Here are the themes that we will be covering at our Inspiring Women in Business Edinburgh conference. Stay tuned for updates and speaker additions.

08:15 Registration

09:25 Management Today Welcome Remarks

Kate Bassett, head of content, Management Today

09:30 The Management Today keynote: Kind leadership

  • The most powerful woman in advertising, former group CEO of AMV BBDO Dame Cilla Snowball shares her career journey, her biggest mistakes and her tips to the top
  • "A special place in hell..": Paving the way for more women in positions of power
  • The main challenges we need to overcome to achieve gender parity in the workplace
  • Being a socially conscious leader. Why kindness wins

Dame Cilla Snowball DBE, chair, Women's Business Council and former group CEO, AMV BBDO

09:55 Confidence at work: Get it, feel it, keep it

  • From imposter syndrome to resistance to risk, identify what's holding you back
  • Practical tips on building your confidence and gravitas
  • Find out how to influence others and communicate with authority
  • Learn how to develop your executive presence to take your career to the next level

Ros Taylor, executive coach, psychologist and presenter, Ros Taylor Company

10.15 My Story: Let's rethink autism

At the age of 10, Rachel Woods was diagnosed with high-functioning autism. As a young adult, she struggled to find work: "Even with good qualifications, it's hard to find a job. It's even harder when you're autistic." With only 15% of people with autism employed in the UK, how do we change corporate thinking, create inclusive cultures and rethink "disability"?

Rachel Woods, user experience executive, VisitScotland

10.35 Panel: How to build an inclusive workplace

  • The business case: why diversity is good for business (and not just your bottom line)
  • How do you create a corporate culture that gives diverse voices a platform?
  • How to stamp out macho language and unconscious biases - and change your lens
  • Learn how to be an inclusive leader

Julie Ashworth, CEO, Broadreach and chair, Edinburgh Institute of Directors

Miller Mathieson, managing director Scotland and Northern Ireland, CBRE

Chris McCoy MBE, equality & diversity manager and head of mediation partnership team, VisitScotland

Guest chair:

Vicky Quinn, head of recruitment, Haymarket Media Group

11:05 Morning refreshments

11.25 Why we're all leaders

We need strong leadership at every level of business. Accenture Strategy Europe’s Alexis Rose delves into the role that technology can play in changing the way we look at inclusion and empowerment.

Alexis Rose, director of business operations, Accenture Strategy, Europe

11.40 The bullies and the (queen) bees

There are colleagues and managers who can make your daily life more difficult and - sometimes - derail our careers. Who are they, how do we spot them and what do we do about them? From the sushi-throwers to the quiet assassins, Christine Armstrong has seen them all. She shares what she’s learned with her usual dose of lived-reality and dark humour.

Christine Armstrong, author, The Mother of All Jobs

11.55 Panel: Getting a better balance, making your work day work for you

  • What can we do to get a better balance?
  • This panel will explore the options including an increase in job-sharing
  • The big little lies we tell about flexible working 
  • How to do it well, challenges and opportunities

Christine Armstrong, author, The Mother of All Jobs

Ruth Chandler, chief people officer, Skyscanner

Tania Hemming, marketing and business development director, Morton Fraser

Guest chair:

John Booth, director of corporate affairs and marketing, Scottish Enterprise

12.25 Lessons from a sporting hero

  • What can businesses learn from sport?
  • Tips on motivation, team work, resilience, beating your competitors
  • How to beat the odds
  • Mind matters: finding strength within

Danielle Brown MBE, double paralympic gold medallist, professional speaker and inclusion champion

12.45 Lunch and mentoring

A chance to meet the speakers, pick their brains and get one-on-one advice

  • Management Today conferences offer unparalleled access to speakers and an opportunity to "meet a mentor"
  • Delegates are invited to mingle with five of the morning speakers over the lunch break
  • Gain valuable insight and career advice from some of the country's highest-profile business leaders


Christine Armstrong, author, The Mother of All Jobs

Julie Ashworth, CEO, Broadreach and chair, Edinburgh Institiute of Directors

John Booth, director of corporate affairs and marketing, Scottish Enterprise

Danielle Brown MBE, double paralympic gold medallist, professional speaker and inclusion champion

Alexis Rose, director of business operations, Accenture Strategy, Europe

14:00 The Management Today interview

Kezia Dugdale powered up the political ranks to become the deputy leader and ultimately the leader of Scottish Labour after the party's trouncing in the 2015 general election. She tells us about rising up, coming out, "controversial moves" and empowering women. 

Kezia Dugdale MSP, former leader of the Scottish Labour party,

14:30 Panel: Opportunities ahead: Scotland's biggest growth sectors

  • From the fisheries to farming, from gaming to gin, what are the growth industries and emerging sectors that are shaping Scotland?
  • Identifying Scotland's next unicorn businesses
  • Practical tips on selling overseas
  • Brexit: views, challenges, opportunities

Julie Grieve, CEO, Criton Apps

Anne MacColl, former head, Scottish Development International and former chair, Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation

Jo Macsween, group chair, Central Scotland, Vistage and former CEO of world-leading haggis brand Macsween

Guest chair:

Liz McAreavey, CEO, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce

15:05 How to raise your profile

  • The Gender Say Gap: What it is and why it's holding you back
  • How to find your USP and become an expert or thought leader 
  • Practical tips and advice on improving your visibility and increasing your own brand value

Claire Mason, founder and CEO, Man Bites Dog

15:25 Afternoon break

15.40 Charity partner: Smart Works 

Bronagh Power, trustee, Smart Works Edinburgh

15.50 Fringe benefits: Behind the world's biggest arts festival

We go behind the scenes at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the biggest arts event in the world. Deputy chief executive Lyndsey Jackson gives us a snapshot of the economic, cultural and social value that the festival brings to Scotland, how she's keeping it relevant and affordable, and her take on the future of the Fringe.

Lyndsey Jackson, deputy chief executive, Edinburgh Fringe Festival Society

16:10 The Management Today keynote: Lessons from a leader

  • Named Business Women Scotland’s Inspirational Woman of the Year (2015), Jeanette Forbes reveals how she made it to the top - and what she's learned along the way
  • How to survive and thrive in the male-dominated world of tech and energy
  • The importance of giving back

Jeanette Forbes, founder, PCL Group

16:40 Conference ends for networking           

Principal Partner


Associate Partner

Charity Partner