One of the most gratifying elements of Women in the City is hearing about how our past Future Leaders Award candidates have gained from their experience. Simi Ghandi-Whitaker was shortlisted for the 2015 Future Leaders Award and has sent us the following-
Being part of the Women in the City (WiC) Future Leaders Award has been a truly gratifying experience for me. I felt so proud to have become one of the shortlisted candidates, especially as the sector I work in (Facilities Management) is a more up and coming industry than some of the more traditional ‘City’ sectors.
Being in the final ten has been enough for me as I never thought I would come this far. Getting the accolade by a recognised organisation such as WiC has given me a further confidence boost and every now and again when I need a boost at work, I think to myself “I am a Women in the City Future Leaders finalist so get a grip!”
Going through the application process was an interesting experience because in such few words I really had to hone in what I have achieved in the last 15 years. It was a fulfilling, self-evaluating experience because not only did it allow me the opportunity to reflect and succinctly articulate my achievements thus far, it also made me think about what I wanted to do in the future. This was further enhanced through meeting the other nine finalists and learning from one another.
I thoroughly enjoyed the networking opportunity throughout, from the interview process with the six interviewers, who are all very successful at what they do, to the celebration lunch where I met such inspirational women.
Since WiC, I have started a new job with EMCOR UK. During my interview process saying that I had achieved the top 10 status certainly did give me further credibility and it made my new employer proud to have a WiC Future Leader join their ranks. Whilst I have only been in this role for a short while, I see that EMCOR UK is very supportive of pushing diversity in the workplace and I am already working with an Executive sponsor to look at how we can encourage further diversity within the company. Had I not been a Future Leaders Award finalist, I wouldn’t be as confident to ask to do it as quickly as I have.
Being on the journey of building a successful career isn’t about winning awards for me, however getting recognition for supporting other women is an honour. It’s very important to promote awards such as this and continue to spread the word so we can encourage potential female leaders and let them know that they have true potential!
I would highly recommend entering the award as it gives you a chance to not only self-reflect but also the extra gusto to do more. Besides, you have nothing to lose but a heck of a lot to gain!
With over 15 years in the Construction and Facilities Management industry in various roles, Simi is a Board Director with a strong vision, commitment and track record of winning work through bespoke customer-led solutions. She has a strong ethos of exceeding expectations in order to inspire individuals and teams to achieve both their business and personal targets. She was one of the ten shortlisted candidates for the 2015 Future Leaders Award, Committee member of Women in Facilities Management and Cherie Blair Foundation for Women Mentor.
Follow Simi on Twitter @_sim2011