We are thrilled to announce the completion of our first-ever Career Challenge at Network Plus. Hosted by our Women in Network Plus group, the challenge is one part of our work behind the scenes to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace, creating opportunities for colleagues to develop and progress their careers.
Our challenge for 2023 saw 5 chosen women from our Women in Network Plus group presenting to our CEO Dan Holland about their career journey so far and any challenges they’ve faced along the way.
The journey was different for all 5 women; from those who are at the beginning of their careers, to those that have come back to work later in life. The main challenges we asked them to approach were:
Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable – Push yourself into areas where you aren’t comfortable and if you can see a void that needs filling, don’t be afraid to fill it. Don’t wait for an invitation and don’t get disheartened when things don’t work out.
Connect with others – Find ways through networks like Women in Network Plus or mentoring programmes, to highlight that you are striving towards career development. Connect with peers, senior members of your team and people from different departments to increase your visibility.
Leadership is not exclusive – We can all lead in different ways; not necessarily in new positions. Grab opportunities to shine and show leadership, don’t wait for permission.
Add value – Challenge what we do to ensure it is focussed on our shared goals e.g. how does it impact our client and customer needs.
After considering these challenges for some time, our 5 chosen Career Challenge women hosted table talk discussions at our Women in Network Plus Spring event, with topics like “he-peating” and “imposter syndrome” coming up in conversation. Our Women in Network Plus network now holds over 200 members, and growing. The spring event saw over 50 attendees, with our selected Regional Champions in attendance, who will be delivering these messages to their local areas.
We will continue to learn and evolve as a business through these networks, forums and events, finding new ways to improve our diversity and offer equal opportunities for all our teams across the UK.
By investing in the growth and development of our female employees, we are not only retaining top talent but also creating a better work environment for everyone. Our objective is to empower women to take control of their career development through the Career Challenge programme and improve our diversity across the business.