September 21st 2017 | Cardiff, Glasgow, Belfast, London and Manchester

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London 2018 Breakout Sessions

Please find below your breakout session choices for Women into Leadership London 2018.

Please read through the below, then follow the link in your joining instructions to sign up for your choice of sessions.

You will be able to select one morning breakout session (A-F) and one afternoon breakout session (G-L).

Sessions will be filmed, and you will receive footage of all the plenary addresses and most of the workshops post-event. 

Morning breakout sessions

Breakout session A

Failure is an option: the importance of taking risks and learning from mistakes

In this breakout session, we discuss a common theme among great leaders– their most important lessons have come from making mistakes. The reality is, we actually learn more from our failures than we do from our success. 

Mistakes are part of taking healthy risk. They provide us with new ways of thinking and give us new insights into how we can improve as leaders. 

Panelists will discuss their own careers with you, and the 'failures' they have had along the way. In sharing their experiences, you will gain insight into the importance of taking risks and learning from your own mistakes. 

Charlotte Clark, Director for Private Pensions and ALB partnerships, DWP
Sarah Rapson, Director, Authorisations, Financial Conduct Authority
Jo Sheppard, HR OD Consultant, HM Revenue & Customs

Breakout session B

Enhancing the BAME talent pipeline: empowering yourself & holding down the ladder for others

Attendees of this highly interactive session will gain a deeper understanding of the skills, qualities and competencies required to be a successful leader. Crucially, you will also learn about the importance of helping BAME colleagues to climb the ladder, and the mutual benefits of doing so. Led by senior BAME colleagues, you will leave this session with practical takeaways on how to raise your own profile as a leader, and strategies to ensure you’re helping colleagues into senior positions along the way.
Key learning points:
· Raising your profile as a BAME leader 
· Remaining authentic throughout your leadership journey
· Practical tips and strategies for supporting the next generation of BAME leaders
· Creating and enhancing opportunities for BAME colleagues, including the importance of networks and mentoring
· Engaging in difficult conversations positively to promote race equality 
Niran Mothada, Deputy Director, Home Office
Natasha Harris, Director of People, Ofwat

Breakout session C

How to build great relationships: overcoming the behaviours holding you back

The two most challenging things to deal with in life is yourself and others.  What would it be like if you were not stopped by your thoughts, feelings, excuses and reasons?  What would be possible for you in your business and personal life?  During this interactive session, we will begin to look at the self-imposed barriers that we put in place that hold us back, discover new ways of being and actions that we can take, that will give us different results with ourselves and others.

Elaine Powell, Peak Performance & Communication Expert, SWC Training & Consultancy Ltd

Breakout session D

The importance of Women’s Networks: building, promoting and maintaining a meaningful network

Women’s networking groups can be a valuable and efficient way to meet new people and generate new ideas. In many CS departments, and indeed across departments, Women’s Networks are providing a space for gender and equality to be discussed openly. 

Building internal women’s networking groups within your department can build awareness, improve the working environment and boost employee confidence. Speakers Keela and Louise, who have both had involvement in some of the most high-profile women’s networks within the CS and NICS, will discuss why networks are so important, how you can start your own if your department/team doesn’t yet have one and, crucially, tips on maintaining a meaningful network. 

Louise Warde Hunter, Head of Housing, Urban Regeneration & Local Government, Department for Communities NI and Gender Champion for NICS
Keela Shackell Smith MBE, Founder, Cross – Government Women’s Network

Breakout session E

Presenting with impact: building confidence with communicating (beginners)

"It’s not what you say that matters but the manner in which you say it; there lies the secret of the ages" - William Carlos Williams (American Poet).
In this session “Presenting with Impact”, Cath Baxter uses her extensive experience as Head of Voice at one of the UK’s leading drama schools to deliver tools that resonate in the business world. Her audience will experience the 5 essential steps that will quickly add greater impact to their verbal and physical communication, and allow them to develop their public speaking skills in a relaxed and supportive environment.

Cath Baxter, Professional Voice & Public Speaking Coach and Head of Voice, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

Breakout session F

Job sharing in the CS: flexible working as a tool for success

Existing and newly emerging work-life pressures are increasing the demand for senior job-share positions in the Civil Service.

How do we develop our work culture to support and adapt to the associated challenges and opportunities? Whether you are looking at applying for a job share now or in the future, or you manage flexible workers, this session draws on a wealth of knowledge from current CS job sharers to equip you with the insight and awareness you'll need for success.

Caroline Pusey, Director, Service Personnel Policy, MOD (jobshare)
Kate McGavin, Deputy Director, Arts, Libraries and Digital Culture, DCMS (jobshare)


Afternoon breakout sessions

Breakout session G

Resilience and mental wellbeing: performing during times of stress

Consider the many roles you fulfil in your day-to-day life and the various challenges these present.  When you’re feeling resourceful and resilient you’re better able to skilfully navigate and steer through adversity and overcome setbacks.  This engaging and interactive bite-size session will build your awareness of how to optimise your real-time resilience, allowing you to feel happier, more motivated and ultimately more confident in all that you do. 

Purdy Smith, Project Lead, The Wellbeing Project

Breakout session H

Mastering vocal impact: finding your full voice (intermediate, or as a follow-on from session E)

Our voice is our primary means of communicating our ideas. We can, however, underestimate its power and flexibility.  In this session participants will explore fun, practical exercises that will enable everyone to develop their vocal potential.  Participants will explore how they can find more resonance, colour and impact with their voice.  Whatever the vocal demands of your job, this session will give you the tools to find more vocal and physical authority, conviction and strength and resilience.  This session builds on the fundamentals explored in the "Presenting with Impact" session. Although not essential, participants ideally will have attended one of Cath Baxter's previous WIL sessions.

Cath Baxter, Professional Voice & Public Speaking Coach and Head of Voice, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

Breakout session I

Managing mental health in the workplace: the challenge of bringing your whole self to work

This interactive session encourages delegates to share experiences in a safe environment, and hear from Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind on the following topics:

  • Practical tips & useful strategies for overcoming stress, anxiety, isolation and loneliness
  • Speaking out and not suffering in silence
  • Practical tips & useful strategies for encouraging good mental health in your team/environment

This session is ideal for anyone wishing to gain confidence and strategies for managing either their own mental health, or that of those in their team.

Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing, Mind

Breakout session J

Networking with confidence: creating rapport, respect and relationships

Like it or loathe it, effective networking is key to a building a successful and sustainable career. The ability to connect, influence and build strong relationships is what enables people to thrive. This breakout session will build on your communication skills, increase confidence, create an elevator pitch, learn how to networking effectively and build rich relationships and connections.  It will also incorporate a speed networking session, to have fun whilst you practice all that you have learnt during the session.

Elaine Powell, Peak Performance & Communication Expert, SWC Training & Consultancy Ltd

Breakout session K

Imposter syndrome: tackling the challenge of owning your talents and accomplishments

The fear of being exposed is crippling. According to research, 70% of us will feel like an “imposter” at some point in our career. We fear being exposed as frauds, tell ourselves that we were hired by mistake, and tend to discount our qualifications and experience.
In this interactive session we’ll explore the psychological and social factors that keep the “imposter syndrome” alive and well. We’ll then work through the key elements that will increase your self-worth, allow you to feel entitled to success, and become a better role-model for women coming up the ladder behind you.

Jess Baker, Psychologist & Women's Leadership Coach

Breakout session L

Managing difficult conversations: a toolkit for delivering difficult messages

Difficult, challenging and unexpected conversations are a part of everyday working life, whether they’re with managers, colleagues, staff or stakeholders. 

This workshop provides practical solutions to help you to develop coping and management strategies to control yourself and the situation, and better manage a difficult conversation for greater benefit to you and all parties concerned.

Attend this workshop to:

• Reflect on your own behaviours and responses to conflict and difficult conversations
• Explore different approaches and strategies to manage these conversations effectively
• Practice and develop your skills to navigate these conversations to successful outcomes

Harriet Wallace, Deputy Director, Air Quality and Industrial Emissions, DEFRA
Holly Yates
, Deputy Director, Chemicals and Pesticides, DEFRA