“There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women” – Madeleine Albright
On Thursday 12 March 2015 I had the huge honour of hosting a table of nine fellow Post Office ladies attending the Northern Power Women conference in Liverpool. We joined 230 other women from the North West for a jam packed day of networking, seminars, presentations and panel debates.
The variety of the conference was excellent, with thought-provoking content and uplifting speakers from all walks of life; there really was something for everyone.
The overall message from the day was loud and clear – we need to harness our collective energy and have the confidence and courage to stand up for what we believe. We have a responsibility to use what we’ve already got within us to achieve for the next generation of women, especially considering there are so many women around the world for whom this is all an unrealistic dream.
So what were the top three key messages I took away from the day?
- Be clear about what you want for yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for it – what’s the worst that can happen? The fear of “no” is all too often what holds us back yet “no” is simply the start of exploring what could be possible.
- Don’t underestimate the value of your support network – harness the power of those around you, both at home and at work, to help you achieve in your career.
- Build your profile as an asset and give people a reason to believe in and engage with you. Everything you need to be successful you already have within you so be sure to package it well.
While we heard from many excellent speakers and panellists over the course of the day, the three key points made by Heather Jackson of An Inspirational Journey, about what women can do to get on in their careers, were the ones that resonated with me best:
- Confidence – if you don’t believe in yourself, how will others believe in you? You just have to believe that you can! (NB You can read my blog post about this very point here)
- Capabilities – understand what skills you’ve got, pin them down, and then be clear about what you still need.
- Contacts – don’t underestimate the power of networking, both internal and external.
If we all focused more on these three things, imagine what we could achieve?
It made me quite sad to hear that there are still too many women out there who don’t help each other. Worse again, there are still too many who climb the ladder and then pull it back up behind themselves.
Imagine how powerful it could be if each one of us did one thing, no matter how small, for another woman, every day?