40 women in one room discussing confidence, empowerment and equality and you can’t help but walk away inspired.
We recently hosted our first Women in Business event and it was truly a spectacular affair. The evening was opened by our incredible panel of speakers: Xenia Walters, Group CFO of SDL and Elona Mortimer-Zhika, COO of IRIS Software Group. The two influential female leaders shared their stories and struggles of reaching the top and how they developed confidence in the board room which was followed by an incredibly-powerful workshop hosted by our newly-appointed Chief People Officer, Caroline Lansbury. The series of interactive group and paired activities was centred around finding your voice, having a brand and not losing sight of your authentic self.
The round-table conversations had on the evening truly opened my eyes to the very-similar struggles that women at the top face which seem to exist across different organisations, business disciplines and locations.
One piece of feedback really summarised the tone of the event which was; “I never attend women’s-only events. They are either filled with women lacking any femininity who judge you for wearing a dress or simply, they profess a hatred for men and tell you what you should be doing and should be feeling. This event showed me that there are women, just like me, facing the same struggles and they aren’t afraid to be themselves and we are all completely free of judgement. I can’t wait to come again.”
From the very start of our event-planning journey, we agreed to hold our event under Chatham House Rule to ensure we provide a safe space for women to interact openly with one another and know that nothing shared will be repeated outside of those four walls.
It was wonderful to hear so many of the stories shared but also to see how open and comfortable our guests felt amongst like-minded women, who were essentially strangers.We had one aspiration for this event and that was to help senior women build their confidence but the fruitful conversations had on the day truly opened our minds up to the many other issues many women in the board room face today and so we decided to continue the conversation with a white paper, tackling these very issues.
Such topics include being a mother and a leader, avoiding the guilt and finding the balance; how having it all was a myth; not being afraid to make an impact and have diversity of thought; finding a mentor who you aspire to be and being a role model to others; being lonely at the top and being your authentic self and, why you should work hard on something that people take notice of.
Our white paper will offer you a chance to explore the conversations had on the evening and read both the incredible stories of our speakers and the phenomenal thought-leadership from our Chief People Officer, Caroline.
To receive a copy of our white paper, please follow the link below, and in the meantime – please join the conversation and tell us what issues you face at the top.