The recent event offered a unique opportunity for individuals, both men and women, to unite in support of global women and leverage their expertise for positive impact. Fiona Murchie, founder and Managing Editor of Relocate Global, a magazine, digital, multimedia, and events company for Global Business, HR, Global Mobility Managers, and Relocation Professionals, opened the day by sharing her personal story.
Murchie talked about her career beginnings as a young woman providing insights and information to the oil and gas industry in Scotland. Dr. Susan Doering, author of “Smart Career Moves for Smart Women,” called on women to support and appreciate one another, highlighting the various career options available to them.
Ellen Shustik, Head of Programmes and External Relations at the Inner Wings Foundation, delivered an emotional speech on how the charity had helped many school children find their inner confidence. Following this, a lively workshop took place where attendees discussed their career-defining moments and the lessons they had learned as international women in the workplace.
One of the workshop groups emphasized the importance of networking and support. They noted that women have a natural ability to make connections and create communities. Another group highlighted how taking risks and stepping outside of one’s comfort zone had helped many women further their careers.
Dr. Sue Shortland, Professor Emerita at Guildhall Business & Law at London Metropolitan University and a Senior Lecturer in HRM at the University of Westminster, summarized the discussions, pointing out that having more women in senior leadership roles can change the nature of an organization and enable both men and women to consider working more flexibly and being more authentic at work.
DE&I OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES
A gathering of men and women recently came together to show their support for women worldwide, utilizing their expertise and knowledge for a positive purpose. Fiona Murchie, founder and Managing Editor of Relocate Global, commenced the event by sharing her own personal experience of working in the oil and gas industry in Scotland as a young woman. Dr.
Susan Doering, the author of Smart career moves for Smart Women, urged women to support and appreciate each other’s career opportunities, emphasizing that they have many options. Ellen Shustik, the head of programmes and external relations at the Inner Wings foundation, shared how the charity had helped numerous schoolchildren to find their inner confidence.
Following the opening session, a workshop took place where attendees discussed their career-defining moments, the lessons they learned as international women in the workforce, and the biggest surprises. Dr. Sue Shortland, Professor Emerita at Guildhall Business & Law at London Metropolitan University, summarized the discussion on her table, stating that many women had found that taking a risk and stepping out of their comfort zone helped to advance their careers.
Other groups discussed the importance of networking and support, highlighting how women are naturally skilled at making connections and creating communities. They also noted how having more women in senior leadership positions helped change the nature of an organization and enabled both men and women to consider more flexible and authentic work arrangements.
Journalist Marianne Curphey subsequently interviewed Julia Palmer, COO Relocation and CHRO at Santa Fe Relocation, who was one of Relocate’s 40 Global Outstanding Women being profiled throughout 2023. Julia discussed her early life and how her formative years traveling around the world gave her resilience and the ambition to work in global teams. She spoke about how the nature of work and the requirements of assignees were evolving and how women could be better supported in international roles.
Marianne then introduced three panel guests, Caroline Thorley-Farrer, group Mobility director at Worley, Jenny Hinde, executive director at the Clear Company, and Salma Shah, founder of Mastering your Power, a coach, and author, who are all featured in the 40 Global Outstanding Women. The discussion focused on how diversity and inclusion presented excellent opportunities for organizations and how to overcome challenges and difficulties.
Caroline Thorley-Farrer suggested that international assignments might be made shorter to appeal to more candidates, especially in cases where assignees are sent to hardship locations, such as Mongolia, where it is challenging for families and partners to follow. Jenny Hinde described how many organizations were keen to incorporate DE&I into their policies but were unsure where to start. Salma Shah stressed that women’s advancement needed to be viewed through an intersectional lens, recognizing that women are not a single homogenous group but come from many diverse cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.
The attendees then had a lively discussion on how to advance women’s international careers. They exchanged insights and experiences on how to support women and help them thrive in the rapidly changing global workplace. Many emphasized the importance of support and mentoring and the need to help younger women develop confidence and find their voice. Attendees agreed that having the opportunity to take an international assignment early in their careers provided them with significant advantages and experience in understanding different cultures and work styles.
SPONSORSHIP & VISIBILITY
Following a delightful lunch, Dr Anino Emuwa, a renowned international management consultant and researcher who has over 25 years of experience in banking, was introduced by Fiona Murchie. Dr Emuwa began her speech by quoting Carla Harris, Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley, who said that “hard work does not complete your success equation.” Dr Emuwa explained that there is more to managing a career than just hard work.
One also needs sponsorship and visibility – the attention of people who are making influential decisions. To fast-track and improve your career, Dr Emuwa described how women need to be “TMA” or “top of mind awareness.” Women who articulate their value and explain why they are perfect for a role are the ones who will succeed.
Dr Emuwa advised that women should be clear about their values and have career goals for the next 12 to 18 months. They should leverage the next step with their unique value proposition, which could involve creating content such as blogs and thought leader articles, ensuring their LinkedIn profile is up-to-date, and using social media to communicate where they are going in their career. She emphasized the importance of thought leadership, sharing unique experiences and perspectives, and coming from a place of knowledge to inspire and influence others.
Dr Emuwa recommended networking, which can provide support and opportunities through word of mouth. She encouraged women to speak publicly, even if they are natural introverts, as it is a skill that can be learned, and people attend events to learn from speakers.
She suggested that women join groups such as 100 Women at Davos, which is a community focused on leadership that aims to bring change. Dr Emuwa also encouraged men to be part of the discussion about using the talent of women and suggested that women could step forward to fill the talent gap in technology and be part of the future of success.