Q&A with Clare Russell, Senior Consultant and Executive Coach @ WDI Consulting Limited

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Firstly, please introduce yourself

Hi I’m Clare Russell, Executive coach and consultant from WDI Consulting.

What are you looking forward to at Women of  Silicon Roundabout?

I’m looking forward to networking with inspiring, talented women leaders from across tech, and learning lots through the conference programme. In particular I’ve found this conference to bring fresh thinking that’s focused on the important work themes of the future. Because of that there’s a fabulous energy and buzz about the conference, conversations and it creates lasting connections – so pleased it’s back in person this year!

What advice would you give to someone looking to step up their career in tech?

Make change leadership a skill set that’s part of your core capability. The rate of change in how we work, in how tech embeds and changes the way we do things, is going to exponentially increase. You’ll need to be great at managing change for your own resilience and thriving, but more than that, those in tech who can lead and empower teams through change will continue to be in high demand over the coming months and years.

What do you see as the biggest challenge currently facing women in technology?

Many we speak to are so inspired by what they do but hit against exclusive cultures or work environments. This can impact women in the opportunities they see (vs male counterparts), or by feeling exhausted through navigating a workplace that does not fit with their authentic leadership style and approach.
The way through it, don’t go it alone, invest in building your network of allies and create high trust connections that support you to achieve your goals and stand in your authentic strengths and brilliance. Create your community – we thrive and excel with a great network we can contribute to and also learn from.

The theme of the event is Resilience, what does resilience mean to you?

Resilience for me is lived through knowing your priorities, working hard for what matters to you, yet also knowing what to say no to, when to take a break and how to hold boundaries. It means shutting down the computer for your personal time, getting great at communicating your needs and perspective as well as hearing from others. It means resting when you need it and making sure wellbeing is not a nice to have, but a non-negotiable. I think resilience can be misconstrued as ‘bearing with it’ and ‘getting through’, but actually we should be aiming higher, guided by our personal sense of purpose, fulfilment and Joy.

Finally, what can attendees expect from your session at Women of Silicon Roundabout?

In our workshop, Change leadership in a hybrid world: How to excel and thrive, we’ll share the latest data and insights on what enables teams and organisations to thrive through change and you’ll build your change leadership skills to effectively respond to a change you are going through professionally. It’s an interactive session, we’ll be sharing strategies and tools to integrate change leadership into your everyday work, and based on that you’ll be creating your response to a change you are facing. We’ll be exploring how change leadership is a differentiator for career acceleration so you can become a highly trusted, effective leader in times of significant change.

Join Clare Russell for her session “Change Leadership In A Hybrid World: How To Excel & Thrive” at Women of Silicon Roundabout on 22-23rd November.

About Hanna Purdy
Hanna is a Senior Sales Executive at Ascend Global Media and looks after the day to day running of the Delegate team. She is passionate about the success and growth of the Women in Tech events so that women can continue to make a positive impact in the technology industry.

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