To celebrate International Women’s Day, Confidence Code, iProspect’s women’s initiative, hosted an afternoon of talks meant to inspire and inform.
The whole of the agency were invited to attend the talks, which echoed this year’s IWD theme #makeithappen aimed at encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women around the world.
Sandra McDill, Managing Partner at iProspect UK and a founder of Confidence Code, began with a short talk about the power of conquering fears – in her case of public speaking – before introducing Athena Lamnisos, CEO of charity The Eve Appeal.
The Eve Appeal charity is dedicated to funding research to fight gynecological cancers. Athena’s talk focused on encouraging people to talk freely on this topic in order to spread awareness. Sadly she noted that often the first time people hear of these cancers is when they’re diagnosed with them. Unlike breast cancer, people don’t speak openly about the symptoms nor the importance of regular health screenings.
Athena stressed that these diseases affect everyone, including men. They strike our sisters, girlfriends, wives and daughters. It’s therefore important to make sure this is an issue that both men and women aren’t afraid to talk about. She finished her speech by reminding us how vital it is to support local research in order to prevent and beat these cancers and invited everyone attending to take part in their fundraising events.
We were then joined by a panel of women working in a range of different industries to discuss their personal stories and share learnings from their careers. Panelists included Sarah Betty Andrews, Fashion Blogger; Roz Brabner, Digital Marketing Manager at Rayban; Jemma Starzecki, Account Director at iProspect and Laurie Walton, Client Development Director at Newscred.
Chaired by Emmaclare Huntriss, Business Development Director at iProspect, the panel discussion covered topics ranging from career challenges to the best advice career advice the women had been given. One common theme that cropped up throughout the discussion was the difficulty in overcoming self-esteem issues and the importance of finding confident and inspiring mentors.
Laurie Walton from Newscred found presenting in front of people to be one of her biggest challenges and shared tips about learning to overcome this lack of confidence. In a similar way, Jemma Starzecki from iProspect said she found the best way to build up her confidence was to openly celebrate and shout about her career successes. Emmaclare Huntriss also shared some advice she wished she had been given when she was younger, which was that your career is a marathon, not a sprint: it’s important to enjoy yourself whilst broadening your skills and climbing up the ladder.
When asked to describe International Women’s Day in one word the panelists responded with ‘motivational’, ‘essential’ and ‘inspirational’ which is what we hope this event was for all those that attended.
The afternoon finished off with some networking over a glass of Champagne and cupcakes.