Women working in English

5 Websites in English for women who work

 
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There is no better place to get the vocabulary you need to do your job well and climb the career ladder than these websites.

Why?

- The information is current and on trend.

- You can connect to a whole community of other professionals who have encountered similar problems or challenges to you.

- These are the skills you need to develop professionally and you can learn them at the same time as improving your English!

 

1. Create & Cultivate

'Create & Cultivate is an online platform and offline conference for women looking to create & cultivate the career of their dreams.'

They hold conferences all over the world where you can see female entrepreneurs and creatives speak whilst networking with and meeting other like-minded working women.

Sign up for the newsletter to get exclusive content and career tips

FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM @CREATECULTIVATE FOR DAILY INSPIRATION & MOTIVATION

 

2. Career Contessa

'Women are building careers on their terms. We've created a resource that addresses the unique challenges acing women and developed solutions specifically for you.'

There is a wealth of information on this site, it is focused on 

Download some of the free digital downloads here to combine English practise with some career planning!

 

 

3. LEAN IN

'Our mission is to empower women to achieve their ambitions.'

If you haven't bought the book yet, please do that! It's something to keep in your handbag or on your desk in case you need some support quickly dealing with a difficult colleague, asking for a raise or saying no to a project.

The website has a huge amount of resources and practical advice, you can become part of a global movement by signing up! 

If you're in Madrid - I'm one of the moderators for our lean in circle, so please join and come to a meeting we'd love to see you there!

 

4. WOMEN WHO 

'A URL and IRL community for creative working women.'

A monthly podcast that I listen to with notes open on my phone, an amazing CV planner that you can buy from the site and another amazing book packed with advice... this one is very small and pretty and literally lives in my handbag and I pull it out to find useful references for clients, friends and the lovely lady who makes my espresso in the morning before work! 

Follow on instagram for beautiful London shots & even more great ideas! @womenwho 

 

5. THE POOL 

'A platform for women who are too busy to browse. We produce interesting and inspiring original content on everything from people and politics to food, fashion and film.'

They curate the internet and filter out all the crap so you don't have to waste time reading about the latest Trump or Brexit or Catalonia or 'insert your countries depressing and repetitive news cycle here' scandal. It's an excellent way for you to both keep on top of global news, trends and fashions while reading in English.

Sign up for the newsletter - today in 3, to get the 3 most important daily news pieces sent to your inbox. Or follow on twitter where they post fairly frequently and check them out on your commute!

They also have a great feature 'the scrapbook' where you can sign in and save article for later - a great way to review your vocabulary at the end of the week by quickly rereading the articles and seeing if you can remember the words and expressions you had to look up previously. 

 

Elysia - Positive Business Inspiration 01

 
 Photo courtesy of @georgia-de-lotz via unsplash

Photo courtesy of @georgia-de-lotz via unsplash

Happy December guys!

I hope you're managing to enjoy the cold, we're storming through Netflix and HBO at the moment, wearing triple layers and drinking endless cups of tea, Rosie is obviously an excellent source of heat too.

These last few weeks, after reading a terrifying article on the impact our smartphones have on us - (read it here, you’re welcome!), I’ve been making an effort to move away from reading about the shitstorm that our world is right now. It's distracting and we can only do so much to help.

From little changes like moving all the apps except for the ones that are helping me focus on my goals away from the first page of my phone:

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To bigger changes, like deciding both my personal reading and the classes I give will be focused on positivity and innovative solutions. 

Earlier in the year I had started to do this anyway, by making the move to using the TED Keynote course books. But honestly, with current events, conversation always steers back to something bleak. Like the futility of battling climate change when America pulls out of the Paris accord. (Don't worry! Most cities are ignoring the orange wonder until he goes away and are continuing with their plans. (Houston, San Francisco, Miami and New York for example).

It's easy to feel isolated sometimes, like you’re the only one who cares. So to balance that I want to introduce you to the publications, projects and people who are not only solving problems through innovation; but are also doing it in a creative, elegant way that will hopefully inspire you and might even plant some seeds for your own ideas. 

The first company I want to talk about in this series is Elysia Catering,

I came across this catering company in the publication POSITIVE NEWS who I recommend following on Twitter, Facebook or signing up for the newsletter to get practical optimism in your inbox rather than the usual deluge of politicians embarrassing themselves.

Elysia Catering

........ was founded by French entrepreneur Sophie André who moved to London in 2016 after working on startups in Senegal, France and The States. Her business development partner is Rose Fooks who is a cordon bleu graduate and also co-runs the food assembly Islington

The heart of the business is supporting local artisan producers by taking their ‘waste’ or not up to selling standard food. This can be something as little as a spoon too much honey in the granola or even  discoloured chocolate bars (even though the taste is perfectly fine!) Elysia pays them slightly above margin so the businesses aren’t losing money on the waste product and then they perform culinary magic on these unwanted odds and ends by turning them into beautiful dishes which they then deliver or serve at events!

Their website states their values as:

  • High Standards
  • Audacity
  • Integrity
  • Simplicity
  • Happiness

Company values still seem to be a very anglophone concept, I think it can be worth thinking about though, why do you do what you do? What are your values or your company values?  

The company is based in London, although if we’re going to be philosophical about the origin Sophia attributes her idea to Joe Deloss, who she describes as an American social entrepreneur. He founded Hot Chicken takeover in Columbus (OH). They deliver food and cater for events at sites all over the capital, which Sophia started out by doing personally on a bicycle.

So why does Elysia exist? Well, food waste is something we all know about, but maybe don't focus on too much. In the UK supermarkets alone cause 200,000 tonnes of food waste every year, we’re the worst in Europe at the moment. Although artisan food makers produce less than 1% of this waste, it’s an area that Sophie can make a difference in. If you visit her website, the last thing you think of is imperfect, unappealing food. It’s pretty, elegant and visually appealing, it’s only when you start to read the information on the site:

elysia_food_rescue

That you realise this is more than just another trendy food delivery service! (On a geeky note, I have to say that choosing the word ‘rescue’ rather than 'reuse' or 'repurpose' creates a lovely image!) What do you think of the idea? Could you bring elements of it into your own life or business?

 Photo by  Mira Bozhko  on  Unsplash

Photo by Mira Bozhko on Unsplash

 

Practical Skills 01 - Make friends with your phone.

 
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I don't think I've met a single student who feels phone calls or conference calls are their strong point, they seem to make everybody stressed and uncomfortable. 

Living in Madrid and working freelance has meant a lot of phone calls in Spanish with varying degrees of success. The first six months where I had virtually no Spanish I would panic when the phone rang, ignoring it unless I absolutely HAD to answer. There was one incident where I received my medical check up results which could only be accessed by a code given over the phone.  I think the poor man who had to walk me through the steps with my pigeon English was more traumatised than me. I still felt like an idiot days later

One year later I'm happy to open bank accounts, do phone interviews and arrange deliveries in Spanish by phone, it's not always smooth but I definitely feel confident about the process!

People think that conversations are all different and complex. In reality, we are repetitive creatures and most conversations follow a fairly set script. This works to your advantage when you're in your second language. If you prepare a cheat sheet before each planned phone call over the next few weeks and add to it during and after the phone call; you'll feel much more confident and even start to enjoy making efficient phone or conference calls.

So based on my personal experiences and those of my students here are some strategies for handling phone/conference calls:

 

- At the end of the blogpost you can download a cheatsheet template to put these ideas into practise!-

 

1. Refresh the alphabet and numbers and remind yourself of very basic punctuation @ . / etc

Sounds basic, but it's incredible how many people (me included!) are suddenly silent when they're asked for their email address or mobile number in language 2.

2. Keep a record of useful expressions in the notes section of your phone,

for example it took me a number of awkward callbacks before I remembered to learn the Spanish for 'Hi, I have a missed call from....' I only remembered I needed this phrase when I was already inelegantly shouting - 'give me Ana, Ana call me!'.

3. Are you making the call or receiving it? This affects the language you're going to use. 

If you're making the call, think about your aims for the call, what information do you need? Simple things like this disappear from your memory when you're concentrating on understanding somebody without any physical gestures or facial expressions to help you.

If you're receiving the call, what questions can you expect? Try to anticipate as many as possible to prevent any nasty surprises. 

4. Don't apologise for your English.

My friend Carmen taught me this, for my first year in Spain I started every conversation with 'Hello, I'm sorry but my Spanish is very bad'. This puts you in a defensive position that you just shouldn't be in. Anyone attempting another language is already doing a great job. 

5. Who are you talking to? What accent do they have?

Use youtube to listen to the target accent and note down any characteristics of the accent that can help you.

This blog is a great resource for Native accents.

For non-native accents, there are many generalities. However, for sure, Spanish speakers find other Spanish speakers easier to understand as well as the French, Italian and Portuguese in English. 

The key is to identify what happens to the vowels and the ends of words, do they miss the -ed endings? How pronounced are the /r/ sounds? What happens to their intonation? How connected is their speech? Identifying just a couple of these elements will lead to a much smoother experience on the phone!

6. What are the typical errors you make when speaking? 

Most people forget to use the past tense when they're speaking, I'm not entirely sure why but this is something I've noticed myself and almost all of my students do. 

Question forms disappear also, remember if you want to make 'So, see you next Tuesday' into a question rather than a flat statement, you need to use INTONATION, or you could sound robotic. Which is ok, but not ideal for building relationships with people.

7. can you prepare any Key Vocabulary?

If the call is with someone from Human Resources, get a list of human resources vocabulary and review the key terminology before the call. This gives you the chance to anticipate any 'jargon' (area specific language) and note the pronunciation. The same goes for Acronyms - are there any you have in your language that are different in English?  Take 30 seconds to check on google!