We Are Future Leaders Conference – Overview

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WeAreTheCity* recently hosted WeAreFutureLeaders, a groundbreaking, one day event for women at Citypoint, Ropemaker Street, Moorgate in London. Bringing together aspiring and senior managers and those seeking promotion, 160 delegates aged 25 – 60 learned from experienced and future leaders, engaged with experts, increased their knowledge base, and discovered resources to guide them towards leadership in all areas of life.

This positive mantra kicked off the morning session and focused on four key areas, followed by a keynote panel of speakers to which delegates directed questions.

· WeAreNotImposters – overcoming the tendency to hide or dumb down true aspirations in order not to rock the boat or be seen as pushy at work. Speaker Elizabeth Harrin, CEO Otobus Group.

· WeAreNegotiators -learning the art of preparation, not bidding too low and knowing what you won’t settle for. Speaker Natalie Reyonolds, CEO advantageSPRING.

· WeAreCommunicators – speaking up confidently, being heard increases morale and eliminates the resentment many women feel from not expressing themselves. Speaker Mairi McHaffie, CEO Scene Change.

· WeAreInfluencers – ‘drawing out’ scenes through comic sketches creates structure and a framework to work around any issues you might encounter ahead of meeting the party you want to influence. Speaker Andy Reid, founder GeniusBox Ltd.

Focused workshops
The afternoon comprised three, optional, one hour workshops covering lifestyle topics like mental health and life balance, presentation skills, and managing teams.
Delegates thereafter regrouped for panel discussions detailing how to stand out from the crowd and how to get ‘there’. Finally, selected delegates experienced a ‘speed mentor’ briefing to help them decide if mentoring could help them on their journey upwards.

All of the mentors, keynote panellists and accomplished speakers, many of whom are directors and CEOs of companies in their fields, gave their time generously to further women’s promotion. In response, audience participation was maximised throughout, as demonstrated by frequent question and answer sessions and networking opportunities after close of agenda.

Encouraging all women
WeAreFutureLeaders’ partnership portfolio includes Smart Works, a charity organisation that helps women back into the workplace through accessories and smart office clothing donated by the public. Smart Works also mentors and coaches women in improving their business and presentation skills.

The importance of communication was stressed throughout the conference because communication encompasses everything we do. Your physical, written or verbal demeanour communicates more than you realise.

Tips to help you get ahead
· Find the other party’s pressure points and psyche (ask around, study their online profile etc.) before you meet them. This is especially true in negotiation settings.

· Know what you don’t know and be known for what you know.

· Impact (also known as being taken seriously) comes from knowing what you want, knowing the party you’re speaking to and leveraging your skills to get more from the situation.

· Preparation and self awareness is key, because these tools give you the confidence to forge ahead in a surefooted manner.

WeAreTheCity regularly runs corporate events for women of all ages. In the last eight years, WeAreTheCity has delivered over 80 events worldwide to more than 5,000 women like you. To keep updated with this change-making company visit WeAreFutureLeaders.

Next week in Part 2, we tackle negotiation.

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