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Earlier in the year Workingmums.co.uk led a session at the Mindset Shift Summit, an online summit which aims to help mums find the work they love on a flexible basis. We spoke to organiser Sophie Segal about how the summit came about and what she plans to do next.
Workingmums.co.uk: What were the aims of the Summit and do you feel you achieved them?
Sophie Segal: The aim of the Summit was to provide a place where mums could get inspired, find what resonated with them most and join a community of like-minded women.
I really believe that inspiration is the first step towards any change we wish to happen in our life. When we couple that with some very practical tools and actions, then change can happen and have a long-lasting effect.
On a business level, there were a number of assumptions I wanted to test and the Mindset Shift Summit provided a great platform for that.
On a personal level, I was really inspired to see how many amazing people were passionate about supporting and empowering women, and mums especially. I wanted to celebrate their work and bring together mums and experts to meet up online on an easy-to-access platform.
For me, confidence is like exercise – it comes and go very easily and I also believe that sometimes, it doesn’t take much to regain. The only thing is that everyone is different and everyone needs to find what resonates with them to unlock their full potential. This was a key aim for the summit – to create an event with a variety of formats exposing a range of views to help mums boost their confidence to find flexible work they love.
The results were amazing – over 900 mums joined the Summit and the feedback has been absolutely mind-blowing. It is simply so amazing to think that the Summit has enabled so many women to pursue their dreams.
One woman said: “It gave me the courage to hand my notice in as I was tired of working full time. My boss was shocked and offered me part time, flexible hours to encourage me to stay. I accepted the offer, but on a trial basis to see if it works out.”
Others used words like “thought-provoking”, “inspiring” and “practical”.
Workingmums.co.uk: What was your personal highlight?
Sophie: Hearing all those very personal stories from mums and seeing the real impact that the Summit has had on their lives. It was clearly something that I had “hoped”, but reading those real-life stories was simply amazing and very fulfilling.
Some have found the strength to resign because they were unhappy or got flexible conditions on the back of their resignation letter from their current employers. Some have used it to refocus and to inspire their client base. Some have re-engaged with their “old” network. Some have found a new job on a flexible basis. The reasons and situations are very varied.
Workingmums.co.uk: What were the most popular sessions and what does it tell us about the kind of support women need?
Sophie: There were 4 pillars in the summit – DICOVER | LEARN | CONNECT | THRIVE.
The most popular sessions were mostly part of the DISCOVER pillar. Dr Magdalena Bak-Maier, with her talk on “let your heart drive and your brain lead the way; Rebecca Fraser-Thill who explained how we can pivot our career and feel confident as a result of using the strategies and tactics from the book by Jenny Blake – “Pivot: The only move that matters is your next one”; Peneloppe Blissenden who talked about how to align to our goals and also took us through a meditation; Joanna Smith helped us to identify our purpose and covered how we should “let this purpose grow with us” over time; Dr Andrea Pennington inspired us to “become who we truly are”; Karen Beddow was a brilliant example of a real-life mum who changed career and used her previous skills to build a successful business around her children; and Phanella Mayall Fine from the Step Up Club talked about how to “brand me” and promote ourselves using our differences as strengths.
It is hard to pick any in particular but it feels like the conversations where we were focusing on reconnecting with our inner self, with ourselves as a person and an individual (rather than a mum or a wife or a friend…) really resonated. Motherhood is a lovely stage in life, but it is also true that it is a phase where we can lose our own identity. The DISCOVER pillar seems to have been the most enlightening.
Workingmums.co.uk: How many people logged in and what has the feedback been like generally?
Sophie: It is hard to say exactly as it was a free online event and no one needed to “log in” as such to listen to the videos. We had over 900 mums signing up and have had over 3,400 plays so far, with the Premium Pass holders still going through the content.
The feedback has been truly amazing. Here are some words from some of the delegates.
“I had a real lightbulb moment after the sessions on Tuesday. I feel completely different about my work today than I did at the start of the week. It’s all in the mind and you make your own reality. New horizons are opening up.”
“Well, let’s just say Day 1 was… emotional!”
“It has been truly amazing and far exceeded my expectations. I feel so empowered and know exactly what steps I need to take next to find my ideal job.”
Workingmums.co.uk: What were the main challenges involved in setting the summit up?
Sophie: For me, it was the first time I had created an online event on such a scale. There were many things I need to learn (especially technical ones) to make sure that the summit would run as smoothly as possible. That was probably the main challenge.
Something that was really important to me was to make sure the content was as varied as possible. There were many speakers I had in mind and I did a lot of research to find who could really add value and support mums in their journey. The Summit brought together 40 amazing speakers and lining up everyone in such a short period of time was a juggling act, but it worked and everyone was so flexible and willing to help and make it work. I am truly honoured to have been joined by all of them. A big thank you to all who believed in the Mindset Shift Summit!
To be honest, it has been really enjoyable and I loved how everyone got together to really support this amazing cause, one where we want every woman to feel confident and empowered. Such an amazing experience!
Workingmums.co.uk: Are you likely to work on any follow-up?
Sophie: Yes – after the feedback from the delegates, we decided a few things:
Some face to face meet-ups have happened. It really created another level of bond altogether. Somehow meeting other women who have gone through the same journey is so empowering; it creates some lovely friendships. I would also love to create monthly events on different topics to carry on with the themes from the summit.
We kept the Facebook group as a place to support each other. There are now some weekly challenges posted to boost confidence in between other events.
With one speaker from the Summit, we are also working on a group coaching programme to enable mums to keep the momentum and truly make change happen.
I would also love the summit to become an annual thing – watch this space!
*To access all the content from the summit and bonus material from speakers plus a 30-minute coaching session to identify your natural talents at a special discount for Workingmums.co.uk readers, go to www.mindsetshiftsummit.com and enter discount code: WORKINGMUMS at checkout. The current price is £197 and the discount gives you £100 off.