There is something magical that happens when you sit in a room full of extraordinary women and as we get set for this years Lift Effects, Extraordinary Lady Speaks Conference on June 18th I am reminded of just how magical last years conference was. Sandra Nelson CEO of The Lift Effects did a fantastic job of bringing together an amazing line up of women to share their stories and triumphs with us at what was truly an awesome event.
A day dedicated to hearing the amazing stories of highly inspirational women who implemented strength, willpower and resilience to overcome adversity and go on to enrich not just their lives but the lives of all those around them. The highlight of the event was the Lift Effect STAR awards presented to women who had been nominated by those whose lives they had significantly impacted upon. Among the STAR award recipients were some outstanding women who gave amazing presentations.
Maureen Worrell was awarded for the amazing work she does supporting survivors of child abuse and domestic violence to break their silence, find the strength and heal.
Theodora Ibekwe Oyebade who has risen to become the Queen of UK Nollywood left us with the words "Do your work and your work will speak for you."
Pauline Long who spoke of the ease in which others will label you and downplay the things you value but that self love and self belief will take you places far beyond your imagination if you keep strong, grounded and walking in your purpose.
Jillian Haslam delivered her keynote speech about her life growing up in extreme poverty. She spoke of the loss of her baby siblings to malnutrition, homelessness and living a life of complete destitute. Jillian had defied all odds to develop strategies to be able to fulfil her passion of lifting up those less fortunate.
Tola Onigbanjo spoke of her journey to becoming the founder of one of the largest gathering of African women in the UK, Women 4 Africa, an award ceremony that recognises the outstanding achievements and accomplishments of African women across the globe. It was nice to hear her reiterate an ethos we share of God first, family second and business follows.
Natasha Benjamin delivered an emotional recount of her life, I loved the statement she made saying "If your life is not going the way you want it to then just start a new one." We are indeed the authors of our story and our pages should read in the flow of our choosing. So it stands to reason that if you are not happy with where you are in life or are not sure of where you're going then now is the time to start that new chapter.
Dion Johnson gave a powerful speech about the need to be seen and the fear of really being seen. She said that as women we learn from an early age to be seen and not heard and then grow up to become women with a deep desire to be seen, really seen. She asked the questions "why are we hiding?" "When are we going to show up for real?" and "Why are we covering up the real you?"
When it comes to recognising women for their achievements and creating a platform for women to inspire women the Extraordinary Woman Speaks Conference ticks all the boxes and gets the balance just right. This years Extraordinary Lady Speaks Conference is most definitely an event not to be missed.