Reflecting on Women in Business Conference 2017


The Socially Shared Women in Business Conference is only two weeks away, and the excitement is building. The Socially Shared team are busy putting the final touches together to ensure the event is as successful, inspiring, and enjoyable as last year’s conference.

If you’re still sitting on the fence about purchasing your ticket, then have a read of this guest post by Socially Shared member, Abbi Head. Having been thoroughly inspired by the first Women in Business Conference, Abbi used that positive energy to the benefit of a new project about supported living. Read her story.

“If you have any stories…” were the five magical words uttered by BBC’s Journalist Jo Tidman that compelled me to contact her, following The Women in Business Conference in March 2017, hosted by Socially Shared.

Listening to the women speakers on the day had encouraged me, and I began to consider the possibility of Jo reporting on New Directions new supported living flats at Richmond Court as it was opening soon. I had no idea what I was going to say at that time, so I considered emailing her as soon as I had a plan. Professional and seasoned as the Master of Ceremonies at the conference Jo was also unassuming and genuinely interested in the speakers and attendees making her the perfect choice for the conference and our invitation. It was in her closing speech that I believed that she really would like to hear more about New Directions, and how we support learning disabled people.

I was delighted when she replied and, after a little more correspondence, on 23rd June 2017 I welcomed Jo to Richmond Court, introduced her to some of the people we support, particularly Tina who she interviewed. A little bit impromptu, but Jo also met with Manager Carol Payne at Gateway Court to record a conversation about supported living options for learning disabled people.

Jo’s interview technique was relaxed and made everyone feel at ease. This visit was the ultimate test for me as I am just learning more in-depth information about the vital services that New Directions provides. I was essentially giving Jo, an experienced BBC Journalist, a guided tour of the charity and its new supported living flats. Jo’s inspiration was infectious, so I asked if she had time to see our other supported living housing complex at Gateway Court not far away, where Carol then spoke to her. Jo managed to get everything that she needed from us on the day, so I am now looking forward to hearing Jo’s story and am so pleased that we have made a connection with her.

There was a point at the Women in Business Conference where we all laughed together about apologising too much, including Jo. We showed our humanity, and that made me realise that we are all on this journey together.

Networking has helped me so much and in particular the Women in Business Conference. There are so many benefits of sharing knowledge and contacts, and I thank Socially Shared for holding this conference, for their monthly events, and their support over the months. I felt confident to email Jo at the BBC and ask her to visit New Directions, and I aim to introduce myself to even more people at Socially Shared events in the future, so please look out for me.

Grab your ticket for the Women in Business Conference HERE.

Wednesday 16th May 2018

The Village Hotel, Coventry

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