That’s me standing on that chair there. No, I’m not playing ‘the floor is lava’ in my business suit, I’m just a little vertically challenged and I had to find a way to talk over the crowd. I mean, do you see how many people there are! I don’t usually enjoy public speaking, but this was something I’m willing to stand up for, literally.
We had our first Women in Leadership event back in January. I think I speak on behalf of the group when I say that we were quite nervous. After months of discussing and organizing, this was the first tangible thing that we had been able to put together. This started as just an idea in the MBA cohort and we’ve just been growing and getting more ambitious since then. Who’s we you ask? I suppose I could introduce you to our executive committee!
Esinam is our President and WiL is her baby. This is Esi’s first time outside of her home country of Ghana. In contrast to that, Mel, our Vice President, is originally from Bulgaria and a veteran home-mover, having changed address eight times in five years. Caris, our Secretary, is from Australia and is mom to three adorable kiddos but also resident mom to our group as well. Jodie is our Communications Officer and she’s the resident Brit on the executive committee as well as our Wedgwood expert. We have many more wonderful girls and guys from all over the world who are studying or supporting partners from different Cranfield schools and making our group and our impact even stronger.
When we had that event in January we spoke in small groups about what the word “leadership” meant to us and it was amazing to hear how we all had different definitions. We spoke about respect, authority, guidance, mentorship, and different role models we had. We all had different things to say but this was one of the few places where I felt comfortable sharing my ideas.
That’s what I love most about this group. We’re not the same – far from it – but it’s our diversity and varying experiences that make our conversations so interesting. We all have different opinions and different stories to tell, but for me, this is a platform to learn and to share. We’re all at Cranfield here together this year for different reasons but while we’re here, we want to learn from each other, help each other, and support each other.
Besides having more monthly discussion nights on Thursdays, we’re bringing in speakers every term. We’re working with HERA, an organisation in London which encourages trafficked women become entrepreneurs, and trying to help the Bedford Girls School, to mentor the next generation of leaders.
As I write this, our group is getting ready to host an event tonight for International Women’s Day on the theme Be Bold for Change. We have three guest speakers coming to share their experiences and we’re so looking forward to it! The support we have received is humbling and we can’t wait to host even more great events at Cranfield!
Welcome to our group! We meet every Wednesday afternoon at 12.45 in Stafford Cripps for event planning and other discussions. If you aren’t able to make it on a weekly basis, we invite you to come to one of our evening events which happen at least once a month to network. If you can’t find me, don’t worry, I’ll get up on another chair eventually!