Career and life coach Ania Jefferies is on a mission to inspire individuals courtesy of her revolutionary Women Work event which will take place at the Assembly Hall next March. Here she tells Eileen Leahy all about it and how you can get involved
What does the Women Work day entail?
It is an innovative networking opportunity running on March 10 at the Assembly Hall for people to meet other likeminded, driven individuals. It’s an event that hopes to encourage individuals to ‘be bold, be you and be heard’. It aims to celebrate an alternative world where adversity is overcome in order for all – but especially women and the young – to succeed in a huge variety of fields, regardless of their background.
How will you do this?
By showcasing achievable role models (both male and female) and demonstrating their power and ability to influence another individual to take that first and all-important step in transforming their life. The day will be split into two with a morning and afternoon full of free workshops all run by expert volunteers where attendees can learn or develop multiple skillsets. The evening event, which costs £5 per person to attend, will be packed with inspirational speakers – including some well-known faces – with all proceeds donated to the Pickering Cancer Drop in Centre.
How did you come up with the idea?
I run a life and career coaching business and within this field I also work as a Progression Mentor for the Princes Trust. I am also an Ambassador for the Girl Rising initiative and help deliver mentoring programmes in self-belief and confidence in schools. I am passionate about supporting others to find their voice and reconnect with life so they can excel.
So you already have experience in this area?
Yes. Even though I work with people of all ages I have three passions: Inspiring women and young people, supporting entrepreneurs and raising awareness of mental health. The springboard for the Women Work event was that I felt all these areas could be explored and incorporated into a workshop which would inspire individuals to firstly believe they could achieve anything in life with the right support and network, and secondly, provide them with the tools to take the next step to create positive changes.
Why do you think it is necessary to put on an event like this?
Quite simply to build strong relationships and partnerships within the community and to bring people together who would not normally engage. Another of the Women Work aims is to
raise awareness of the most fantastic wealth of services and skills we all have available to us in Kent. We also want to offer opportunities for women whether they want to retrain or return to work. It’s about making them feel confident to know they can ‘walk the walk and talk the talk.’
Who are you reaching out to?
We are supporting women and young people of all ages – those who are out of work, those who have never worked, those looking to change or return to their roles or start up a new businesses – and also recognising the men that support us in the process. It’s also crucial that this event raises awareness of mental health in the community. We have to stop living behind glass doors and reduce the stigma behind it.
How did you go about recruiting the experts who will be guest speakers at the event?
I went out and started the conversation about what I was aiming to do. The response has been phenomenal with amazing people approaching me, wanting to be involved. It’s quite unbelievable to think that something which started off as a seed – I was originally going to do a tiny workshop of approximately 100 people – has grown into an oak tree with a potential audience of 1000 at the Assembly Hall and lots of experts in their field participating.
How will you judge if Women Work has been a success?
If everyone just takes away one tip to create positive change in their life, then I will deem the event to have been a success and very worthwhile.