- Publish date: 04 March 2016
- Archived on: 04 March 2017
2016 marks the 10th anniversary of ICAEW’s Women in Finance Network. Emma Riddell provides a reminder of all the faculty has to offer.The Women in Finance network was set up by the Finance & Management Faculty to provide women working in finance with their own forum. We also wanted to increase the proportion of women attending our events, as the number attending was proportionately low. It is a great place to share experiences with your female peers, to widen your network and also to learn new skills. Job opportunities, advice on how to resolve tricky management problems and even the odd technical issue are all topics for discussion over a post-event glass of wine.
Focus on your personal development and build a business network
We meet quarterly in London and network either side of a personal development session from an expert speaker. These sessions have the double benefit of teaching us something new, while also sparking discussions during the networking. Some of the most engaging topics over the past decade have included navigating the politics of your organisation, enhancing your profile through social media and how to manage your boss – a tricky one for me as my boss was also at the event!
This year our theme is ‘Charting your path to leadership with confidence’. Our 9 March event is titled ‘Easy ways to deal with difficult people’, and on 21 June we will be holding a session at ICAEW’s Financial Controllers’ conference. The day has a women-in-finance stream available, featuring leading female speakers and a workshop on strengths development.
Making successful connections - Event report
At our last event, our guest was executive connector Heather White who encouraged us to make successful connections and influence people.
We all honed our personal message: the memorable patter you want to have at your fingertips when you bump into a potential contact. By circulating the room, and trying it out on three strangers, we learned how to focus on the specific detail that would allow people to connect with, and help, us. Most of our first attempts were stilted, but by the third attempt we were a lot more confident. The room was buzzing with enthusiasm.
Here is Heather’s top advice on crafting your personal message for networking:
- Get clear on your message
People tend to focus on their soft skills rather than their expertise and experiences. Be very precise about what people need to know about you.
- Condense your expertise into three to six words
This is what those who recommend you will do. So what are the key words you would like passed on?
- Test your key words
Most of us waffle on, over explain and confuse people. Many women overly justify or simplify their skills. This can mean you get overlooked as busy people don’t have time to work you out. Sharing your expertise is not being boastful.
If you are a woman working in finance, then you are welcome to join. Our members come from all sectors and are at various stages of their careers.
This article is from Finance & Management Magazine, Issue 241, March 2016.