|26 May 2021|
On Tuesday 11th May 2021, Cranleigh Network hosted its second virtual careers event, this time focusing on Women in Business. Three speakers joined us on the evening to talk about the successful careers they have forged and to answer the questions sent in by those attending.
The speakers were Old Cranleighans Deborah Gray, founder and partner in the recruitment consultancy Totem Partners, Nikki Earthrowl, Managing Director at Macquarie Group, and Kate Jillings, co-founder of Toucan Tech, the platform that hosts the OCS Network portal. Prior to the evening we spoke with two other Old Cranleighans Andrea Sparke and Sophia Ambrose about their careers, and while all the women we spoke to have very different careers, there were many shared experiences and thoughts.
Tragic events toward the beginning of this year highlighted the negative incidents that so many women have experienced, yet there was a feeling from everyone that progress has been made in the professional world and nowadays women are unlikely to experience the type of behaviour that historically they might have been expected to tolerate. There was also consensus that the type of well-rounded individual that typifies those educated at Cranleigh, with a wide range of interests can be more attractive to employees than someone who is solely focused on their academic life at the expense of all other experiences.
The speakers agreed on the importance of forging relationships with others who act as a mentor. Most of our panel could easily identify the men and women who had functioned in that capacity for them and those who had inspired them. Despite the success they have achieved, all of those who did have a mentor relationship with another were still regularly in contact with them for advice at key moments in their careers.
Building a network of mentors is at the heart of what the Cranleigh Network is working to achieve. Receiving advice from someone who works in a relevant job or industry is invaluable at any stage in a career. All Old Cranleighans have access not only to the Old Cranleighan Society Network but also to the wider Cranleigh Network, which encompasses former members of staff, parents of former and current pupils, and other members of the community who want to give their time and professional experience to help others. If you are looking for a mentor or feel you have the time to offer careers help, then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our hope is to host 'in-person' events again once restrictions are lifted further, to bring together those working in the same industry or living in the same area or who enjoy the same interests. Until that can happen we have very much enjoyed speaking with those who have joined us on our Zoom webinars and have been fortunate enough to build up a library of these interviews that can be watched or read at any time. Visit the resources page of the OCS Network portal to access all of them, both written and recorded. Specifically the interviews with those who took part in the Women in Business event can be accessed below and are well worth watching if you were unable to join us on the evening.