Date: 28th April 2015
Time: 7:00 p.m. (registration) for a 7:30 p.m. start
Venue: London Business School, Sussex Place, NW1 4SA
Greek Professional Women’s Network (GPWN) cordially invites you to this interactive event, where you will hear about the tools and techniques Vanessa Vallely has used to rise from project analyst to the launch of two successful businesses in less than 6 years.Vanessa will also share with you her tips on how to become comfortable with raising your profile plus a myriad of other practical advice.Having Profile is one of the most powerful tools in your business armoury, but you have to know what tools and techniques to use to help you build it, protect it and drive your success. Culturally we are brought up not to “toot our own horn” or “shout about our successes”, however in today’s competitive world, if you don’t stand out, you may as well stand in as those with profile speed by. Vanessa Vallely is a recognized expert in person-to-person business networking, online branding and a sought after motivational speaker. In 2014, Vanessa was cited as 1 of the top 100 Connected Women in the UK by GQ magazine. She has also received multiple awards and accolades including Brummels Top 30 Inspirational Women in the City and Brummel’s Top 30 Inspirational entrepreneurs in London. Vanessa is the founder of leading women’s network, job board and website, WeAreTheCity and CareersCity which serves an audience of over 70,000 City Women. She also co-founded the City wide diversity network, The Network of Networks which includes the heads of women’s networks from 40 FTSE firms. Vanessa also released her first book, “Heels of Steel” in 2013, which tracks her amazing career climb to the C-suite. As well as being an autobiography, the book also imparts 13 chapters of tips and advice aimed at helping the next generation to achieve career success.
Proceeds less any costs from the event will be donated to charity “You Make it”, which is a charity organisation supported by Vanessa Vallely. GPWN is a not-for-profit organisation.
Our sincere thanks also go to the London Business School for hosting the event.
Mini Q&A with Vanessa Vallely ahead of the event
GPWN is pleased to share with you an exclusive mini Q&A with Vanessa Vallely ahead of the event on the 28th April 2015. Vanessa has answered to some of our questions and has also provided tips for the women of GPWN.
- Tell us a little about “We are the City” and its activities. What was the original idea behind “We are the City”?
WeAreTheCity was set up in 2009 as a website to centralise female centric career advice, networks and information that would help women progress both professionally and personally in their lives and careers. For 5 years, WeAreTheCity was run as a not for profit. However in 2012, I decide to leave my success corporate career to work on WeAreTheCity full time. WeAreTheCity now has a presence in India (www.wearethecity.in), its own job board (www.careerscity.co.uk), and it’s own on line learning and development platform (Careers Club). Since 2014, WeAreTheCity has also offered a number of services to corporate organisations to help them attract and retain female talent.
- You are one of the most connected women in the City. Could you please elaborate on this?
For the past 6 years I have worked extensively hard on building my network. My network isn’t about quantity, it is about building meaningful relationships with individuals and helping to connect others where I can. Through my networking activities and WeAreTheCity I have been lucky enough to meet a great deal of truly amazing people. A number of these individuals are also connectors, who have since connected me to other individuals, which is very much how my network has grown. I really enjoy meeting new people and connecting them to other individuals. I no longer see networking as something I need to do on top of my job, it is a fundamental part of my job as the more people you get to meet, the more opportunities come your way.
- Who is your inspiration in life?
People who have overcome adversity or achieve their dreams against all odds continue to inspire me. I would also include those that redefine the norm and that step outside of their own lives to help others. I am lucky enough to work with a number of women who against all odds achieved their own definition of success. What I love about these women is their desire to give back to others, either by sharing their own personal stories/advice or via mentoring or sponsorship of other women.
In terms of family, my children inspire me on a daily basis as they see no boundaries as to what they can and I quote “will” achieve in life! My father is another big source of inspiration as he is such a positive individual. In his world, there is nothing that cannot be achieved, you just have to make the decision to try!
- How do you manage your work/life balance and what do you do outside work to relax?
If I am totally honest, I struggle to relax and I occasionally do not balance very well. When you run your own business you are invariably on line 24×7 servicing the needs of your clients. Since the new year I have implemented a number of boundaries to try and give myself time to wind down and focus on other aspects of my life. For example, I live outside of London and now only come in to London 2 days a week to see clients, previously I was in London every day and sometimes from 7.00am till 10.00pm.
I also ensure that I work from my office on a Monday and Friday. I tend not to start my meetings till 10.30 so I can be at home to see my children off to school. Aside from family commitments, I have also managed to carve out time each week to run which is something I very much enjoy doing. I couldn’t keep to these boundaries without the help of my wonderful PA, she often keeps me in check or tells me off if I start to break my own rules. I couldn’t live without her!
- Do you have some tips for all the women members of GPWN?
Top tips for career
- Build your network and connections and nurture these over time.
- Don’t be afraid to walk the path lest trodden. There is often much experience to be gained by putting your hand up for the work no one else wants to do.
- Try not to beat yourself up because you cannot be everything to everyone! Let go of the guilt.
- You are not an imposter! You have got this far based on your own merit and achievements, stand back and be proud of what you have achieved to date.
- Think about your personal brand. What do people see? What behaviours do you exhibit? Stand back and start to think about how you want to be perceived. Don’t be scared to make changes!
- Don’t be afraid to speak up and ASK for what you want. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!