At least once a week I receive an invitation to attend or speak at a women’s conference or event. The events are hosted by a number of organisations; faith groups, women in business, empowering women, to name a few.
Is it me, or has somebody missed a trick here? If you are organising an event, where your target audience is women, there is a high possibility that a percentage of these women may be mothers. Why not incorporate a crèche or childcare facilities at the event, especially of the event is at the weekend. By doing this, you:
• Take away the headache of women trying to find childcare in order to attend the event – if not, they then have to plan how to get the children to the babysitter/childminder or family member, attend the event and ‘remain professional’ and then make it back in time to collect their children (sometimes having to miss the keynote speaker…which was the main reason she wanted to be there in the first place)
• Empower the next generation – I have sometimes agreed to speak at an event only on the basis that I can bring my eldest daughter to the event. Allowing your children to see you in action will inspire and encourage them too
• Are inclusive – do I need to say anything more about that.
I have only been to one conference where they specifically promoted the event to women and highlighted the fact that there would be a crèche at the event. When I first started the business, Business Link organised a conference for women in business. I signed up to attend the event because of the availability of childcare facilities. A few days before the event, I was put in touch with the childcare providers and was able to ask a number of questions about the set-up and the facilities available. I took my six-month old daughter to the event, arriving early to settle her into the crèche room and talk about her routine (naptime, food etc). I completed some forms, my contact details were taken and was told I would be contacted if the staff felt I was needed; I I was also told that I could come in to the crèche at any time, to check in on her.
I had a brilliant day – it was probably the first time that I was not in ‘Mummy mode’ (read as not wearing maternity jeans, baggy top, with strategically placed scarf, to hide baby food stains) and felt like an all-singing-dancing-power-mum (I had a dress and jacket and heels). I had the opportunity to network and made connections with other women in business and other mums, plus I gained some useful information and resources that would benefit my business. I did pop my head round the door a few times, but Jemimah seemed quite jolly when I saw her. When it was time to go, she was fast asleep, and she only woke up, once we arrived home.
I would love to hear your experiences of attending events which may have included a crèche or childcare facilities. Maybe there was an event or conference you wanted to attend, but couldn’t because mothers with young children were left out of the equation.
Get in touch and add your comments to the bottom of this post.