One year on – Naomi Goodman reflects on Women in Communications

Back in April 2020, IABC UK&I hosted our successful “Women in Communications” event, with five incredible speakers and over 50 guests discussing tips and practical advice on how to navigate a career in comms, with a particular focus on the challenges faced by women.

One year on, our speakers share their takeaways from the event, reflect on what has changed since then, and share an update on their work.

 

Naomi Goodman

Founder, the-thread (www.the-thread.com Twitter: @the_threadcomms Email: [email protected])

Naomi is co-founder of the-thread, an employee engagement and communications consultancy dedicated to making change happen by connecting your people. Naomi has led large-scale organisational and culture change programmes for both the public and private sector. She blends her breadth and depth of experience with each client’s unique challenge to help identify and activate solutions that truly deliver business value.​ Naomi is passionate about connecting people to the potential that comes with change. She’s a certified Prosci ADKAR change management practitioner and is currently training as a teacher with Deepak Chopra and The Chopra Center to learn techniques that build employees’ inner resilience and increase their potential for change.

 

Naomi’s Book recommendations
  • The Mind of the Leader, by Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter
  • The 5am Club, by Robin Sharma
  • Becoming, by Michelle Obama

 

Key takeaways from IABC UK&I Women in Communications 2020 event

  1. Be more than simply excellent at your job. Lots of people are excellent. You need to do more, you need to show more, you need to stand out…. whilst building your network along the way.
  2. Be clear on the values that define your personal brand; and live them. For me it’s leading with compassion, empowering others, delivering brilliance and being bold in voice.
  3. Be a good person. Be someone that people want to work with. Be someone that you want to work with.

One year on…

 

When we first talked in 2020 about what it takes to be a successful woman working in communications; I shared three personal principles that had guided me well in my career. Firstly, to be more than simply excellent at your job; secondly, to be clear on the values that define your personal brand… and genuinely live them; and lastly, to be a good person, to be someone that you would want to work with. One year later and our working world has been picked up, shaken around and dropped back down ready for us to piece together a new working order. Laura at the IABC asked me whether these principles still stand true in today’s working world and although a lot has changed for me in the last 12 months, personally and professionally, my answer is yes. These principles ground me. They help my stakeholders to know who I am and how I will consistently show up everyday in every situation – pandemic or no pandemic. I still believe that they’re principles we can all take value from.

 

If you take my principle, ‘be more than simply excellent at your job’, for example, then this still stands true. I was bold enough to launch the-thread mid-pandemic, my own employee engagement and communications consultancy, with co-founder Laura House. We launched in a tough market and with the recession it’ll only get tougher. Every day we remind ourselves that lots of consultancies are excellent. If we want to be a success in today’s world then now, more than ever, we need to do more, we need to show more, we need to find new ways to stand out and demonstrate our value. The same can be said for anyone climbing the career ladder in today’s climate… it’s a great way to stay current and creative.

 

That said, given the past 12 months there’s a fourth principle I’d now add, especially to help balance the ‘be more than excellent’ value. It’s to be kinder to yourself. Many of us women give ourselves a hard time trying to be everything to everyone at the same time. A career hungry employee, a parent that’s present, a partner that’s loving, a friend that’s available. Just writing it down is giving me the sweats! In part it’s because of the expectation business and society puts on us and in part it’s because of the expectation we put on ourselves. I’m currently on maternity with new born twins and doing that well is about as much as I can manage at the moment! Lockdown life has added a new layer to the term ‘juggling’. Rid yourself of guilt and give yourself a pat on the back – wherever you’re focusing your energy right now, know that you are doing well.

 

Our event Women in Communication – Pathways to Success was held in April 2020 and was free  for IABC UK & Ireland members. Interested in becoming a member to join more events like this? Visit our website at www.iabc.com to join today. Use the code IABC20 at checkout when you join or renew through 18 April 2021 and you’ll receive a 20% discount on international dues.
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