INSPIRING WOMEN IN BUSINESS CONFERENCE
Listed below are the speakers who took part in our 2016 event in Edinburgh. The 2017 speakers will be announced shortly. Book tickets here >>>
REBECCA ALEXANDER, EXECUTIVE COACH, THE COACHING STUDIO
Rebecca is an executive coach and founder of The Coaching Studio. She's worked with entrepreneurs, FTSE 100 directors and charity and public sector leaders to improve their impact and influence at work; enhance leadership and communication skills; and identify the subtle changes that will have the most positive impact on their work and performance. Rebecca believes passionately in encouraging women’s confidence and self-awareness from a young age, and has delivered workshops and talks to girls at GCSE and A level. She also runs a series of workshops designed to boost leadership skills, confidence, and impact for women in the workplace. A former journalist, Alexander has worked at Psychologies magazine and written for the business sections of The Sunday Times , Sunday Telegraph and the FT . She is Management Today ’s coaching columnist.
Yvonne heads up marketing & online strategy at Redefine BDL Hotels for 70 hotels across the UK & Africa. With more than 10 years’ experience working with Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Hilton, Marriott, ibis and Best Western, Yvonne applies the latest thinking and digital developments to drive guest satisfaction and loyalty in a competitive marketplace. Having previously worked for clients including Whyte & Mackay, Domino’s Pizza and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Yvonne is passionate about delivering great experiences to the five million customers who stay in the company’s hotels each year. Yvonne is a strong advocate for vocational opportunities, working with Scottish colleges to provide young people with hospitality experience, and is a mentor for emerging marketers in Scotland.
Carla Buzasi is the global chief content officer at WGSN, a global foresights business, specialising in consumer, fashion and design trends. She joined in 2014 from her previous role as founding editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post UK. A multi award-winning journalist, Carla joined WGSN to help drive the brand to new heights and lead the content team in distilling data and insights into compelling narratives that tell the story of the future of purchase. Before The Huffington Post, Carla worked as the associate editor/online editor for Marie Claire and the deputy editor for Glamour.com. She has also written for the Guardian , Metro , Cosmopolitan and many other leading publications. Carla is one of Management Today’s 35 Women Under 35 for 2015.
Dr Sandra Cairncross was appointed assistant principal student experience at Edinburgh Napier University in February 2015, following seven years as dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries. Sandra is a chartered engineer with a background in electrical and electronic engineering. On becoming a lecturer, she quickly became interested in educational technology and how that could be used to enhance teaching and learning. This became the focus of her research. Sandra also sits on the Board of Management at Edinburgh College and chairs the Advisory Board of Equate Scotland.
Helen’s approach rests in the value she’s gained from being agency and client side. Currently head of global brand and marketing communications at VisitScotland, managing a 40-strong team, Helen strives to bring the best out in both team and agency, ensuring both work in partnership to deliver and evaluate campaigns across the priority global markets of the UK, Germany, France and the US. To maintain team motivation and success, Helen recognises the value of training and development, and continually aims to challenge, excite and develop her team, with results reflected both in personal satisfaction and delivery. Additionally, Helen supports the role marketing plays within the student/graduate field, and as chair of The Marketing Society works to raise its profile and demonstrate the value of closer ties between further education and the Society.
Jenny is the owner, CEO and chairman of YourCash Europe, a pan-European business providing cash machines to the retail market. Following a 30-year career in banking, which she began aged just 16, Jenny transformed YourCash (then Hanco) from an ailing company into a thriving business that handles over 77 million ATM transactions, while processing €4 billion in cash value across Europe. As the only CEO in her area of the payments sector, Jenny is a highly successful entrepreneur and was previously recognised as Vitalise’s Business Woman of the Year. She works with two charities, focusing on her passion of supporting young people to be the best they can be – Young Enterprise and Tomorrow’s People. She is a great advocate of women in business, entrepreneurial spirit and in her spare time she mentors young people to realise their potential.
Caroline is director of the multi award-winning TEV Project, an international road technology initiative. TEV, which stands for Tracked Electric Vehicles, is an advanced highway design which delivers direct power to conventional EVs while facilitating automated vehicle technologies, making it possible to have fast, on-demand travel with zero local emissions. The project is developing TEV on an open-source basis with partners to transform road-based travel and make it greener, safer and more efficient for future generations. Caroline is a Parivartan Award ‘Sustainability Trailblazer’ finalist and manages the project from its office in Scotland.
Debbie is Clydesdale Bank’s chief operating officer and an executive director, having joined the PLC’s Board in May 2014. The appointment to the COO role in January 2015 followed a period when Debbie had responsibility for all of the Bank’s operations and IT and established a Customer Trust and Confidence division. Debbie joined Clydesdale Bank in 1997 after a spell with the Prudential Assurance Company. She held a number of strategic and planning roles before being appointed as chief information officer in 2008. During this period, Debbie was instrumental in unifying the different infrastructure and operating systems of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks. In 2011, Debbie’s role was expanded to included responsibility for payments, collections and recoveries and all back office processing for the bank. In the first half of 2015 Debbie was the bank’s acting chief executive officer. She was invited to provide evidence to the UK Parliament’s inquiry into Women in the Workplace and in 2015 became the first female executive to sign Scottish banknotes. She is also a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.
In 2011, Jayne-Anne, chief executive of Virgin Money, led the acquisition of Northern Rock from the UK government, nearly four years after it was nationalised. She successfully integrated Northern Rock into the Virgin Money Group. Under her stewardship, the business has grown organically delivering a return to profitability. Jayne-Anne originally joined Virgin in 1995 where she created the Virgin One Account. This business was acquired by RBS in 2001 and Jayne-Anne moved to RBS with it. She rejoined Virgin Money in 2007 and one of her first steps was to create Virgin Money Giving, a not-for-profit business dedicated to helping charities raise as much money as possible. Jayne-Anne is an advocate of responsible business, an idea she has pioneered through her ‘Everyone's better off’ philosophy. She is also the chair of Scottish Business in the Community. In July 2015, she was appointed by the government to conduct a review into the representation of women in senior managerial roles in the financial services industry.
Sarah is the founder and co-owner of The Real Food Cafe, an award-winning roadside diner located in Tyndrum, a small village located at a busy junction serving the Western Highlands. Recognising the potential of a derelict Little Chef, Sarah and her late husband Steve set about transforming it into an iconic business that holds quality, commitment to homemade and local produce with exceptional customer focus, firmly at the top of its agenda. Serving 100,000 customers per year and over 1,500 on busy days, it has become one of Scotland’s best known ‘food stops’ for tourists and outdoor enthusiasts, and has won national awards for the quality of its food and welcome. Previously, Sarah was managing director of Corney & Barrow, becoming the first female main-board director in the company’s 220-year history. Sarah has served on the board of the ALMR (Association of Licenced Multiple Operators). She has been invited many times to sit as a judge by both The Caterer and The Publican for their industry awards, and is the 2014 winner of the ‘Athena’ Natwest Everywoman Award. Sarah now runs the cafe with her partner Alan, and they are pursuing plans to develop the brand in Tyndrum and beyond.
Colin is a former BBC Radio Scotland presenter, who’s enjoyed a 16-year career in broadcasting and journalism. A dad of two and living in Renfrewshire, he launched his own business Colin Kelly Media in 2011 and delivers media relations and social media training and consultancy throughout the UK. Colin has a BA Journalism from Edinburgh Napier University and was one of the first mainstream media personalities in the UK to use the Twitter social network back in 2008. He is convinced that social media can be a force for good and help your business grow – at the same time!
Emma is the UK/Ireland Accenture technology senior managing director and the global delivery lead for careers at Accenture. She’s worked at Accenture for 20 years, joining after graduating with a master’s degree in electronics from the University of Edinburgh. Since then she’s spent most of her career working with financial services and government clients – delivering large-scale complex programmes with an engrained technology architecture background. Emma has driven the Accent on Women and Accent on Family programmes for TGP for many years. She also sponsors the Girls in IT schools programme, partnering with Stemettes, and works with eSkills on the Information Economy Council to encourage the growth of the technology pipeline in the UK. Emma is also a member of the IAB for the Open University, and the treasurer for the Orchid Project, a charity campaigning to end female genital cutting. Outside work, she loves skiing, triathlons and spending time with her three children.
Poppy is an associate director at freuds. From 2005 to 2013, she worked as a special adviser to George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, in No 11 Downing Street and the Treasury, and returned to support him throughout the 2015 general election campaign. During her eight years with Osborne, she worked across strategic planning, media management, campaigns, national and international business relations, and worked with David Cameron and cabinet ministers. She started her career in journalism with the BBC and Reuters. Since joining freuds, she has led projects including the prime minister’s G8 Taskforce on Social Impact Investment, the campaign for the creation of the world’s largest marine reserve, The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation and Nike Foundation’s Girl Effect campaign.
Lucy Murdoch is a managing director in Accenture’s Advanced Customer Strategy practice. She specialises in digital customer strategy and customer experience and has more than 15 years’ experience working on strategy and transformation projects. She has worked extensively in retail banking most recently and before that with communications and media clients. She is based in Edinburgh where she lives with her husband and daughter.
After graduating from the London College of Fashion in 2003, with a degree in Fashion Management, Jane’s fashion buying career began at Marks & Spencer. She then went on to work for Pineapple and sportswear brand Sweaty Betty. Working alongside the founders of each brand fuelled her ambition to set up a company of her own, and in 2009 during a trip to Africa, Jane’s idea was born. She had visited a handful of different five-star hotels in one trip and noticed a common theme: exquisite food, decadent interiors, impeccable service and ill-fitting, poorly designed uniform. In 2010, she established Studio 104, providing a high-end service supplying exclusively designed uniforms to hotels and other companies. Her first hotel contract was for the Savoy, and her portfolio of clients now includes the Dorchester, Gleneagles, the Shangri-La, St Martin’s Lane hotel, the Mondrian London, the Grosvenor, Warner Bros, JP Morgan. In 2016, Studio 104 went international, winning the Mondrian Doha and the De Beers Diamond Jewellers worldwide contract.
Vicky Pryce is chief economic adviser at the consulting firm CEBR and a frequent commentator on economics. Vicky was previously senior managing director at FTI Consulting, director general for economics at the department for Business, Innovation and Skills and joint head of the UK Government Economic Service. Before that she was partner and chief economist at KPMG. In 2000, she co-founded GoodCorporation to promote corporate social responsibility. At various stages in her career she has held a number of academic posts and is also patron of the charity Working Chance. Her publications include Prisonomics and Greekonomics: The Euro Crisis and Why Politicians Don't Get It , and she co-authored It’s the Economy, Stupid: Economics for Voters and Why Women Need Quotas.
Polly started her career with the Royal Bank of Scotland Group working in the City of London. Returning to Scotland, she held a variety of roles at Scottish Enterprise, progressing to acting director of Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh & Lothian’s Company Growth Division. In this role she had special responsibility for development of small business policy. Following a period in management consultancy with specialist business growth consultants Matrix Management, Polly moved to the Scottish Software Federation, and was actively engaged in the merger which formed ScotlandIS. Polly represents ScotlandIS on the Digital Excellence Business Excellence Partnership, the Tech Partnership UK Scotland board, the ICT Skills Group, the Industrial Advisory Board of the University of Dundee's School of Computing, chairs the board of CodeClan and is a director of dotScot Registry.
Lisa Scott co-founded Gourmet Gadgetry three years ago while pregnant, designing and developing ‘fun-food products’ such as hot-air popcorn makers, cake makers and chocolate fountains. Today, her Kent-based company has a range of 21 products, stocked in retailers including Lakeland, John Lewis, Debenhams, Next and Harrods. Lisa heads sales and marketing for Gourmet Gadgetry and also works on the creative side and product development alongside husband Luke. In 2014, she was named one of Management Today ’s 35 Women Under 35 and more recently was a finalist in the entrepreneurship category at the First Women Awards.
Currently freelancing, Mamta holds a degree in Product Design Engineering from Glasgow University, an MSc from Strathclyde University and an MBA from Strathclyde International Business School. Over her 12-year career, she has worked for an exciting range of companies including Dyson, Hasbro and Mars. Working internationally she has managed complex projects in China, Russia, the Middle East, Europe and America. For the last three years, Mamta has been an international judge for the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Innovation Awards and is the youngest member on the panel. In 2015 she was also the judge for the Institution’s UK Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards. She won a British Indian Award in 2015 for her work in the business and engineering world. She continues to writes articles in business magazines and has been interviewed by TV and media on many occasions including the BBC’s Woman’s Hour, as she wishes to encourage more women to join the profession. Mostly recently, she was interviewed by ITN Productions where she spoke about Star Wars toy development.
Clare has been chief marketing officer at The Scottish Government since 2012. In her role, she is the lead on both international and domestic marketing and PR. Clare is an award-winning marketing professional and her accolades include: CIPR Communicator of the Year 2013; The Marketing Society Scotland - Fellow 2013; The Marketing Society Team of the Year, June 2013; Outstanding in-house team of the year CIPR 2013. Prior to this she headed up the PR and international marketing department for The Scottish Government. She has project managed various international events and campaigns to promote Scotland as a country of choice, a modern, creative and vibrant nation.
Archie Struthers has overall responsibility for the growth and development of Aberdeen Asset Management’s investment solutions capabilities. He is also a member of Aberdeen’s Group Management Board. Archie joined Aberdeen following the SWIP acquisition in April 2014. He was previously the managing director of investment solutions at SWIP where he spent three years developing its multi-asset, multi-manager, quantitative and alternatives investment capabilities. Prior to joining SWIP, Archie was the global chief operating officer of multi-asset client solutions at BlackRock, having helped design, develop and lead the investment division since its inception in 2006. He has also worked for Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and Mercury Asset Management. He holds an MA Hons degree in English Literature from Edinburgh University, and is an associate member of the CFA Society of the UK (ASIP).
Susie has gone further in
Formula One than any other female has in a quarter of a century, smashing the glass ceiling. She joined Williams F1 team in 2012 and made history in July 2014 when she became the first female in 22 years to drive on a Grand Prix Weekend. A fierce athlete, Susie has challenged perceptions in the male-dominated sport over the past three years. She was featured in Harper’s Bazaar’s November 2015 Daring Issue, which celebrated the most exciting women of 2015 and those who have dared to be different. In November Susie took part in her last professional race. Now in partnership with MSA (Motor Sports Association), she will launch her new initiative to celebrate woman succeeding in motorsport. She is an ambassador for Willis Group, Women in Motorsport Commission and a UBS Diversity ambassador.
Kate has been a business journalist for the past 14 years, editing Real Business magazine and writing for The Times , The Guardian and The Financial Times . At MT , you'll find her interviewing business big shots and entrepreneurs, commissioning columnists and running MT's Inspiring Women event.
Matthew has edited MT for the past 14 years and has won the BSME Business Magazine Editor of the year award five times. During a 15-year career as a freelance, he wrote for the Sunday Times Magazine , The Independent , The Telegraph , The Observer , GQ and Business magazine. He has been named a 'Male Agent of Change' by the Women's Business Council.