Tuesday – Panels and PA’s

Ella is still ill, and I spent the best part of yesterday afternoon with her at the Doctors. However, she now has her anti biotics and I expect her to be on the mend by midweek.

The morning is the normal hive of emails on the train and morning activities. Both my colleagues are back from holiday today so there should be some rest bite on the way.I am on a panel at lunchtime so this mornings walk to work was very much about reading the brief and ensuring I am prepared.

By lunchtime I am navigating my way through the hive of tourists around Harrods and desperately trying to avoid the shopping temptations of La Perl, Prada & Gina to name but a few. As I make my way towards the Al Jameria Hotel, I am stopped by a handsome Arab man who tells me he likes my suit.

I skip off as fast as my legs can take me, but equally I am a little flattered – still clearly got something, even if it’s just a good suit.

I arrive at Hotel where Women 1st are holding their annual conference. Their charity partner for the event is Wellbeing of Women & it is through their MD, Liz Campbell that I have been asked to sit on the panel. It a great opportunity to sit with a few amazing women, such as the Head of HR from Sodexo, as well as Liz. The panel is chaired by the Editor in Chief from the Huffington Post, so again it should be well run and I am looking forward to it. Before we even get started, the panel and I have turned the green room blue by discussing topics such as periods, menopause and the fact that youngsters seem to know far more about sex than we did when we were there age. The panel is a great success. The room is full over 150 amazing women all armed with pertinent questions. We get on to the subject of when to have kids and the fact that fertility seems to fall off a cliff in your late thirties. I was half expecting a mass exodus as girls bolted towards to the door to find their would be partners when Liz announced it was true, it is harder to get pregnant the older you get. She explained Women are born with a certain amount of eggs and they deplete over the years, I had to ask Liz, “but where do they go” is it a case of us just losing them on the way to work. Raptors laughter and a room full of happy women, we have provided honest and open answers to their career/life questions and above all we have had a laugh at the same time.

These girls are the support network for both of my departments and they deserve a thank you.

My work is done and I skip back to work reading tweets of how well the session was received. The rest of the afternoon is a hive of activity and excitement as I promised to take 8 of the PA’s out for a few drinks after work.

These girls are the support network for both of my departments and they deserve a thank you.

I often think PA’s are under rewarded as without them their bosses wouldn’t be as half as successful and effective. A number of my ladies are celebrating passing exams & getting married, we are also welcoming new PA’s and saying goodbye to old ones who are jetting off for pastures new.

One Lombard does not let me down; we arrive to a private area and some welcome cocktails from the famous Obi, Bar Manager extraordinaire. It’s not a late night as we are all being summoned home as England is playing, just a few nibbles and lots of laughs, it certainly finished the day off well and it was lovely to spend time with them outside the office.

I hoping that this has boosted morale a little too and that they realise what a wonderful bunch of individuals I think they all are.

About the author

Vanessa Vallely is co-Founder of WeAreTheCity, The Network of Networks and WeAreTheCity India. Vanessa is a speaker and author of Heels of Steel. Vanessa sits on the board of Women in Influence. Vanessa won the WIBF Champion For Women Award 2011, she is a Progress 1000 winner and Financial News Top 100 winner. Follow Vanessa on Twitter

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