In the realm of leadership, women continue to shatter glass ceilings, break barriers, and redefine what it means to lead. Yet, ascending to the next level can oftentimes seem elusive.
April R. Randall, Esq., a dedicated public servant, embarked on her 15-year legal career by championing the rights of survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Her professional journey ultimately led her to the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Operations and Infrastructure in Washington, D.C., where she serves as the Senior Legislative Advisor. After years of committed service, she found herself at a crossroads familiar to many women—contemplating how to further advance her career.
In her pursuit of professional growth, April joined Yale’s Women’s Leadership Program (WLP), where she unearthed powerful insights into both herself and how to lead successfully. Equipped with new skills and a fresh sense of empowerment, she feels confident that she can achieve her ambitions.
Why did you choose to attend the Women’s Leadership Program?
I decided to attend the Women’s Leadership Program (WLP) because I was beginning to feel stuck in my career. I wanted to learn how to propel my career forward by further honing my leadership skills so that I could ascend in my career while also helping other future female leaders.
What learnings from WLP resonated with you the most?
There were so many “nuggets” that I took with me from the WLP. It is difficult to identify just one. Yet, I will say that Reflected Best Self Exercise (RBSE) and the accompanying group coaching session was truly impactful. I was very anxious about completing the RBSE. I was nervous about reading my reporters’ submissions about me; fearing that I would not be able to live up to their opinions of me. Yet, it was very eye opening to learn that the themes and values I wrote about in my self-reflected reports also appeared in the reports that my colleagues, friends, and family members submitted. It was humbling to see that the values that I want to exude are recognized by others.
The tools that I learned during the program—particularly around communication, emotional intelligence, and decision making—will make me a better leader and team player. Furthermore, I left the program feeling empowered and more confident in taking the next step in my career.
What aspects of WLP did you find to be the most powerful?
Absolutely the connections that I made with the other WLP Cohort 23 participants. We are all leaders in our respective careers with many accolades, years of experience and education, but we “checked our egos at the door.” We did not lead with “I am XYZ” in whatever professional field we are in, but rather we came as women who are interested in further excelling in our careers while helping each other and those who will follow us in our careers. It was a very supportive environment. We cheered for each other, and will continue to do so, as we are all invested in seeing each other succeed. The connections that I made are priceless.
How do you think your experience in WLP will impact your professional development?
My experience in WLP will have a significant impact on my professional development. The tools that I learned during the program— particularly around communication, emotional intelligence, and decision making—will make me a better leader and team player. Furthermore, I left the program feeling empowered and more confident in taking the next step in my career.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience in WLP?
I cannot speak highly enough about WLP. Everyone involved in putting the program together was amazing. The instructors were so knowledgeable and engaging. It was apparent that they not only enjoyed the sessions they were teaching, but that they enjoy teaching in WLP and want to help the WLP participants to succeed. I am very grateful for this opportunity. Thank you.