Edwina Dunn, founder of The Female Lead, and Virginia Stagni, founder of FT Talent, hosted a conversation about how we can empower women in the workplace. They discussed their personal and professional journeys, lessons in leadership and confidence, their visions for the future, and the importance of supporting women.
The event began with the panelists sharing their experiences of overcoming obstacles in their careers and the impact of gender on their professional journeys. They also discussed the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, both in terms of creating a more equitable and productive work environment and better serving a diverse customer base.
Our founder Edwina shared that the inspiration behind The Female Lead was the lack of women role models in her industry and education. At The Female Lead, we aim to make visible the achievements and stories of women to show the variety of success, ambition, and impact that exist. Our initiative is aimed at young people but also attracts older girls and women looking for relatable role models.
"My project is all about role models, and how we can't be what we can't see".
- Edwina Dunn on the importance of visible female role models in inspiring and empowering women.
The panelists then delved into the specific challenges faced by women in the workplace, including unconscious bias, lack of representation in leadership positions, and balancing work and family responsibilities. They offered insights and advice on how to address these challenges, including the need for allies, mentors, and sponsors, as well as the importance of building networks and supporting other women in the workplace. We also need to understand our own value and what we can bring to the workplace. Edwina said: "We all have super strengths. We all have something that we find really easy, and others find really, really difficult. And we tend to undervalue that quality. Everything we're really good at we say 'well that's easy'. How many times have we said 'yeah, but it's not really important, it's easy'. Whereas actually, for other people looking at us, they think 'I can't do that'. So we're always looking over the fence and thinking that someone else has more than us, but they don't have what we have."
"We all doubt ourselves, all of us. And I think we just have to keep saying that I believe in me."
- Edwina Dunn.
The discussion concluded with the panelists emphasising the need for continued efforts to empower women in the workplace and create a more equitable and inclusive society. They encouraged companies to prioritise diversity and inclusion, to invest in the development and advancement of women employees, and to create a culture that values and supports all employees.
Watch the full conversation here to learn about valuable insights and advice on how you can excel in your career.