StepTalks x AllBright
We, the Stepladder Group, are passionate about giving our talented women the tools they need to thrive throughout their careers. So, we asked ourselves a question: Did we know of any events that are designed just for women in property marketing? We quickly discovered that actually, no, we didn’t. So, mixing up the format of our usual StepTalks, we asked a group of like-minded women from the property industry to get together for a morning of inspiration and empowerment.
They said yes.
Our event was hosted at the AllBright Mayfair, which was the perfect venue for two reasons. Firstly, Anna Jones – co-founder of the all-female members club – was one of our two speakers. Secondly, the AllBright venue is just simply beautiful.
Anna’s talk began with the famous Madeleine Albright quote – “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women” Anna and co-founder Debbie Wosskow couldn’t agree with this statement more. After years of working, they had both met so many incredible women, and yet this wasn’t being represented in the typical C-Suite. And so, the basis for their business model was formed.
Lads, lads, lads
For centuries, male CEOs across all industries have had the benefit of a tight-knit community – an ‘old boys club’ of sorts – where they can knowledge-share, socialise and network. But this has been missing for females in those very same industries. And that’s where AllBright’s sisterhood comes into play. AllBright isn’t exclusively female, in fact it welcomes male guests, but it is an environment that encourages women to come together, make business connections and friends along the way.
Inspired, or mad?
On paper, Anna’s CEO job title at Hearst UK, the corner office, 1,000 employees (700+ of which were women), is the perfect career path and an incredible achievement – and yes it was all of these things and much much more. Yet, after meeting Debbie at a party, she was inspired to look at the bigger picture. You can certainly see why Anna chose to take the leap and do something out of the ordinary.
Believe. Build. Become.
If you haven’t already, Anna and Debbie’s book ‘Believe. Build. Become’ is a must-read. Anna shared some key takeaways with us, which really resonated and gave us all something to think about.
First up, Project You. As women, we’re hardwired to ‘just get on with it’ to some degree – and that is of course not a bad thing. It makes us strive to do our best at our day jobs, only to carry on with another shift when we get home. So, where do we find time for ourselves? Additional hours aren’t being added to the day any time soon, so we need to take stock and re-evaluate. ‘Project You’ means managing yourself as a project – with the same organisation, passion and tenacity as you would at work.
So, you’ve had a really good day today. But what was it that made it ‘good’? Exactly what did you enjoy about it, what did you excel in, what do you want to get better at? Establishing what it is that gives you energy is a great place to start when thinking about self-growth – whether that’s in relation to your next career move or not. Make notes, keep a diary. You may be surprised what the common factors are.
Secondly, TELL people that you’re doing a good job. Of course, nobody likes a boaster, but there are other ways to let people know how hard you’re working and how passionate you are about what you do. Silence isn’t always golden – you don’t want to be overlooked and underappreciated.
Thirdly, establish your appetite for risk, and accept that generally speaking, we will all have multiple careers in our life. Our professional choices shape us, and can even make us the people that we are outside of work.
Which is where we come onto our second talk, hosted by Zoë Allen, founder of Artistic Statements. Zoë debriefed us on some of the, to be frank, manual-labour she’s put in throughout the course of her working life – but does she regret those days of door-to-door sales and cold-calling? Absolutely not. Those experiences have made her humble, grateful and proud of her accomplishments. Ultimately, these experiences have made Zoë one of the most passionate people you can meet when it comes to her specialism.
At the same time as establishing what gives us energy, we also need to break out of our comfort zone. As Zoë explains, if she had never put herself in difficult, and at times upsetting situations (cold-calling, yuck) she wouldn’t have had half of the opportunities or clients that she has had today.
As children, the feeling of fear is instilled in us to be a negative concept. Don’t touch that – you’ll get burnt. Don’t run too fast – you could fall over. The list goes on and on about what we teach the small people around us in order to protect them. But how do you break free of those negative connotations as an adult? Zoë explains, “your deepest insecurities are sometimes your secret strengths. Be open with yourself about your insecurities, and where you feel you lack”. Zoë has flipped fear on its head completely – which can be a daily process. Her greatest fear now? Not fulfilling her full potential out of fear.
We could go on and on about the highlights of our StepTalks x AllBright event, and by the look of the length of this blog post, we did.
The long and short of it is, we all left feeling inspired, empowered and motivated. A massive massive thank you to Anna and Zoe for letting us in on the secrets to their success, and of course to our attendees that also helped make this a great event.
Stay tuned for our next StepTalks x AllBright.
— Posted by The Stepladder Group