The Empowering Women in Business event was more relevant than ever, Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchise Association, says
On November 15 at the Nottingham Belfry I was in a room with so many brilliant females. Attending and speaking at the bfa’s Empowering Women In Business event, I got to listen to inspiring stories, get involved in conversations around issues in the workplace and listened to discussions about how to build each other up and overcome obstacles. These barriers tend to usually be put up by one’s self.
I presented the opening talk alongside bfa chief operating officer Emily Price.
This was a speech that was close to my heart and I decided the only way for me to inspire and resonate with my fellow businesswomen was to be honest about my journey.
It’s not easy putting your perceived weaknesses on display for others to judge, but it successfully set the tone. The day is about sharing experiences honestly, removing any professional steeliness and occasionally showing the raw side of professional life. This is imperative for us to learn, be honest and develop.
This level of honesty remained throughout the day, with everyone participating in the presentations and engaging with speakers. We had our vulnerabilities displayed, which led to an honest account of what we think of ourselves.
This included writing down on Postit notes something that we need to burn away, such as negative thoughts, anxiety or doubt. However, we were also tasked with identifying our talent, strengths and skills, which helped us overcome our own personal barriers and recognise our achievements.
Self doubt is a major issue in many people’s professional careers and the effects can be stifling. So in tackling the issue head on, people shared their reservations, perceived limitations and more in order to establish that an awful lot of it is actually in our head.
Businesses in general would do well to adopt similar strategies to make individuals feel empowered.
Being in a room with so many women who have founded businesses, are at the top of their field and were there to be the best version of themselves was truly inspiring.
The speakers captured modern challenges for women, pinpointing issues of workplace culture, our fight for a healthy mind and spirit and how weaknesses can be turned into strengths. It was truly a day of self discovery and seeing the need for self recognition.
It was a success for the event to not just focus on franchising this year, as it opened the door for a wider.
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