As part of the celebrations for this year’s International Women’s Day, Relocate Global will be hosting its Think Women workshop and lunch at the Institute of Directors, London on Friday, 6 March.
Now in its third year, Think Women brings together inspiring women and men to explore how best to support women to progress in international and professional careers. Supporting International Women’s Day’s 2020 campaign theme #EachforEqual, the Think Women workshop and lunch will honour aspiring women across diverse industries who are doing great things in their sector or community, as well as discuss how inclusion, leadership development and education can promote more opportunities globally for women and girls.“I am passionate about supporting women and girls to achieve their ambitions in life,” says Fiona Murchie, managing editor and founder of Relocate Global, which is running the event. “It is nearly 25 years since I first joined a leadership group for women and I know just how much the support and encouragement of other women and hearing their stories can help build confidence and keep you centre on following your dreams and ambitions.”“Think Women is connecting a global community and is reaching out into many geographical regions,” Mrs Murchie explains. “My hope is that we will have a connected global Think Women network by IWD next year, where women can share their knowledge and successes across the world to contribute to better opportunities for girls and women everywhere. With the help of technology, our media channels and the will to collaborate and share ideas and resources supported by coaching and mentoring, Think Women can support women to flourish and grow in their organisations wherever they are.“We have a wonderful programme for our workshop this year and I am thrilled that Professor Vladka Hlupic, author The Management Shift and Humane Capital, is able to join us as a truly inspirational keynote speaker over lunch. Her theme will be the power of the ripple effect,” says Mrs Murchie.Professor Hlupic explains, “We have a well-educated female population and 80 per cent of purchasing decisions are made by women. The customer base is female, but companies are mostly run by men. The discrepancy does not make economic sense. The ripple effect is, therefore, something that women at work can use subtly to start to change the very fabric of the organisation – for the better.” She will discuss how a shift in mindset can create the conditions for people to interact and spark ideas off each other.
Inspiring workshop speakers
Where the purpose of the company is aligned with individual purpose the sky is the limit. Teresa, Boughey, Carrie Clark and Ann Ellis all have amazing personal stories to share in our workshop session ahead of lunch, to lift us up, make us smile and appreciate what we have learnt by making mistakes.“It is ordinary people doing their jobs every day who can be sparked at any time to screw up their courage and take that leap of faith to be the best they can possibly be and help create a fairer world. Don’t hide your talent – go for it, be brave. Accept that international assignment, go for the pay rise or take a career break it is up to you to choose,” urges Mrs Murchie.
Sponsored by leading provider of global business solutions and consultancy services, Mauve, the workshop will include guest facilitator Teresa Boughey, best-selling author of Closing the Gap – 5 Steps to Creating an Inclusive Culture, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), founder and CEO of Jungle HR. She is passionate about enabling organisations to create inclusive workplace cultures and will work with attendees using her unique TRIBE 5 methodology to help them move forward with confidence in their own workplace and personal leadership goals.Ms Boughey says, “Inclusion is the role and responsibility of everyone at an organisation. I am on a mission to influence people and businesses of all sizes by spreading the word that inclusion is accessible for everyone and we can now take it off the too-difficult-to-do pile.”
Carrie Clark, trainee airline pilot age 28 and ambassador for inclusivity in aviation, has spent more than a decade pursuing her dream of becoming an airline pilot. She will describe the hurdles she has overcome and why she wants to encourage a more diverse group of young people – particularly women – to become the next generation of pilots. She says, “Our economic background, gender, place of birth or anything else should not determine whether a career is open to us or not.”
Ann Ellis, founder of Mauve, will share her inspiring journey from Welsh farming family and headteacher to CEO of a global workforce solutions company. She wanted to be an entrepreneur at the age of nine and was the first and only ‘back-office’ employee of Mauve Group in the very early days, operating from a tiny cupboard-sized office in Teolo, Northern Italy. Today, Mauve is an international organisation providing services in more than 150 country locations worldwide.Ms Ellis says, “I have been incredibly lucky in my career and I’ve been presented with opportunities that many others simply don’t get. I had to learn to be fearless and seize the opportunities as they arose – most paid off, some didn’t, but I kept striving and I genuinely have loved every minute. I think it’s so important that women develop the confidence to realise their self-worth and take risks on the chances they encounter. I want to share my life experiences in the hope of empowering other women to tap into that confidence and achieve their own growth, in business or otherwise.”
Over lunch, keynote speaker Professor Vlatka Hlupic, international award-winning thought leader, author of best-selling books The Management Shift and Humane Capital, leading academic and professor of Leadership and Organizational Transformation at Hult Ashridge Executive Education and founder of The Management Shift Consulting and Drucker Society London, will be discussing creating positive ripples and how the few affect the whole.Driven by her passion and purpose to make this world a better place, she is creating a global impact with her work, helping thousands of leaders and organisations worldwide to shift to a higher level of performance and profit whilst creating more engaging, purposeful and happier workplaces that do well by doing good.
Why gender balance matters
“We know that many companies are not gender-balanced,” Professor Hlupic says. “While it may be equal at the recruitment stage, at the higher levels of management women are under-represented. Even with targets, the representation is 20 or 30 per cent at best and progress is slow.” Yet 60 per cent of graduates in the UK are female.“We have a well-educated female population and 80 per cent of purchasing decisions are made by women,” she says. “The customer base is female, but companies are mostly run by men. The discrepancy does not make economic sense.” The ripple effect is, therefore, something that women at work can use subtly to start to change the very fabric of the organisation – for the better. “With our brains, we pick up the moods and emotions of people around us. If we create positive ripples, that grows. The better it is, the better it gets,” she says.