In this article, I ask you to take a deep breath and put yourself in the centre of this story...
I want you to imagine something with me.
Imagine… it is a year from now and you are laughing with a friend over of a coffee, a dirty chai* or your cocktail of choice. You are sipping your drink and your head is slightly cocked as you hear her words. There’s a modest smile on your face and a warm tingly feeling in your chest that is (wait for it) … pride. Pride in what you have achieved.
You are hearing her tell you that you that you were recognised on stage last year for your professional achievements. You were standing among Ireland’s leading women in business and, on that night, you were feeling emotional taking your place.
As you hear her words, you’re transported back to that night – the contagious smiles that seemed to dress every face as hundreds of women arrived at the hotel; the squeals of delight that bounced around the room; the genuine feeling of warmth as women who you had never met clinked glasses, sharing business tales and delightedly showing off gowns of every colour, cut and style. Everyone was positively shimmering but instead of feeling let out of the crowd, a feeling you had worried about, the inescapable feeling is one of warmth and excitement from and for everyone in the room.
There was an almost tangible electric buzz that filled every corner of the beautifully designed room and you were so, so glad to have committed to the glamorous night. You remember vouching that this night was going to become an annual feature in your calendar and, like so many good things, you rolled your eyes thinking ‘why didn’t I come before?!’
The two weeks before the event had already been full of excitement. They was an outfit to be found, hair to be styled and SO MANY messages of support from friends, colleagues and peers to reply to! After you shared the news that you were shortlisted, you were genuinely moved by the number of people who took time to message, voice note, email or call you. You tried to take time to reply to them all because it was so warming to read kind and supportive messages, some from people you haven’t been in touch with since before the pandemic.
Your friend’s voice brings you back to the present moment. She is thanking you. Thanking you? Thanking you for stepping into the limelight and openly loving it!
You hear her tell you that she never thought she might want to be recognised for an award in such a public way. She thought that she would feel embarrassed or like an imposter, or maybe she might come across as cocky. She had thought of lots of reasons why she shouldn’t step into her own limelight but now, thanks to that night and how it positively impacted you over the past year, she’s challenging them all.
And there is that tingly feeling in your chest again! And then you remind her that you also have many voices in your head that stop you – consciously and unconsciously – from doing things that could be beneficial or even brilliant. Now is not the time to go into where those voices come from but, you tell her, you get it. You have those voices too.
And then you surprise her. You tell her that you had those voices last year before you nominated yourself for an IMAGE PwC Businesswoman of the Year Award. You had them and you listened to them.
You listened to the voice that harshly scoffed at you even clicking on the link to nominate yourself; the voice that reminded you of ALL the other deserving women in business; the kind voice that assured you ‘some year you’d be ready to apply, but not this year’.
You listened to them all. You thanked them. And then you entered anyway.
*It is a thing! I had my first one in Be Sweet on Dublin’s Clarendon Street this week and I highly recommend it. And a visit to Be Sweet. It could be the perfect place to write your nomination.
When & Where
When: Friday, April 14, 2023, from 6:30pm until late
Where: The Clayton, Burlington Road, Dublin 4
The IMAGE PwC Businesswoman of the Year shortlist has been announced! Visit here for the shortlist.
How to register: You can purchase a limited number of early bird tickets below:
If you would like to pay via invoice, please email [email protected].
For terms & conditions, please visit here.