To recognise the ongoing outstanding achievements of the incredible women doing outstanding work in the Digital Women community last year, we compiled our list of 40 Digital Women to Watch in 2020. This week, we’re talking to one of these women: Suzanne Alderson, speaker, community leader and Founder of Parenting Mental Health, an organisation set up to support, educate and empower parents of young people suffering with mental illness. Suzanne also received Highly Commended for Digital Community Leader of the Year and won Digital Mother of the Year at the Digital Women Awards 2020.
We hope that hearing Suzanne’s Digital Women Awards story will inspire you to enter yourself into the awards this year. It’s not too late – get your entries in for the Digital Women Awards 2021 before 15th February.
Hi Suzanne! First off, did you share the news of being named one of 40 Digital Women to Watch with your community?
Absolutely! The first place I shared it was with my community, because they are my biggest supporters. Tanja Sharpe, who won the Community Leader award, and I did a Live in the bar after the awards!
I also include it in my bio now. Being awarded Digital Mother of the Year was a huge honour and I was so proud, but it also increased my credibility. It’s on my website.
How has your organisation evolved since being featured as a Digital Woman to Watch and award winner?
This past year has been transformative in many ways. We have received charity status and scaled our interventions, helping over 25,000 parents.
I was selected to take part in the Facebook Community Growth Accelerator in July which has changed the shape of our work and how we look at and approach scale and impact. When we were selected for follow on funding from Facebook, it was vindication for our efforts in delivering impact to families of young people with mental health issues. And Penguin publishing my first book, ‘Never Let Go – How to Parent Your Child Through Mental Illness’ in October was a huge milestone too. And it all started when I was named a Digital Women winner!
How did the changing role of digital and the sudden increased reliance on it in 2020 affect your organisation last year?
As a digital first community and organisation, we didn’t really need to change the way we worked but with a wider openness to working and connecting online, we were able to scale our programs and training more easily and reach people who may have discounted online support, training or coaching before.
Do you have any advice for women who are considering entering themselves or nominating others for the Digital Women Awards this year?
Do it! I know that it can be hard to make the time to enter awards, and can feel a little self indulgent, but it’s really important to recognise your work, your impact and how far you’ve come. Making the time to sit and reflect on what you’ve achieved isn’t ever a wasted pursuit. It’s vital we assimilate our successes into who we are, or we can feel we’re not enough, get caught up in ‘comparisonitis’, and ultimately get stuck in a cycle where uplevelling is hard.
So, block some time out; ask your friends and clients and team what your achievements are and what they value about you; approach it with a positive and compassionate frame of mind. And blow your trumpet!
And if you’re considering nominating someone, do it! It’s the highest form of flattery, and let’s be honest, we could all do with being lifted up at the moment. So, lift up the person who inspires you. Nominate them. I guarantee they’ll be touched and delighted.
Are there any names that spring to mind that you think we should be watching out for 2021?
Yes, a couple of women who I think are fabulous… Helen Pritchard, of Helen Pritchard Online, who is the LinkedIn Queen, and Shelley Wilson of Shelley Wilson Writing Solutions who is an author and writing coach. Both incredibly genuine people who get results. And I think we need less online fluff and more authenticity. They are both the latter.
And finally, we had to ask – What is your favourite thing about the Digital Women community?
The level of support is wonderful. I really love the camaraderie and that there are women lifting women up. It’s a special thing.
If you’d like to find out more about Suzanne and her work, you can find her on social media at:
Or visit Parenting Mental Health’s website at:
Get your applications at the ready! Enter the Digital Women Awards 2021 here: https://digitalwomenawards.com/categories-and-enter