“Ways To Build Social Impact Into Your Career”
Written by Mel Bertaud
I was lucky enough to score a free ticket for the Rise & Lead event Connect2Grow, which was held at Coca Cola’s headquarters in Rotterdam on 11th February. This 4-hour workshop was the first in the Leading the Change series, and if it’s anything to go by, the others will be well worth attending. We are facing a world that needs, I think we all agree, dynamic, positive change. These events support and empower women to shake off what holds them back, and take the lead to solve social and environmental issues.
The workshop was split into a panel discussion, networking, and mentoring circles. During the discussion, three women of leadership, including Coca Cola’s sustainability director for Europe, Therese Noorlander, spoke of their experiences of building social enterprise into their day to day work, and how we could do the same. We then got a chance to connect and mingle in the cafeteria, where the hosts had set out a great selection of snacks and plenty of refreshments.
For me, it was the mentoring circle that really shined during this event. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly, when you create a safe space, people open up about their hopes, dreams, and worries. There were five mentoring groups, and yet the take-aways from each were remarkably similar, a fact that is heartening for those of us who feel like they are alone with their career struggles!
Here are some of these take-aways:
- It starts with you. Dare to believe in your dream.
- Follow your passion – find what sparks your interest and use it to create social change. Give your good ideas a place in the world.
- Be brave – open up about your idea. The more you talk about it, the more likely it is to happen.
- Connect – don’t go it alone. Find like-minded people to collaborate with.
- Make time – many of us struggle with this one! But if something is important enough, you will find time.
I left the event with a handful of new connections, a page-load of new ideas, some clarity on the next steps for my business, and feeling like we are part of a growing movement of women who are about to change the world.