WFC India Diary: London meeting, January 8, 2007

25th February, 2009 - Posted by salliegratch - No Replies

With a 12 hour lay-over in London Heathrow Airport, Betsy Chandler and I rushed into town to attend a WFC luncheon meeting. The idea of making good use of those 12 hours was suggested by Rekha Modi, our host in India. And, tapping into the remarkable network of Zerbanoo Gifford, Rekha’s and my mutual friend, Dorothy Dalton was asked to organize the details of the meeting at an Accounting Firm in London’s Financial District. (Thank you again Dorothy!)

All the details were taken care of. However, I was still concerned how WFC would be received, whether the invited guests would welcome an idea imported to London by someone totally unfamiliar to them. Added to my discomfort was the unexpected London traffic we encountered riding the underground, causing us to arrive at the meeting 30 minutes late. However, walking into a brightly lit conference room, we were greeted by 12 smiling faces, a room filled with women enjoying both the sandwiches and each other’s company.

We started the introductions almost immediately; I added my one request to include in their narrative a brief sketch of their nonprofit as well as a reflection on some aspect, a high or a low, of each woman’s founder journey. The energy in the room mounted as the women’s sharing began; women pulled in closer to one another, sitting forward in their chairs. Lively interaction among the women, reflecting on specifics issues raised began to flow. One young woman, originally from Dominica, now living in London, expressed her belief that nothing happens “just by chance”, that everything is purposeful. She used her coming to this meeting as her example, that she hadn’t planned to come, but that her colleague encouraged her to. She went on to discuss her reluctance, up until minutes ago, to begin her own nonprofit. However, with the encouragement she had received from this group, and the women’s promised support, she now wanted to announce that her nonprofit will be launched, thanks to what had happened at this meeting. Applause followed.

Our two hours together passed very quickly. Names and emails were shared. A group photo was taken. (To be posted on the WFC website.) I encouraged the women to become familiar with our, now their website, to use it to reach out to one another as well as to connect with women founders in far distant places. I especially asked them to add their comments about this meeting to my London meeting blog, a great way for anyone who visits this site to meet these fantastic women!

Our London meeting demonstrated once again the appeal of WFC, the powerful attraction it has as a support network to women founders and the ease with which a WFC group can move ahead (if so desired) on their own. That’s empowerment!

Saying our goodbyes, Betsy and I shifted back to Heathrow Airport to begin our second night of air travel, to land in Delhi for one more late evening flight to Kolkata (Calcutta) and finally, on January 9, to arrive at the home of our India host, Rekha Mody. To be continued. Sallie Posted: January 11, 2007

Posted on: February 25, 2009

Filed under: Archives 2007

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