[Blog] Votes for Women

Blog - Modern Desk

I was recently honoured to be invited to be a panel member at the GEM session at the Women in Housing conference. The session was entitled inspirational women in housing, and until I was asked I had no idea, that I was one.

In classic “Elly style” I felt like a fraud and began questioning whether I should accept the invitation. Who am I an inspiration to? What have my achievements been? What if the panel consists of all senior Housing professionals, and I have been chosen as a ‘last minute stand in’. All my inner self-doubts surfaced – ready to bring me back to earth and inform me that I am incompetent, insignificant and introverted human being.

But fortunately, my inner-conflict happened to remind me of a talk I had seen Karen Bradley MP do at a recent event. She spoke about “imposter syndrome”. Karen, a confident and highly respected woman in a senior position, was happy to share that she sometimes has inner doubts, or as she liked to call it, “imposter syndrome”. Karen felt that us women tend to beat ourselves up and despite our level of achievement or professional status, that nasty inner-voice can still sneak up on us when we least suspect it.

With this in mind, I decided to tackle it face on. As the book says, “feel the fear and do it anyway”. I shared the concept of imposter syndrome at the conference, and it is safe to say I wasn’t alone. Both the audience and panel members resonated with the concept and it generated a lively and honest discussion.

I was approached afterwards by several women who complimented me on the discussion and, it was only then that I realised we can all be inspirational women. It just takes the courage for us to speak honestly and the drive to support each other when we do.

Blogged by Elly Hoult, Head of Business Development.