Joining the WLA helped me build my confidence and faith in my experience and ability. I left M&S in July 2017 (after 17 years) and joined Amey. It was a real ‘leap of faith’ for me joining a totally different industry with just my experience and expertise to rely on. The change in company was a total culture shock, Sandra and the other WLA network really helped me through what was a tough few months as I adjusted and challenged my new world. The online resources, Newsletter and Facebook group helped me reach out and ask questions in a supportive way, giving me practical help to continue belief in my ability and use techniques other members had tried. This helped me navigate and positively influence change in myself and my new role. I've subsequently now moved to my DREAM job at Moneypenny!
Mel Carlen, Moneypenny
What a journey it has been, I have secured a promotion, gained CIMA Fellowship, been in the company of an amazing group of women, learned more than I believed possible through exposure to fantastic keynote speakers and probably most importantly been mentored by a fantastically accomplished finance professional ! I just want to email you both to say thank you for your time, effort, enthusiasm, and friendship throughout the last year I am truly grateful.
Lindsey Cairns, Financial Controller, Amey.
"When I was promoted to CEO I felt isolated and alone. So I started to look at various networks that I could join to help with my transition into my new role. I was keen that this would suit my needs, and I didn’t want to be part of something that met regular and just had nice interesting chit chats. I wanted something meaningful, that was tangible and practical and that I felt really challenged me but also provided the support and advice I needed. The WLA does exactly that, I have been a member now for 3 years and I find it invaluable, it is a safe environment to challenge yourself, take yourself out of your comfort zone, to ask those questions that you think are silly, in a confidential environment with like-minded women. I have made some great contacts here but more importantly a solid based group of friends that I know will provide not only support but practical advice when I need it. If you invest in one thing if your professional life – invest in this network I guarantee you will not be disappointed."
Paula Chadwick, CEO Roy Castle Lung Foundation
"Sandra! I’ve been working with Sandra over the last few months – and as a side note it’s been one of the best experiences in my career to date - and through our various conversations she has opened my eyes to the inequality that still exists in the workplace. I think the objectives of the WLA are fantastic and the association is something I am proud to support. Also, Sandra’s passion for the association is very infectious! "
Laura Brierley, Rodo
"I attended the International Women’s Day Conference last year and was surprised by how much it made me think and how much I enjoyed meeting the other delegates. In some ways I felt a bit of a fraud as I’d really just gone along as a development opportunity rather than because I felt strongly about gender equality. Perhaps I’ve just been lucky with the managers and organisations that I’ve worked for, perhaps it’s my collaborative approach, perhaps it’s the fact that I don’t have children or I’m a lifelong football fan…..? Anyway, that day opened my mind to the genuine issues that many women face and the fact that, as a senior manager, I have a responsibility to make sure that I am doing everything I can to ensure everyone in my organisation has access to all the opportunities they deserve."
Sarah Scholes, Scot Mid
"I was introduced to the WLA through a dinner conversation with Emma Stringfellow at an IT Directors Forum. I liked the sound of the group so decided to come along to the event for International Womens Day. The friendliness of the group and the candor of some of the inspiring stories shared, made it feel personal and not like a mission or a business. This is a group that is genuinely centred on action and empowerment."
Louise Harrington, Coop Financial Services
"I am very interested in the opportunities to develop my skills in the Mentor and coaching arena. I’m also keen to spend time with other leaders to share experience, find opportunities for collaboration and to both share and find out about job opportunities."
Annette Whitelaw, ITC Ltd
"I’d highly recommend joining to any woman in business who wants to progress their career. It’s an amazing supportive network. Meet women from all types of industry and you learn so much about leadership skills and how to think big."
Ann Lucas, NHS
"I really valued what the WLA stood for; networking and meeting senior women leaders that can help me develop, developing other women and the safe environment of sharing ideas and thoughts on business challenges. I’ve already met some great women who I wouldn’t hesitate to contact should I require advice, support or guidance. I want to encourage more women to have the confidence to stretch themselves and to be confident in their own ability."
Aly Fadil, NBrown