘shift’ over the last decade as more people with lived experience of migration take up management and leadership positions in the sector. However, these were largely individualistic rather than systemic. To ensure greater and sustainable progress requires a step-change brought about through systematically growing leadership and management capacity and increasing access to leadership opportunities for people with lived experience of migration. Embedding leadership development within the communities would ensure sustainability and a shift the mind-set from deficit to asset based communities.
Migrant Action strongly believes that in order to achieve such a step-change, leadership development model must produce ‘whole leaders’ who fully grasp the relevance of synchronizing the intellect, body, mind and soul to provide effective leadership in increasingly diverse and inclusive societies. As an organization, we are committed to developing leadership capacity amongst migrants.