It’s been quite a week of ‘firsts’ for Jude Chan and Sue Singh. Last Friday, they made their first radio broadcast on BBC Radio Sheffield to promote the launch of MyNetwork for Women. Monday saw the first official meeting of the new networking group, with opening speeches by Mayor Ros Jones and Councillor Majid Kahn, followed by another first for Jude…her welcome speech to the assembled group of women who had come along to find out what MyNetworkis all about.
Both Jude and Sue admit to being nervous about speaking in public, but they also both agree that facing up to their fear and taking that first step to overcome it has given them new found confidence. And that’s exactly what MyNetwork hopes to achieve…as Jude says:
“We want to help women from all backgrounds to grow in confidence, gain skills, build a business and create that work-life balance we all dream of.”
I first met Jude through my role as a Doncaster 100 mentor, when she needed some help with marketing her business, Buggalugs. Right from the start, I was impressed by Jude’s determination to succeed, her willingness to take on board new ideas and to learn new skills. So, when she explained her idea to start a support group for other women like her, trying to juggle the differing demands of family life and those of a small business, I was happy to help out.
I was delighted to be present at the launch to see her plans come to fruition and so many women come along and express an interest in becoming a member.
It’s also pleasing to see that Jude and the MyNetwork team are not the only ones focusing on the need to support women. David Cameron has launched an initiative to end the gender pay gap and has stated, “Supporting women to fulfil their potential could increase the size of our economy by 35%.” But unequal pay isn’t the only problem women face in business. Changing attitudes, breaking down barriers, tackling the “boys’ club” culture and initiatives like Jude’s, to encourage women to develop and believe in their own abilities, will all be vital to inspire women to aim high and invest in their own futures.
So what’s next for MyNetwork?
Over the next few weeks, Jude and the team will be busy signing up all the new members and preparing for the next meeting on 21st September. If you want to find out what they have planned, follow MyNetwork for Women on Facebook, or email Jude at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jackie Wilson, Dip.M MCIM Chartered Marketer
Blue J Marketing
Jackie is a Chartered Marketer, Doncaster 100 Mentor and Yorkshire Business Collective Advisor with extensive management experience across a wide range of industry sectors and a passion for delivering effective marketing solutions.