Changing the dial on womens leadership

Inspiring Global Women for Growth was the theme for a day of inspiration, networking and discovery to celebrate International Women’s Day at the Institute of Directors in London.

Think Women IWD 2023 Event
This article is taken from the latest issue of Think Global People magazine.Click on the cover to access the digital edition.

It was a unique opportunity for women and men to come together in support of global women and use their expertise positive good. Fiona Murchie, founder & Managing Editor of Relocate Global, a magazine, digital, multimedia and events company for Global Business, HR, Global Mobility Managers & Relocation Professionals, began the day by telling her own story of how, as a young woman, she started her career providing insights and information to the oil and gas industry in Scotland.

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Dr Susan Doering, author of Smart career moves for Smart Women, called on women to support each other and appreciate that they had many options throughout their career. Ellen Shustik head of programmes and external relations at the Inner Wings foundation spoke movingly of the many schoolchildren that the charity had helped to find their inner confidence.A lively workshop followed in which delegates discussed their career defining moments and the biggest surprise or the lessons they learned as an international woman in the workplace.Think Women IWD 2023 Event Dr Susan Doering         Think_Women_IWD_2023_Event_Ellen Shustik
Summarising the discussion on her table, Dr Sue Shortland, Professor Emerita at Guildhall Business & Law at London Metropolitan University and a Senior Lecturer in HRM at the University of Westminster, described how many women had found that taking a risk and moving out of their comfort zone had helped to further their career. Other groups emphasised the importance of networking and support, how women were naturally good at making connections and creating communities, and how having more women in senior leadership roles helped to change the nature of an organisation and enable both men and women to consider working more flexibility and being more authentic at work.Think Women IWD 2023 Event Dr Sue Shortland                         


Journalist Marianne Curphey then interviewed Julia Palmer, COO Relocation and CHRO at Santa Fe Relocation. Julia is one of Relocate’s 40 Global Outstanding Women who are being profiled throughout 2023.Julia spoke about her early childhood and how her formative years moving around the globe gave her resilience and ambition to work in global teams. She discussed how the nature of work and the requirements of assignees were changing and how women could be more supported in international roles.Think Women IWD 2023 Event Julia PalmerMarianne then introduced three panel guests: Caroline Thorley-Farrer, group Mobility director at Worley, Jenny Hinde, executive director at the Clear Company and Salma Shah, founder of Mastering your Power and a coach and author. All three panellists are profiled in our 40 Global Outstanding Women, and the discussion focussed on how diversity and inclusion presented great opportunities for organisations, and how to overcome challenges and difficulties.Think Women IWD 2023 Event PanelCaroline Thorley-Farrer spoke about how international assignments might be made shorter in order to appeal to more potential candidates, especially in cases where assignees were sent to hardship locations like Mongolia, where it was difficult for families and partners to follow. Jenny Hinde described how many organisations were keen to incorporate DE&I into their policies, but many were at a loss at where to start. Salma Shah said that women’s advancement needed to be looked at through an intersectional lens, because women were not a single homogenous group but were from many different cultures, backgrounds and experiences.There was then a lively discussion around the tables on how to move the dial for women working in international careers. Delegates exchanged insights and experiences on how to support women and help them flourish in the fast changing global workplace. Many spoke of the importance of support and mentoring, the need to help younger women develop confidence and to speak up and find their voice. There was also a consensus that having the opportunity to take an international assignment early in a woman’s career gave them a huge career advantage and a lot of experience in terms of understanding different cultures and ways of working.
Think Women IWD 2023 Event Dr Anino Emuwa


After a delicious lunch, keynote speaker Dr Anino Emuwa was introduced by Fiona Murchie. Anino has over 25 years' experience in banking, international management consulting and research. A former corporate banker with Citibank, she is Nigerian born, British educated and a French resident, and runs international agency Avandis Consulting. She opened her speech by quoting Carla Harris, Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley and a former Vice Chairman of Wealth Management at the firm.She said: “Hard work does not complete your success equation”, and she explained that there is more to managing a career than hard work, because you also need sponsorship, and you need visibility.“That is, having the attention of people who are making the influential decisions,” she said.In order to fast track and improve your agency she described how women need to be “TMA or top of mind awareness”.Women who articulate their value and describe why they are perfect for a role, are the ones who will succeed, she said.“It's being clear about your values. You are we are all unique and you have to be clear about what you do. You have to have career goals for the next 12 to 18 months and look to how you can leverage the next step with your unique value proposition,” she explained.This could include creating content, blogs and thought leader articles, ensuring your LinkedIn profile is up to date, and using social media to communicate where you are going in your career, and not where you actually are now.“In thought leadership, you can share your deep experience and your unique perspective,” she said. “How do you influence people's thoughts? It's about giving, and coming from a place of knowledge and giving in order to inspire and influence.”Speaking engagements can start locally with schools’ associations and local clubs. Even for those who are natural introverts, public speaking need not be daunting.“It's a skill that you require, and it's important to remember when public speaking that people are not there to judge you. They're to get from you. And that enables you to have less focus on yourself.”She also recommended networking, which can give you support and opportunities through word of mouth. Online networking and conferences can also enable you to interact with a global audience.Dr Emuwa also spoke about 100 Women at Davos, which is a community about leadership which aims to help bring change.Men should be part of the discussion around using the talent of women, and she suggested that given the huge talent shortage in technology, women could step forward to fill the talent gap, move the discussion forward and be part of the future of success.Think_Women_IWD_2023_Event_Group Workshop     Think Women IWD 2023 Event Group lunch

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