Lean In Together – and Lead!

On 16 May, we partnered with Hants Digital Women to host “Lean In Together” an evening of inspiring speakers, who shared their different takes on what it means to ‘Lean In’ and what it means to lead. It was also an evening for meeting new people and building relationships.

Charlotte Meharry-King, software engineer at Ordnance Survey, asked us to wonder why so many stories feature an expression such as “I love you… you’re just not like the other girls…” What’s wrong with the other girls? Charlotte shared some of the obstacles she faced as a woman who uses a wheelchair – in particular, the preconceptions she has faced up to: the external and the internal voices that feed off one another to plant the seeds of self-doubt.

Julie Feest, of the Tech Partnership, reflected on her leadership career and the path to finding a fulfilling form of success – identifying some of the difficult choices along the way (e.g. during the transition to working-motherhood). She challenged us to draw from our strengths, identify our passions – to design and demand careers that enable us to perform at our best. She also asked that we empower young people and think creatively about education & how to develop their skills.

Blaire Palmer, CEO of That People Thing, shared lessons from her career at the BBC and how she built her own business off the back of a real passion for leadership and engagement. She then broke down some of the myths of leadership, drawing attention to how we’ve moved on – technologically, economically, psychologically – from many of the industrial age business norms we’ve come to accept… and offered glimpses of a future of alternatives. You can listen to many of these ideas on her “Punks In Suits” podcast, which I now listen to most days on the way to/from work!

During the Q&A, we discussed many topics, like how to bring more men into the conversation (ft. some very clever men), personal development opportunities, and whether to be optimistic about the world today, given some of the scarier geopolitical goings-on (answer: YES). Some books/resources were referred to and we’ve started capturing those on a dedicated page.

It was a wonderful, buzzing event with many business cards exchanged over sparkly drinks.

Were you there? What did you think? Oh, and please share your pictures on our Facebook group!

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