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27 April 2016

Minute Mentoring: Connecting leaders with Edelman's Global Women's Executive Network

Careers, Culture

Following International Women’s Day, Edelman UK hosted Minute Mentoring event as part of our Global Women’s Executive Network (GWEN) programme. GWEN is an empowered group of people who are committed to networking, mentoring, recruiting, collaborating and career planning for women at Edelman – with the objective to increase the presence of women leaders at the most senior levels of Edelman.

Minute Mentoring offered employees of all levels and gender the opportunity to speak openly with some of London’s most senior leaders about their career aspirations, concerns and advice. Below, participants and mentors share their experience.

Khyati Modgil, Assistant Account Executive, Edelman Graduate 2016:

Amongst the many things that have stood out since joining Edelman on the graduate scheme eight months ago, the company’s outlook and support of women in the workplace is a clear forerunner.

From my first coffee with senior female leadership and the open-door policy thereafter, to the ability to work from home in my new team, it’s a privilege to be at a company that doesn’t just talk the talk – it walks the walk.

Attending GWEN’s minute mentoring session was yet another lesson in encouragement. Hosted informally at lunchtime, any and every employee in the business could attend the half hour session and talk work, life and aspiration with the likes of Stephanie Lvovich (Global Chair of Public Affairs), Matt Hurst (UK & Ireland COO) and Anji Hunter (Senior Advisor).

As is so often the case at Edelman, no question was deemed too big or too small. In fact, my own questions – very much reflective of my role as an AAE – were answered with as much enthusiasm and sincerity as those of the Director sitting next to me. Similarly, whilst day-to-day responsibilities contrasted greatly amongst us, the same take-homes applied across the board; namely, thinking big, grabbing opportunities, investing in self-growth, nurturing your personal life and believing in one’s self.

Working at Edelman is synonymous with ambition. We all work incredibly hard to deliver the best possible work for our clients and with deadlines and daily commitments sometimes it is hard to see the wood from the trees. Half an hour of mentoring with those who’ve been there and (incredibly successfully) done that reminded me of the bigger picture, of my personal goals and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

Raeesa Chowdhury, Account Manager, Smithfield:

The GWEN mentoring session was a great way to get an insight into the non-PR related experiences of the business’s leadership. Having recently joined the Edelman family and the industry, it was  great for me to learn that the business values “alternative” experience and encourages people to pursue their passions and strengths, both during and outside office hours.

It is clear that the standards at Edelman are high but inspiring to learn that even those in leadership positions went through phases of uncertainty and doubt. The option of having a mentor at Edelman, who is not necessarily related to the regular beat of work, is really useful for both the experienced and the new in this industry. For me, it is the ideal way to make sure that personal development is being guided from every angle.

Stephanie Lvovich, Global Public Affairs Chair, GWEN Mentor:

Mentoring is one of the most important things that senior people, especially women, can do to develop the next generation of talent. It adds value to the organisation and to the people who engage in the conversation. It is critical that we give unfiltered access to those with more substantial professional experience to the staff who are just starting out – to help them to avoid the pitfalls that we encountered and to support them to support professional situations with better judgement and cues of how they can maximise their experience. The one thing I always try to convey in these sessions to women is to ‘silence the echo’ – that voice is your head that represents self-doubt and can fuel self-doubt. Women should ensure that they are truly an advocate for themselves, which is often the biggest barrier to overcome.    

To find out more about GWEN, please click here.

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