WHAT’S THE PROBLEM??
As an ambitious woman, you do what you've always done.
You prep hard for work, the day-to-day meetings, project update sessions or team meetings, and you’ll carry on as usual.
You may sign up for that reverse mentoring programme or in house personal development coaching.
You may pay for an expensive women-only members club
Or you may spend thousands of pounds on a schedule of female focussed events or networking sessions - expensive in-person events and workshops, at central city venues.
All set at breakfast or late evening times that are so inconvenient If you have caring responsibilities or live outside of the city.
And at work? Although you have great ideas and responses, you shy away from speaking out, because you are nervous or cautious of making the ‘wrong’ impression.
How do I know? Because that was me.
I didn't want to be accused of being 'that aggressive / woman', or be seen as over-emotional just because I held my ground or disagreed with a suggestion.
And I definitely didn't want to be told I was too pushy when I pitched my ideas to the team. I wanted to avoid being labelled as the 'short, mouthy, specs-wearing bossy girl.'
But I had no-one to speak up for me in the decision meetings or evaluations that happened afterwards.
At appraisals, I often folded under the questioning, or accepted the lower score of an evaluation.
I remember the feelings of frustration. I had a sense of defeat, was often angry with myself and depressed. Worse still, I lost my confidence.
This health pandemic hit women the hardest.
During this current situation, we have even more women working on the frontlines as self employed staff, essential workers and in service roles.
But even before the shutdown and when social distancing is finally eased, women will not be well served in their careers or in business as startups.
I know that the situation is worse for black women.
We've all experienced, heard or seen research; men typically apply for promotion or a job if they have between 40 - 60% of the requirements. Yet over 90% of women are still not applying for roles they are eminently qualified for - and you are probably one of them.
You know you're the more experienced team member, you've kept your head down, your nose clean, you've worked twice as hard.
But without access to the heavy-hitting personal network that is often built up by your more outgoing peers, you’ll stick to what you know.
The StartUp & Entrepreneur Story is no better
It is still the shocking fact that only 3% of VC funding goes to female led or female only startups.
The stats for BAME led startups are worse - with less than 1% of VC funds reaching them.
And hackathons or VC funding panels with a single women representative don’t seem to help shift this metric.
Research shows women are harder on other women who seek to share their accomplishments ie a core requirement when pitching for funding, partnerships or client business!
This double bind needs to be addressed
I started to help entrepreneurs, first as a business startup advisor, before moving to source early stage deals for a network of Business Angels.
And as I became more confident in myself and the value I had to bring as a unique individual, I became more comfortable taking chances, because I drew on what I called my confidence vault, my proven belief in myself.
Today I help women build their own confidence vault, based on their core values and passions, skills experience, and personal strengths.
Each year I work with more and more ambitious women, usually in one-to-one or in group sessions.
We now want to create an online platform that replicated this in-person success, and builds on the benefits of social media tools like Linked In to help better match women around the world with the best sponsor-mentor for their career or entrepreneur journey.
Our team has received such amazing feedback so far from users on both sides of the mentee-sponsor/mentor process (we've worked with the multinational professional service firms since 2015) that we want to move forward to bring our online solution to this problem.
However, as our development is still in its research phase, so we not yet able to go out to secure VC funding.
We need to create an accurate and diverse, unbiased data-set on which to create the minimum viable product (an 'MVP')
So, we are currently building the first phase before we move on to creating that data-set.
WHAT WE NEED RIGHT NOW?
LET'S CO-CREATE CONTENT FOR OUR SOCIAL MEDIA
We have already achieved proof-of-concept with offline methods (see some of our testimonials here)
We have mentors and group sessions that build on the free services and resources other women empowerment networks provide. We do a lot of signposting to these and want to continue that.
We now want to put a lot of our information about our women in startups onto social media like YouTube and need to update to Pro versions of our editing tools.
We also want to work with women and entrepreneurs and help them define how best to build their own Confidence Vault to take their business ideas or career to the next level.
We want to help women find their confidence - to be able to have a more satisfying career and live a most awesome life.
WHAT WE PLAN TO DO WITH YOUR DONATIONS
Each financial contribution you make will bring us closer to building our first version technology (ie our MVP)
LET'S CO-CREATE DATA FOR OUR AI-ENABLED PLATFORM TO MATCH MENTEES TO GREAT CAREER SPONSORS.
If you are unable to donate financially, please think about volunteering for A data collection taster coaching sessions as a thank you - you'll receive a complimentary report when you complete thpersonal development your session.
So, join us in this campaign to create a platform that levels the playing field - giving career women's more focused access to amazing sponsors and mentors to support their personal growth at work or as entrepreneurs.
Click the donate button and help us get the world of professions and business careers re-balanced!
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP US WITH THIS CAMPAIGN?
Although we'd love it if everyone could make a donation, not everyone can decide to do so.
But there are still lots of ways you can help us over the next few weeks!
If you are interested in contributing in other ways please see below. We'd love it if you share our campaign - and here are a few suggestions:
- If you got info about this campaign in a message please forward information about this campaign on to people in your contacts that you feel will be interested. And even those you think might be supportive.
- Speak to people about our campaign, share our vision for helping women's careers and help us spread the word!
- Endorsements aren't just good, they're great! You can share your support for our campaign on your social media. Simply copy the url for our campaign (https://natwestbackherbusiness.co.uk/confidencevault) and paste it on your favourite social media platforms:
- Post a picture and comment on your Instagram profile
- Facebook - Like and comment on our FB page (www.facebook.com/ConfidenceVault)
- You can also share our FB page or groups,
- Tweet! - don't forget to tweet our link and comment about this campaign
- Why not pin a personal development or motivating quote along with our link on Pintrest
- If you have a Blog or Podvast, please do share our story. Or invite us to do a guest post on your blog or join you for an episode on your podcast!
- Comment and reach out on our page theconfidencevault on LinkedIn
- Text/ WhatsApp a message with our link to all your friends and work colleagues that you feel would support our campaign.
Help us get the word out during this International Womens' Day celebrations in March!
Please feel free to connect if you have any comments, questions or suggestions