22 Nov Conversation Club: A Kardashian Free Zone
“Women are clever people who trust those who are trustworthy, listen to those worth listening to and who want to learn more. They don’t have much time because they are just too busy. If you give women what they want to know, from people who have their best interest at heart and who know their stuff; and deliver the information in ways that make sense, you’ll get their loyalty and they’ll refer you onto their friends.” (Source: Conversation Club summary by Founder Wendy Searle after months of reading in-depth reports on how women learn from Deloitte’s, Boston Consulting Group, Edelman and others, doing online site analysis of think tanks and networking groups, attending gender empowerment events, etc.)
Honest commitment and money has been invested by major organisations on understanding the specific needs of women. Many of the reports and strategies produced, focus on supporting women to stay engaged in the corporate space and identifying a range of workplace changes required for this to occur. The reports focused on what occurs within the organisation at different points in a woman’s career, rather than the needs of the “whole woman” with constant responsibilities to address, as well as her career path.
And, in the commercial space, there seems to be three kinds of women specific information hubs: Think Tanks, like the 30 Per cent Club and WGEA, networking hubs with paid memberships and events for women at specific career stages like Chief Executive Women and Business Chicks, and general “women’s issues” sites like Mamamia, Whimn and 9Honey which are long on celebrity stories and discussing early childhood parenting issues and popular culture.
But there isn’t a place to go for real, useful and inspiring information on the spectrum of issues that matter to busy women. Women, who with complex out-of-work responsibilities, need a lot of information to keep heading generally in the right direction in all areas of their lives. And, the content provided by the hubs, stick to the same topics, over and over again.
Conversation Club wants to be the go-to-place for busy women to have most of their real information needs met. We’ve been in the space of imparting knowledge since 2015 and have plans to do a whole lot more.
But what are the issues that actually matter to women? Historically, media sites are gatekeepers, with the editor deciding on the topics covered. And, while a lot of research has been done on what is missing in the workplace and contributing to the gender imbalance, not many women have been asked: “what else do you need to know – outside of the work place – to make your whole life work a little more efficiently?” So, to make sure that women set the agenda on what issues Conversation Club addresses we did one important thing. We asked our community of professional women.
In three days we received over 200 survey responses. Clear direction was given on what women want to know about, which we’ll reveal in detail in a later article. But one thing that stood out like a beacon was that most women don’t give a toss about celebrity news. Yes, it was great when Sophie chose Stu on the Bachelorette, but we didn’t want to hear about it over and over again. We are being beaten over the head with repeated versions of the same celebrity “story” and frankly, we just don’t care much. So, following the lead of our community, we declare the Conversation Club as a Kardashian Free Zone.
But we will tell you a lot about the issues that women have told us are important, including their top five:
1. Mindfulness and Mental Health
We’ve got Australia’s best speakers lined up to explain how to incorporate anxiety busting routines into your day. And we’re ready to be inspired by learning from those who are living with mental health issues and hear insights on how we can recognise if someone is at risk of suicide, and what to do if they are.
2. Trends in Business, Society and Culture
We are working with the major publishing houses to include author insights as part of Conversation Club and have direct contact into leading universities on topics from neuroplasticity to artificial intelligence.
3. Personal Wealth Management
We’re speaking to leading economists and finance writers for insights on how to manage a budget and how to build personal wealth.
4. Career Development
We will continue to interview CEOs and the most senior, successful people in Australia so they can impart their knowledge on how to be in charge of a journey to an executive suite career. And we’ll do a lot more, including interviewing a range of inspiring people who will empower with clear direction and tips on how to mostly remain in control.
5. Personal Branding
We will continue to collaborate with leading stylists, like the David Jones Personal Styling service and leading personal coaches to help distil how to present “the best version of you,” easily and affordably.
Conversation Club has a history of hosting events where real debate has flourished. Our survey revealed what we already knew in our gut. Events are great, if you can carve the time out of an already hectic schedule, but many women can’t and want to access information on demand. So we will be providing them knowledge in ways that fit into women’s lives, including podcasts and articles, as well as continuing with our event programme at The Women’s Club in the Sydney CBD.
Women want knowledge that empowers. Conversation Club will continue to provide information that is gold, never bling.