Freedom of Mind is a locally organised mental health festival here in Bristol, which this year if I am not mistaken, launched in London too. I usually choose one event to attend due to workload challenges, so this autumn I have chosen the panel talk on challenges and opportunities of being a female leader. The event took place at the lovely Forge so it was really intimate. Two young female leaders – Samya Sarfarez (Bristol University and NHS Youth Forum) and Siena Jackson-Wolfe (Bristol Youth Council) were joined by two charity leaders – Karen Black (OTR Bristol) and Viki Browne (Many Minds).

The panellists talked about overcoming the barriers of being a woman in their relevant industries and tips on overcoming those and then moved on to confidence and assertiveness tips. You can find my notes here, but below are some of my personal favourites:

I have to admit that I personally expected a more balanced discussion focussing on the strengths – not only the challenges of being a female leader, but all the above-mentioned topics really resonated with the audience. This was the final audience comment:

I hope this is a good start for more conversations about the success of female leadership, shifting leadership definitions and new forms of success. I hope to see a panel featuring some of the fantastic men too so that we can have a more diverse dialogue with many more perspectives. It was a brilliant start. I hope this conversation continues.

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Senior social media and digital wellbeing consultant, coach and counsellor. Founder of Voxel Hub.

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