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Hg’s second Women in Leadership forum invited 130 female executives from across the Hg portfolio for a day of networking, collaboration and skill-sharing, as well as to hear inspiration and advice from a range of top-flight speakers.

These included Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4, career psychologist Dr Rob Archer, RADA voice coach Sheelagh McNamara and public speaking expert Simon Bucknall. There were also sessions led by experts from Hg and its portfolio companies, including Hg Partner Dawn Marriott-Sims and IRIS COO Elona Mortimer-Zhika.

Topics on the table included mentoring, pitching, how to develop “executive presence”, influencing and persuading skills, and sustaining peak performance.

Hg asked some of its amazing speakers and attendees for some tips and advice:

  • Have a plan that shows you where you are heading, while allowing for changes in your situation.
  • Make sure you prioritise the different aspects of your career: for example, do you want power and status, money, or interest and learning? While these may change at different points in your career, keeping your priority front and centre helps when you are thinking about your next move.
  • Foster self-belief and self-awareness. Assess your strengths and weaknesses honestly so you can focus on what you do best – and hire people who are brilliant at the other things.
  • Value authenticity – both in terms of yourself and in the people you hire.  Be yourself as a leader, rather than trying to be a version of somebody else.
  • Keep learning and developing – as a leader you have a responsibility to be well-informed. Make sure you thoroughly understand the environment you’re operating in, whether that is through regular contact with mentors, colleagues or peers in your wider business network.

This year’s forum definitely provided an opportunity to put the latter suggestion into action. We look forward to continuing the conversation on Hive and seeing you again next year.

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