INSPIRING WOMEN IN BUSINESS CONFERENCE 2018
Further announcements of the 2018 line-up will be coming soon. Book tickets here >>
RUTH DAVIDSON, SCOTTISH CONSERVATIVE MSP FOR EDINBURGH CENTRAL & LEADER OF THE SCOTTISH CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY
Ruth was first elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2011, where she represented Glasgow. Before entering politics, Ruth worked in journalism for 10 years, first in newspapers, before moving to radio and television. The majority of her time was spent at the BBC working in news and current affairs as a presenter, reporter and documentary maker. Following the resignation of predecessor Annabel Goldie, Ruth was elected leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party in November 2011. In 2014 she played a prominent role in Better Together, the cross-party campaign to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom. In May 2016, Davidson was re-elected to Holyrood as the constituency MSP for Edinburgh Central and now leads the Opposition party in the Scottish Parliament. Ruth is engaged to her partner, Jen, and they live in Edinburgh.
As chief legal officer and company secretary at Skyscanner, Carolyn is responsible for the legal, M&A and public and regulatory affairs of the company globally. Additionally, she sits on the board of the joint venture between Skyscanner and Yahoo Japan. Carolyn began her career at the English Bar, and subsequently began working as an in-house legal advisor. Carolyn has worked within the technology sector for 14 years – going from multinational software companies, to the semiconductor industry, and then on to the internet. She joined Skyscanner from Wolfson Microelectronics where she had held the role of head of legal for the previous five years. Carolyn is also a non-executive director for Visit Scotland.
Razan came to the UK with her husband and three young children after the war in Syria in 2012. They had lost almost everything and had to settle into a new life in Yorkshire. Searching for a job proved to be difficult despite having a pharmacy degree. Razan had a brainwave. With her strong microbiological background, she decided to create a business and make Syrian squeaky cheese from fresh high quality British milk. With a start up loan of just £2500 from the local Enterprise Agency, they started manufacturing cheese in June 2014 and built Yorkshire Dama Cheese into an award-winning business.
Tracy was appointed Scotland director in January this year, having first joined the CBI as deputy regional director for Scotland in April 2017. Alongside a varied and distinguished career in the financial services sector, where she worked with top tier global financial institutions like Goldman Sachs International and UBS AG, Tracy has experience of working with a range of SMEs and entrepreneurial start-ups, particularly spin-outs from the higher education sector. Tracy has also provided advisory services to a range of start-ups and financial services companies and is currently co-owner of Carter Vintners, a company producing high quality Australian wines.
Caroline, an award-winning social entrepreneur, is both an adventurer and a business woman. Subject of the National Geographic documentary Elephant Vision, Ashoka Fellow, Eisenhower Fellow, Counsellor for One Young World, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, TED speaker, past advisor for the Clinton Global Initiative and unwavering campaigner, Caroline’s passion and ambition for leading a life without limits and labels is truly contagious. Since taking a life changing decision at 28 to leave her successful career as a management consultant and travel across India on an elephant, Caroline has been committed to building a global movement on inclusive business to build an equal society for the one billion people in the world with a disability. Caroline has set up a new company, Binc, whose mission is to collaborate with some of the world’s leading organisations identifying what she refers to as 'The New Green' – inclusive business. Her extraordinary personal story of coming to terms with her own hidden disability and turning that perceived 'weakness' into professional and personal success is relatable, funny, humbling and deeply meaningful.
Jude studied general engineering at Durham University, specialising in fluid mechanics, before qualifying as a chartered accountant with Deloitte's in London, then working in various strategic planning and corporate finance roles at BT. After taking a career break to have three children, Jude founded Edinburgh based fintech business ShareIn in 2011. ShareIn is one of the founding members of the UK Crowdfunding Association and firmly believe all types of alternative investments can and should happen online.
Debbie is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank as well as the group's ongoing, multi-year investment programme, which is heavily focused on digital transformation and innovation. She has held several senior positions including CIO, operations & IT director and acting CEO in 2015 during the preparation for the recent successful IPO and demerger of the bank from its parent National Australia Group which formed Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group - now listed in both the FTSE 250 and ASX. Debbie recently became the first woman to sign Scottish Bank Notes and was announced as the new vice chair of CBI Scotland in 2017.
Sarah is MD of Gravity Road, a creative company that is part of the You & Mr Jones group. Previously Sarah spent 17 years working in a wide range of marketing roles for FTSE100 brands including Boots, GSK, Barclays and most recently for Sainsbury’s where she was head of corporate responsibility and head of marketing strategy. In 2013 Sarah co-founded Amazing If, a business with a mission to transform people development, by focusing on the skills employees and employers need to succeed in a squiggly career. You can listen to her weekly squiggly careers podcast on i-tunes and find her on twitter @Amazing_If and Instagram.. Sarah is also a passionate advocate of flexibility for everyone at work as a way to increase individual happiness and company productivity #flexappeal.
London-born soprano Milly graduated with First Class honors from the Royal Academy of Music undergraduate course in July 2017 and she has just started her Masters at the Royal College of Music. Last year, Milly was working as a cloakroom girl at Wigmore Hall when she was asked to step in for a soprano who was taken ill last minute; Milly won rave reviews and was touted as a future star. She recently won the English song prize at the Royal College and this summer she will be performing Miranda in 'The enchanted island' with British youth opera. This academic year, Milly is being supported by the Minerva Foundation, The Josephine Baker Trust and the Claus Opperby Charitable Trust.
Sarah started her career creating and managing operations centres for large corporations such as Microsoft, Compaq and Scottish Power. She was part of the founding team of iomart, and was central in its development and growth from a small start-up telecommunications provider into the largest UK-owned cloud computing and data hosting company. Sarah left her position as the group's COO and board director earlier this year to focus on her fashion business: a luxury accessories brand that combines quality and practicality, empowering the modern woman who appreciates artisan techniques and functionality.
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 its technology in partnership with Newcastle University with the aim of transforming road-based travel and make it greener, safer and more efficient for future generations. Caroline also works with primary schools in support of STEM education.
Jo is a chartered civil engineer and fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineering. She joined Atkins 21 years ago as a graduate after studying engineering at Cambridge University. Jo’s engineering consultancy experience spans the transportation and energy sectors. Jo is an experienced coach and mentor, a companion of the CMI and sits on the board of CMIWomen. She has worked part time for the last 15 years and, more recently, has taken a year-long sabbatical to spend time with her teenagers Evie and Daniel.
Lucy has 20 years of consulting experience, delivering large-scale transformation programmes within communications, media, public sector and most recently in financial services. She has recently taken on a new role within Accenture, as the managing director for Global Corporate Citizenship Delivery, where she oversees the delivery of investments made by Accenture in social causes. The global ‘Skills to Succeed’ programme aims to equip three million young people with the skills to either get a job or start a business by 2020.
Kellie started her career in the leisure business working for multi-site operator Bourne Leisure. She quickly fell in love with hospitality and worked for pub retailers including Marston’s. With a passion for people development, Kellie moved into HR. After some time in retail with TK Maxx, she joined De Vere hotels as head of learning and development in 2002, before becoming group HR director for the Resorts Collection, then group director of brand development. In 2012, she was awarded fellowships from the Academy of Food and Wine and the Institute of Hospitality as well as an MBE for services to hospitality through the groundbreaking work of the De Vere Academy of Hospitality, which saw 10,000 young people trained for a career in the industry. Kellie joined the Executive Board of Macdonald Hotels & Resorts in early 2014 as group brand director, then people development director. She left this role in June 2016 to set up her own HR consultancy, Rixon Associates. At the conference Kellie will be talking about overcoming her most difficult moments.
Since founding Stripe 11 years ago, Juliet has grown the agency to be one of the UK’s leading marketing communications agencies, winning over 60 awards including CIPR UK Consultancy of the year in 2014 and 2016. With offices in Edinburgh and London, Stripe’s clients include John Lewis, AG Barr, Merlin Entertainment, Ubisoft, MTV and The Royal Bank of Scotland. Prior to starting up Stripe, Juliet was head of PR, corporate comms & mass market campaigns for Vodafone, was a director at Citigate Smarts, and had in-house roles with Allied Domecq and Telewest Communications. Juliet is a Fellow of the Marketing Society Scotland and was heavily involved in the launch of their campaign to promote greater gender equality at all levels within the marketing industry.
Cilla joined AMV BBDO in 1992 as the agency’s first new business director. Having risen up the ranks to become group chairwoman and CEO, she now oversees the three companies that comprise the AMV Group in the UK – AMV BBDO, Proximity and Redwood. Cilla sits on the boards of BBDO Worldwide and Derwent London and she chairs the Women's Business Council. She was the first woman to chair the Advertising Association. Cilla was made a Dame in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2017 for services to advertising, diversity and equality. She was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the University of Birmingham in July 2017. Most importantly, she is Fred, Albert and Rosie’s mum.
With over 20 years of investment industry experience in the UK and US, Archie joined Standard Life Investments in January 2017. Now Aberdeen Standard Investments, Archie is a member of the investment management committee, helping the CIO to oversee and manage the investment activities of the firm. Archie chairs the risk and exposures committee, which sets the investment risk appetite for the firm.
Following a career spanning classical music, IT, change management and property, Michelle entered politics in 2015. Not afraid to think differently and challenge the status quo, she wanted to be a force for change. But having taken a seat at Westminster, she found herself in a media storm. Accusations of financial fraud against a former business adviser were turned on her, despite the judiciary making it clear that Michelle was not under investigation. Unable to defend herself, she resolutely continued in her role as MP: she led the enquiry into Sir Philip Green, was the vice-chair on various All Party Parliamentary Groups and, in one of the most powerful speeches delivered in the House of Commons, spoke honestly about a personal experience of rape. She has now moved on from politics and is the founder of research consultancy Momentous Change.
Kate has been a business journalist for the past 17 years, editing Real Business magazine and writing for The Times, The Guardian and The Financial Times. At MT, you'll find her heading up the editorial team, interviewing business big shots and entrepreneurs, and running the Inspiring Women event.