“We have a responsibility to utilise our power to lift other women up.”

Lucy Chamberlain, Founder & CEO, C&C Search

Two weeks ago, C&C brought together a panel of inspirational female leaders with a room of brilliant women in business for our first Leading Authentically event.  In celebration of IWD, we wanted to share stories of brilliant female leaders who have carved out their own lanes.

At the heart of our talk was how we, as women, be the leaders of our careers, our teams, our tribes, our lives. And what our speakers each tapped into was that ultimately, we have different ideas about what success looks like.  The key is to define it on our own terms.

The panel shared secrets, tips and ideas that have worked for their leadership journeys.  We’ve captured this gold dust here and hope they inspire you as much as they have us.

Kate Stephens, CEO, Smart Works

Kate urged us to take inspiration from the power of community that we, as women, create for each other. She also reminded us what can be achieved when we have each other’s backs and that not many women have what we – as career women – have now.

Kate’s advice is grounded in maintaining a sense of perspective and encouraged the room to be less hard on ourselves – something we’re all guilty of.

Lu Li, Founder & CEO at Blooming Founders

Lu shared a powerful reminder that the external fixes and surface measures of success are just that. Before she re-located to London, Lu found herself moving apartments and realising that the 95 pairs of shoes she boxed up, didn’t represent too much happiness for her.

Ultimately, cultivating a habit of self-awareness is where our own success lies. Lu recommends taking time to think about how you want to live your life, clear out your schedule to make this happen and realign.

Helen Letchfield, Co-founder, P&P Coaching

As a champion of flexible working and diversity, Helen believes that knowing what work patterns best support your life is the key. Helen’s created a schedule that means she can take from the working week to allow for school pick-ups and her family commitment then put back in to it at the weekend.

Another nugget was to start each day super-clear on your top three value-adds. Get these done and you own the day.

Steph Douglas, Founder, Don’t buy her flowers

Steph encouraged the room to stop worrying about what other people think – it becomes a huge distraction.  She added that when she started her business, she wrote down what success looked like for her. Being around for her children was huge, alongside balance.   Having this guidepost in place keeps her focused and on track.

Steph also shared some advice that had helped her through tough days: do what gets you to ok, not to great.

Keji Mustapha, Head of Founder Network, Connect Ventures

With a hectic, international schedule, Keji swears by routine and rituals to keep her grounded. Alongside her regular gym sessions and keeping up with her uber-close family, Keji volunteers in a homeless shelter once a week, which helps maintain her sense of perspective and keeps her in alignment with her values of giving back.

For more about C&C Search’s full events programme, contact sophie@candcsearch.co.uk.