September 21st 2017 | London, Leeds & Cardiff

Breakout Sessions

We will be running twelve fantastic breakout sessions at Women into Leadership 2017. In order to allow delegates to tailor their day around their own needs and aspirations, everyone in attendance will be invited to sign up to their choice of breakout sessions.

Delegates will be invited to attend one of the following morning sessions (A-F), and one of the following afternoon sessions (G-L).

Morning breakout sessions

Breakout session A

Mastering Vocal Impact: communicating your ideas with clarity and confidence

"It’s not what you say that matters but the manner in which you say it; there lies the secret of the ages" - William Carlos Williams (American Poet).

Our voice is our primary means of communicating our ideas. We can, however, underestimate its power and flexibility. In this session “Mastering Vocal Impact”, Cath Baxter uses her extensive experience as Head of Voice at one of the UK’s leading drama schools to deliver tools that resonate in the business world. Her audience will experience the 5 essential steps that will immediately improve their vocal mastery and allow them to develop their public speaking skills in a relaxed and supportive environment.

Speaker: Cath Baxter, Professional Voice & Public Speaking Coach and Head of Voice, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

Breakout session B

Knowing your worth: increasing your profile and making your presence felt

Despite making up 50% of the job market, women earn less, and are represented in top management at a significantly lower rate than men. While there are many reasons for this disparity, research points to a significant trend; women negotiate differently for themselves than for others. In this session, learn about the importance of negotiation and self-promotion as tools for increasing your profile and achieving your potential.

Join Keela Shackell Smith in her incredibly popular 'Knowing your worth' session and leave with the tools and inspiration needed to make your presence felt.

Speaker: Keela Shackell Smith, Executive Directors Office: Women's Network and Gender at Environment Agency

Breakout session C

Mental health and resilience: finding strength in adversity

This interactive session encourages delegates to share experiences in a safe environment, and hear from speakers on the following topics:

  • Overview of personal mental health journey & experiences
  • Practical tips & useful strategies for overcoming stress, anxiety, isolation and loneliness
  • Speaking out and not suffering in silence
  • Practical tips & useful strategies for encouraging good mental health in your team/environment

This session is ideal for anyone wishing to gain confidence and strategies for managing either their own mental health, or that of those in their team.

Speakers: Jessica Murphy, Chief of Staff to Director, National Security OSCT, Home Office

Nick Pett, Head of Inquests and Disclosure, Directorate of Judicial Engagement Policy, MOD

Breakout session D

The power of introverts: understanding the true value of the 'quiet leader'

In a culture where being social and outgoing are traits we so often attribute to leaders, it can be difficult to succeed as an introvert. But, as Peter Botting argues, introverts bring notable talents and abilities to the workplace, and should be encouraged to strive for leadership positions where they can utilise their unique skill set. This session seeks to empower introverts for the benefit of everyone.

Speaker: Peter Botting, Strategy, Storytelling and Speaker Coach

Breakout session E

Work/life balance: Finding ways to take a more flexible approach to work

How many of us truly feel that we are achieving a healthy work/life balance? Statistics show that we are struggling more than ever to balance the demands of home life with the pressures arising from work. With more women becoming the primary breadwinner, how can we ensure we maintain a positive balance between our work and home lives? What strategies do successful women use to maintain this balance?

Speakers: Helen Stephenson, Director, Early Years and Childcare, Department for Education

Valerie Cain, Director, People & Change at the Government Legal Department

Breakout session F

Succeeding in a male-dominated environment: challenging traditional gender roles and levelling the playing field

Commander Ally Pollard and Lieutenant Commander Catherine Ker will share experiences of being 'the first woman to...' by giving unique insights into their roles within the Royal Navy, roles traditionally occupied by men.  They will explore not only the barriers and challenges they faced but also the opportunities availed to them and provide some 'practical top tips' on how to succeed in a dynamic environment.

Speakers: Lieutenant Commander Catherine Ker, 1st female Mine Clearance Diver, Royal Navy

Commander Ally Pollard, Commanding Officer, HMS Northumberland

 

Afternoon breakout sessions

Breakout session G

Resilience and inclusivity: the power of a resilient and inclusive leader

Join Fiona Triller, Programme Director, Creating Inclusive Cultures for a practical, inspiring session to help you develop your own individual leadership style.

Through practical activities and discussion, explore the impact you have on those around you and discover techniques to become a confident, resilient and inclusive leader.

Speaker: Fiona Triller, Programme Director, Creating Inclusive Cultures

Breakout session H

Mastering Vocal Impact: communicating your ideas with clarity and confidence

"It’s not what you say that matters but the manner in which you say it; there lies the secret of the ages" - William Carlos Williams (American Poet).

Our voice is our primary means of communicating our ideas. We can, however, underestimate its power and flexibility. In this session “Mastering Vocal Impact”, Cath Baxter uses her extensive experience as Head of Voice at one of the UK’s leading drama schools to deliver tools that resonate in the business world. Her audience will experience the 5 essential steps that will immediately improve their vocal mastery and allow them to develop their public speaking skills in a relaxed and supportive environment.

Speaker: Cath Baxter, Professional Voice & Public Speaking Coach and Head of Voice, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

Breakout session I

Female mentors: should I be one and should I have one?

Join Mentor Match to explore the abundance of mentoring opportunities at your finger tips as a civil servant. Explore and discuss the following topics and leave inspired to get involved with the civil service mentoring revolution:

• Research suggests that, because male mentors are more likely to act as patrons for their mentees, being mentored by a man makes you more likely to get promoted

• Given there are more men than women in senior positions, is wanting your mentor to be a woman impractical?

• Should we even be considering gender as a factor? Isn't it all about skills?

• Would it be more valuable for a woman to mentor a man?

• Should we prioritise relatability or an outside perspective in a mentor?

Speaker: Andrew Whitten, Business Management and Strategy Director, Mentor Match

& members of Mentor Match

Breakout session J

Job sharing in the CS: flexible working as a tool for success

Existing and newly emerging work-life pressures are increasing the demand for senior job-share positions in the Civil Service.

How do we develop our work culture to support and adapt to the associated challenges and opportunities? Whether you are looking at applying for a job share now or in the future, or you manage flexible workers, this session draws on a wealth of knowledge from current CS job sharers to equip you with the insight and awareness you'll need for success.

Speakers: Yvette Bosworth & Suzie Daykin, Deputy Directors Animal Public Health and Traceability, Defra

Jenny Ashby & Ian Shepherd, Deputy Directors, Free Trade Agreements, Canada, Mexico and South America, Trade Policy Group, Department for International Trade

Breakout session K

Leading from the middle: a discussion on having impact at any level

This interactive panel session discusses the practicalities of embracing leadership at any level. The topics that speakers and delegates will discuss include:

  • How you can begin your leadership journey at any grade, and the abundance of opportunities to do so within the Civil Service
  • Diverse leadership styles and behaviours – no ‘one size fits all’
  • How being yourself adds value to those around you and your Department
  • The importance of investing in yourself and how this helps the department long term
  • The skill of balancing challenge and picking your battles

Speakers: Beth Walker, Co-Chair DfE Women’s Network, Department for Education

Jo Sheppard, Head of Leadership and Engagement at the Ministry of Defence

Charlotte Dring, Policy Advisor, Cabinet Office

Dr Sharleene Bibbings, Senior Policy Advisor – Innovation, UK Export Finance 

Breakout session L

Men as allies: the role of men as key and essential partners in gender equality

The concept of men as allies is fast becoming a focal point of gender diversity initiatives.

The reality is we cannot fully empower women without also engaging men. Shared responsibility for gender equality catalyses change in organisations and shares the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Research suggests that organisations that respect and value the diversity brought by both women and men are better able to attract and retain high performers and improve operational performance.

So, what can you do to encourage your male colleagues to get on board with gender diversity initiatives?  And what immediate and long term benefits will this bring?

Speakers: Ravi Chand CBE, HR Director Workforce Management, HM Revenue & Customs

Nick Pett, Head of Inquests and Disclosure, Directorate of Judicial Engagement Policy, MOD

Alison Titchener, Policy and Litigation Manager & MOD Women’s Network Chairperson, Directorate of Judicial Education Policy