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Twitter Q&A: How women can advance their careers

Helen Mayson

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Beverley White from Penna PLC joined us for a Twitter question and answer session to talk about women and work

ILM: Hi @beverleywhite! First off, can you tell us a little about you? #ILMwomen

Beverley White: I am managing director of Penna HR consulting, and my last role was CIO for ntl.

ILM: We’ve got some questions from the Edge team and some sent in via DM for you @beverleywhite, so first off. If a woman is interested in looking at NED roles but has no idea where to start, do you have any advice?

BW: Start with talking to other NEDs, you can get good advice from them for free. Search firms often specialise in NED roles, so get in contact for advice and guidance.

ILM:  Are there any particular attributes or things on the CV that make you attractive to boards? (via DM)

BW: Demonstrating resilience and being a strong brand ambassador. Highlight tangible evidence. It’s a given that you are at the top of your career and hungry for being the best. Be loud and proud.

ILM: On the subject of boards, do you think we need quotas to get more women on boards?  (via DM)

BW: As much as I hate it, yes! To tip the scales for change we need to skew the environment. More women equals a greater rate of change.

ILM: ‘How can I position myself internally as a good candidate for promotion? I feel like I’m overlooked’  (via DM)

BW: Volunteer to take on projects. Ask for a mentor, someone you admire, who will open doors for you. Let people know you are looking for the next role. Be the best you can be. That will all get you on poll position.

ILM: ‘I've been made redundant from an HR role in a bank. It's a tough market though, so how can I stand out?’

BW: Get good outplacement support, will prepare you to be best possible candidate. You already come from tough environment so you have resilience. You have great training, so you’re attractive to new employers

ILM: ‘I’m currently on maternity leave and really nervous about returning... anything I can do to ease my worries?’

BW:: Reconnect with your colleagues. Speak to your manager to catch up, remember you are already master of multi-tasking. To get your confidence at its’ highest remember all the things that make you great.

ILM: And we’ve run out of time sadly – thanks to @beverleywhite for answering our #ILMwomen questions today.

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