Networking and human trafficking

Another week and another fabulous group of strong women. This week I was a guest at TWIN – The Women’s Insurance Network – for an evening of networking, sharing stories, fundraising and listening to the story of Ella’s Home – more of which later.

My slot was to cover the art of working the room using your body-language for confidence. Very few of us like walking into a room of people we do not know. It kicks off our primeval fear of being looked at by strangers. One theory is that human beings were more successful than the other ‘beings’ such as Neanderthals because we clustered into small groups or tribes. So we tend to feel more comfortable in our own grouping and strangers are perceived as a threat until they prove themselves safe. Well, whether it is our homo-sapien DNA or just natural shyness, there is a tendency to feel uncomfortable, stick to people we know and, for some, stick to a sofa clutching a glass of wine.

We have an article on Working the Room [link] but my top tips are:

  • Prepare – know who you are likely to meet and research relevant information so that you have something to say to them.

  • Use your body language to convey confidence – looking confident will make you feel better and ensure people want to talk to you (how often have we ignored Belinda no mates skulking in the corner). We will post an article on body language for confidence soon.

  • Get into a group by simply asking to join them. People do not say ‘no!’

  • Be kind – if you see another woman looking lost, pull her into your group. You will impress with your sass and make a friend.

  • Move – you are there to network not have a single conversation.

  • Follow-up with anyone who gave you their card.


With the ladies working that room with aplomb, we stopped for the serious part of the evening – Ella’s story. Emily, co-founder of Ella’s home had us near to tears with the story of Ella – a young women trafficked all her life for sex. It made me wonder. I have lived such a life of privilege – not so much money but I have always been free of cruelty, aggression, being used, being attacked, being raped, being beaten, being sold. I could not empathize with Ella or the thousands of women who share her sad life. But I can open my eyes and see what is happening.


A few facts on human trafficking

  • The National Referral Mechanism had 2,340 people referred as possible victim of human trafficking in 2014. It is believed to be the tip of the iceberg

  • Globally the average cost of a slave is $90. Yes just $90 to use and abuse another human being

  • There are 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today

  • 80% of people trafficked across borders are female

  • The national crime Agency inthe UK has over 300 operations open currently

  • There are estimated to be thousands of slaves in UK cities and few are known to the authorities

  • We probably rub shoulders with slaves every day in places we think of as nice – such as your local nail bar


I could go on, but I encourage you to look yourself through websites such as Ella’s home http://www.ellas-home.co.uk and www.dosomething.org

And didn’t those networking women move! In minutes there was money, expertise, offers of legal assistance, funding ideas. I will be offering confidence training and interview skills to rescued women. If there was one big lesson for me – it is how a group of strong women can stop talking and start making a difference. It was the best part of the evening.


Until next time.... Stay Sassy

Dr G.

"The Online Magazine for strong women"







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