Aggie Cooper

Group Leader, PDU at Aramco Europe

My journey with RSM's Women in Leadership programme was second to none. It provided unparalleled insights into women's career progression and challenges. Choosing RSM was easy due to their consistent excellence in teaching. Highlights included discussions on 'tropes' and confronting internalised concerns. Key learnings emphasised inclusivity, mutual support, and advocacy. Despite setbacks, perseverance led to impactful initiatives like a Coaching & Mentoring for Talent programme. Moving forward, I am committed to empowering women in the workplace and fostering harmony through collaboration between genders. RSM's programme has equipped me to effect positive change and champion women's voices in the workplace and beyond.

How Aggie Cooper cultivated women's empowerment and leadership

Aggie Cooper is a group leader in the Professional Development Unit (PDU) at Aramco Europe. My experience with the Women in Leadership programme at RSM was like “a breath of fresh air” and it addressed the nuances of women's career progression comprehensively. Having previously participated in various RSM courses, Aggie was drawn to the school’s consistent excellence in teaching and materials. Her decision to continue her training at RSM was, as she tells it, a natural one, given the invaluable mentorship she had received. This is an account of her experience in the RSM Women in Leadership programme.

"The programme overflowed with valuable insights, albeit sometimes overwhelming. One aspect that particularly captivated me was the discussion on 'tropes' and the unique challenges faced by Black women in leadership roles. Barbara Banda's adept handling of this topic shed light on its broader applicability to women of all racial backgrounds, prompting me to share these revelations with fellow women.

Moreover, the programme provided a platform to confront internalised concerns and anxieties, leading to a cathartic release of repressed emotions. This emotional journey was pivotal, and the programme adeptly accommodated such revelations, fostering an environment of shared experiences amongst like-minded women."

Key learnings and application in work

“The programme underscored the shared experiences of women in the workplace, emphasising the importance of inclusivity and mutual support. I learned the significance of including men in conversations about workplace dynamics to foster understanding and prevent resentment. Additionally, it instilled in me the importance of women supporting and advocating for each other, particularly in challenging situations, such as idea theft.”

Contributing to positive change

"Armed with newfound insights, I am committed to championing women's empowerment in the workplace. Rather than solely speaking on their behalf, I aim to empower women to advocate for themselves. A testament to this commitment was the creation of a Coaching & Mentoring program within my company, which, despite lacking formal recognition, made a tangible impact on mentees. This programme ran for three years until the pandemic hit and necessitated its end.

Despite setbacks, I persevered, eventually being entrusted with mentoring responsibilities post-pandemic. This journey exemplifies the importance of resilience and the indirect yet profound effects of dedication and perseverance."

Driving towards a harmonious future

“As awareness grows surrounding the challenges faced by women in the workplace, I remain hopeful for a future characterised by inclusivity and harmony. By fostering an environment where women's voices are heard and respected, we can create a more conducive workplace for all. With continued collaboration between genders, we can work towards a future where women's contributions are celebrated and valued, paving the way for a more equitable and fulfilling work environment.”

For more information about the Women in Leadership Programme, see

Get your personal advice

Rianne van Reeuwijk

Programme Advisor

It's my priority to help you identify how you can meet your professional objectives, so reach out and let's make a plan for your personal development.