NAME: Emma Burdett
JOB TITLE: Founder and CEO – WILD – Women in leadership Deliver
MOVED TO THE UAE IN: Jan 2014
Emma is the Founder of WILD, a movement geared towards gender equality. Having worked in male dominated sector over the course of her career, she encountered challenges such as bias, discrimination, bullying and being fired; all for being woman. Emma was in fact, thrown out of a client’s office in London in her earlier career for being, ‘just a silly girl and what do women know about real estate.’ This is when she cultivated a passion for wanting to make a difference. Emma never wanted a young woman to go through what she had.
Emma sold real estate software for the majority of her career in the UK. Emma came to Dubai in 2014 and worked for a few manufacturers. Her degree is in supply chain management, although she has always had business development roles.
Emma founded WILD after a mental breakdown at the end of 2017. Emma wrote WILD from scratch after creating a smaller women’s network in 2016 on behalf of a company she worked for. I spotted a niche in the Middle East for a women’s platform to bring both existing and future leaders together, to share knowledge and expertise, collaborate and support one another all in the quest of gender equality. Women’s networks play a pivotal role when it comes to gender equity.
Emma also is INSEAD qualified in gender studies and organises formal discussions to bring both men and women to the conversation. It begins with awareness; Men play a key role as engineers of change and allies for women. A couple of years ago she wanted to serve on a deeper level. After going through and overcoming many challenges, Emma knew she could use the experience to support another woman. Emma became a transformational coach, supporting women overcome fears to become confident leaders, creating WILD success and fulfilment.
Emma often get asked what holds women back and whilst she felt outdated talent management structures play a role, she also felt that more often than not, we hold ourselves back. Emma works with women to take ownership for their lives. Emma has seen staggering results, and everything WILD does is to support women rise as leaders.
Since the first network she created which was 4 women and a sheet of paper back in 2016 she has learnt valuable skills and knowledge. From events, masterclasses, speaking and presenting, branding, social media presence, leadership and what is mastery of building a powerful network. Emma has housed this knowledge in an ELITE Mastermind. Enabling women leaders to learn this mastery. Mentored by herself and some guest experts, this kicks off in January 2023 and she can’t wait to get started. The impact it will create, all of these women leading their own women’s groups. This will infiltrate our society and economy.
Emma is launching WILD Riyadh in early November. The very first women’s network in KSA. This is a milestone as the WILD movement intends to reach far and wide in making a difference. Next up in early 2023 is Qatar. WILD is trailblazing and a movement she is proud to pioneer.
5am: I am an early riser. I love the mornings; I feel like it’s a scared time. As a coach I appreciate the importance of habits and rituals. After facing burnout earlier this year I understand the value of maintaining balance. It’s a path I also set my own clients on. Habits and rituals are everything and can also be life changing. I explain to my clients I spend more than 2 hours a day on my habits and rituals. Working for yourself you get the luxury of time and freedom. With my corporate ladies who often tell me they don’t have time; I get them to implement just 3o mins a day for them. This maintains balance and feeling grounded. We can all spare 30 mins a day for ourselves, right?!
I get up and make coffee. Then listen to a short inspiring podcast. This is usually one of my gurus Gabrielle Bernstein. Her work is transformational. After I do a 20-minute mediation.
6AM: Between this time, I mix it up with a gratitude journal and going to the park nearby. Gratitude is the highest vibrational state, and we all have things to be grateful for. I list everything and rift on the page until I run out, it takes only a few minutes but sets you up for the day. I drive to the local park. It’s a mini oasis away from the hustle and bustle. I walk through the nature, feed the cats and leave my phone in the car. That time of being present is valuable. I had a couple of serious ailments over the last few years and this park became my sanctuary.
7AM: I work out with a trainer in the gym or do 30 mins cardio. I am not a gym lover and have the trainer for the accountability and to make me go! I have come to realize that making feeling good must be our number one priority. I am in a job which serves others and I need to be feeling my best. You can not pour from an empty cup. Twice a week I mix it up with Yin yoga it’s a great stretch and emotional release. I go to SEVA in Jumeriah and afterwards will take my journal and enjoy their delicious breakfast.
8.30AM: Shower time, breakfast and checking my calendar for the day and the week. I always play affirmations through you tube, a podcast or an audio book. My favourites are A Diary of a CEO and currently listening to Mel Robbins: The High 5 habit. Feeding our minds with positivity is key.
10AM – 12.30PM: I start work, this usually is a 1.1 coaching client. I like to coach in person if they are in Dubai. I form such special relationships with my clients. Their success is my success and I find the work deeply fulfilling. I have recently mentored Joanna to build out her OWN women’s network: TFC: Thriving Filipina Circle. She started with 15 and now has over 300 in 3 months. The change in her is remarkable and she is doing important work, creating community and a space for her sisterhood to learn and grow.
My other client recently landed her dream job at Chanel. She came to work with me to learn confidence as she was trapped in a rut with a toxic work culture. I supported her in believing in herself, to level up and go after her dream job and also to overcome the challenges along the way. She is also joining the mastermind in Jan to build her own network.
1PM: I often meet a client or friend for a business lunch in the DIFC. We get lost in the seriousness of life and something I adopted from my own coach was plotting JOY into my weekly diary. Firstly, making a list of what brings us joy. My joy factor is going to be very different to yours. This is highly personal. I then plot them in my diary and get my clients to do the same.
3PM: I spend time working on new projects. I have lots of launches happening behind the scenes. I spend time liaising with Carla who works remotely for me and supports all of my back-end systems, mailers, documents, templates etc. She has worked with me for almost 2 years and I love her.
I am just about to launch in KSA, and it demanded a lot of my time. It’s had challenges but it’s now finalized. I often have a a zoom with the speakers to ensure they are aligned with the WILD mission an of course the logistics of the event takes some planning.
Other things I work on is content writing, like articles and content for the socials. I enjoy wiring as it’s a creative outlet. I am pulling the content and delivery of the ELTE Mastermind and building out WILD Women Collective a dedicated membership for the community. This hub will bring women together to learn new things for success and to feel a sense of belonging. Knowing we are not alone is vital.
5PM: I will pop to the supermarket, come home and eat dinner. I eat early and healthy (most of the time). I catch up with any WhatsApp’s or emails. Always check in on my client’s progress and have a zoom with family and friends in the UK.
7PM: Netflix and chill ha! I love a good UK drama and use this time to totally zone out. 8pm I try and out my phone on aeroplane mode and have downtime or I find myself still working from my phone until I sleep then I am wired. I will read a few pages of a book and mix these up, depending on my mood. Currently reading: Breaking the habit of being yourself – Joe Dispensa.
I sleep early ad find sleep essential to feeling good, happy and aligned.
I have come to understand the importance of balance, self-care, and filling me up with the things I love. This contributes to fulfilment, alignment and in the ultimate space of creation. The space I love most is to be in creation. Its where I get to live my purpose and create amazing products for the WILD community and my clients.
The last few clients have told me that I have supported them changing their life. I think that’s the most rewarding feeling of my work. Investing in ourselves and our own growth and development is a game-changer. I am now working with my fourth coach and the growth I have had and continue to have is huge.