The Interbank LGBT Forum, in partnership with the PRIDE and WIN networks from CME Group and Barclays were proud to host the Power of Profile event with Vanessa Vallely OBE, attended by around 200 people.
The audience, predominantly women, though supported by their male colleagues and allies, enjoyed an inspiring and thought-provoking evening with Vanessa, founder and CEO of WeAreTheCity.com and author of Heels of Steel. One of them shared her thoughts of the evening with us.
Vanessa shared candid stories of her childhood, her early career (including some of her ‘mistakes’ or should we say ‘learnings’ along the way) and her progression throughout her career in the City. What was interesting was the comparison she made to the rapid career trajectory of her male counterpart (who later became her husband!) versus her own slower experience. She attributed his success to his considerable network, the importance of mentors and sponsors and of course, the Power of the Profile. This led her on to a fascinating session focusing on personal brand, the use of social media and the importance of a good LinkedIn profile. Vanessa included a practical opportunity to broaden our networks and encouraged us to all take a few minutes to meet and connect with fellow attendees. If nothing else, she said, ‘you will all leave here tonight with two new contacts in your networks’. Vanessa encouraged us to think about the need to get comfortable accepting compliments and talking about our achievements. After all, if we are not comfortable talking about ourselves and recognising our own successes, why would we expect others to!?
My key take-away from the event was the need for each of us to pay attention to our careers, our plans and our personal brand. Build your network, make those connections and give something back – don’t just get caught up in ‘doing the doing’ as Vanessa says!
This fantastic, thought provoking and inspiring event was followed by an hour of networking, drinks and canapes where the attendees (from across 40 Financial Services firms) continued their conversations – a perfect example of the power of collaboration across networks.