How our first Conference came about
At Women Returners, we’ve been talking for a year or so about holding our own large-scale event in London. We’ve had many requests from our network for a forum where they can both meet other returning professional women and get advice and support from us in person. I loved the idea, as we know how isolating it can be when you decide to return to the workforce after a break. I also saw this as a great opportunity to bring returners together with the corporate employers interested in hiring them, and for a group of inspiring women who had successfully returned to the workforce after a long break to tell their stories to others.
However, we were also rather daunted. Although we have lots of experience of running workshops and event speaking, we worried that moving into event management would involve a whole new set of skills. Recognising this as a ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ moment, we decided to practice what we preach and to give it a go! We brought in the expertise of Stephanie as our events consultant and the Conference started to take shape.
What’s happening at the Conference
It has been a lot of work to set up, but I’m very excited by the programme on offer. We’re delighted to have sponsorship from the ICAEW, who are hosting the event in Central London, and from a diverse range of employers who will be on hand to talk about their returner programmes and to meet informally with the women attending (including Credit Suisse, Skanska, O2 and Fidelity International). The fantastic Jane Garvey from Woman’s Hour will be speaking, as will Brenda Trenowden, the Chair of the 30% Club who is a strong advocate of returnship programmes. We have panels of successful returners who can tell you what it’s really like to be on a returnship and how to make your own way back if a returner programme doesn’t appeal or isn’t available.
You’ll get to meet a peer group of like-minded women – and the Women Returners team! I’ll be telling you about the changing context for UK returners and running a workshop to help you to be more targeted in your career. And those who register soon will have the chance of a 1-1 coaching session with one of our expert coaches. You’ll also get CV advice from Victoria McLean at City CV.
There’s much more on offer through the day, so do look at our website for more details if you can make it to London on 14th November: Women Returners Conference. Through sponsorship we’ve managed to heavily subsidise the tickets so they’re only £85 before 30th Sept.
We hope to meet you then!
Posted by Julianne