Women in Business Group Update Q1 2016

Written by Ruth Harris, Business Associate, Wentworth People

In the many discussions held by The British Chamber Women in Business Group, it became clear that, in addition to the “glass ceiling,” there was the additional challenge of the “sticky floor,” which refers to women lacking confidence in their abilities and promoting their career progression; smart, intelligent women with great ideas but who are hesitant in stepping up.

 

The committee partnered Wentworth People, a talent and development company, to create a programme to address many of the current challenges facing aspiring women leaders and assist women to drive their future career plan, avoiding the “sticky floor.”

 

There are the conventional ways that can be used to overcome some of the obstacles; for example, hard skill sharing, mentors, etc. However, there are many foundational elements that women need to overcome first; for example, overcoming fears and dealing with self-doubt. Without that element in a programme, then no amount of hard skill training would move the needle sufficiently in the right direction. “How would you feel if someone outside really started talking to you the way your inner voice does? How would you relate to a person who opened their mouth to say everything your mental voice says? After a very short period of time, you would tell them to leave and never come back. But when your inner friend continuously speaks up, you don’t ever tell it to leave. No matter how much trouble it causes, you listen.”

— Michael A Singer
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

 

The programme, a series of five workshops, ran from September to November. It set out to empower women leaders to show up more in their organisation and start shaping the communities in a more significant way, introducing a set of concepts and practices that change the way women think to lead from a place of confidence and authenticity.

 

The agenda included:

  • Uncovering the beliefs that may be sabotaging the growth of your career/business and keeping you playing small.
  • Creating your personal brand/identity and understand how this supports you in standing out from the crowd.
  • Creating a crystal-clear vision for your “ultimate business success” and the “lifestyle” you’d like for yourself.

 

The programme was offered at a discounted rate to make it as inclusive as possible, particularly for those who might not have access to a company mentoring/ coaching/sponsorship programme.

 

Feedback from participants was very positive, with many indicating that the workshops allowed them to mix with likedminded people and gave them the skills and confidence to create the career — and life — they wanted.

 

“Raised very important questions around purpose and legacy that are beyond just career or family.”

 

“I love how the course is so engaging, which allows me to identify myself with others and to take home solutions other people have successfully tried.”

 

“Thought-provoking, much more impact beyond the sessions than I had expected. Inspiring, thought-provoking and motivating.”

 

“The people; refreshing and reassuring to know that many other women — probably all women — experience the same self-doubt or limiting traits that I have. Empowering!”

 

“Provided me the opportunity and tools for getting clear about what I want and some tips on how to achieve that goal.”

 

“It helps me understand myself better and really think hard about who I am in the business and personally. I have communicated better, think better and dare to step up and chase away my inner critiques.”

 

“Transformative, empowering, expands your mind.”

 

“The fact that the audience and lecturers were all willing to be open and share honest and genuine feedback and experiences.”

 

With the change from the technical leadership style to one of more adaptive leadership, women are perfectly poised to take a leading role in the new economical environment, for many of the skills required to be an adaptive leader are innate to women leaders. For this reason, The British Chamber Women in Business Diversity Committee, partnering with Wentworth People, will continue to look for opportunities to support their Senior Women leaders in 2016.

 


 

Visit the Women in Business Group page to learn more about the committee members and their upcoming events.

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