Personality Prejudice


Ellina G (Year 10), Chief Contributor

Receiving a Year Leader position is an achievement. It is a huge compliment and a pure form of validation. The role itself opens a realm of possibilities within William Clarke – from allowing a direct line of communication with members of the executive team, to opportunities, such as writing articles for the brand new WCC newspaper. Being badged as a Year Leader was something I thought of as unattainable for the longest time because of my personality. And now, as a leader, I have made it my goal to bring awareness to the underrepresented minority – introverts.  

For me, being badged as a leader took years of hard work and perseverance to reimagine my whole personality. I felt as if my quiet personality had negative connotations – as if it was a liability. So, I adapted new habits to become the “leader-like version” of myself, or, in other words – more of an extrovert. Throughout the year leading up to my appointment as Year Leader, I started being more outgoing, engaging in more small talk, becoming louder and more assertive. Of course, in the long run these habits have had positive effects, however in the moment it took a toll on me.  

Since being badged, I’ve had countless confessions from my closest friends that they never expected me to succeed in getting Year Leader, because they thought it was never in the cards for “someone like me”.  

The idea of having to be an extrovert to be a leader is highly outdated.  

Why is it so hard for some students to attain a leadership position even if they are natural leaders? There are multiple answers to this.  

The leadership model doesn’t accommodate introverts. After speaking to a former Year Leader who self-identifies as a shy introvert, it was quite clear that introverts don’t feel fit for the current way leadership functions. She spoke about that, even though her team was very supportive of her, she often felt left out, and wished there was a more passive leadership option that gave her an outlet but did not require her to be in the spotlight.  

Although some may say that being loud and assertive is part of being a leader, it is not the only way to be a representative and voice your opinions. Collecting information and getting the “grunt-work” done is vital to be a leader. Introverts can make great leaders too is a project created by one of the groups in the Year 10 Scholars Program. Throughout Term 1 of 2022, this group have been researching the Year Leader Position at WCC and attempting to create a more inclusive leadership model; one they hope to implement in WCC soon. 

It would not be easy to change this system, but it’s also not impossible. Some possible ways we could improve the WCC’s leadership model include having: 

  • Clearer guidelines for both Heads of Year and students about the criteria of becoming a Year Leader 
  • Mandatory blogs detailing Year Leader progress 
  • New roles that contain more behind-the scenes work  

Grade representation is important and is the sole reason why Year Leaders exist. So, with the help of student voice and awareness – there is a chance for William Clarke to improve its leadership model. Change is coming, even if it is quiet.