INSPIRING WOMEN IN BUSINESS CONFERENCE 2018
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Fi cut her teeth on the BBC's trainee reporter scheme. Since then she has worked on GLR, Five Live, Radio 4, Radio 2, BBC 2 and BBC 1. She currently hosts The Listening Project on BBC Radio 4 - an ambitious oral history project undertaken by the BBC and The British Library. She also records the podcast Fortunately with Jane Garvey every week and writes a column for Waitrose Weekend. Fi created and hosts My Perfect Country for the BBC World Service; now in its fourth series, it is the only radio show ever to have been invited to open a sitting session of the UN. Fi is nearly 50 and feels it.
Jo is Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats and the party’s Shadow Foreign Secretary. She represented her home constituency of East Dunbartonshire for a decade from 2005-2015, and was re-elected to the seat in 2017. From 2012-2015, Jo was Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Minister for Women and Equalities. As Minister, she introduced shared parental leave, extended flexible working rights, and won government support to bring in gender pay gap reporting. Jo’s book, Equal Power, was published by Atlantic Books in early 2018.
As chief executive of NatWest’s corporate, commercial and private banking business, Alison leads more than 16,000 people. She has worked at RBS for over 20 years. Prior to her current role, she was head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, markets and international banking. Previous roles with RBS also include head of EMEA corporate coverage and client management, head of non–investment grade origination, and head of leveraged finance for the UK and Europe. .
Born to Indian parents who took refuge in London’s East End after partition, Wasfi is probably the only opera impresario who spent her childhood in a house with an outside lavatory. A violinist in the National Youth Orchestra, she studied music at St Hilda’s College, Oxford before starting a tech career in the City. After 10 years of programming and designing financial computer systems, Wasfi started a small computer consultancy which gave her the flexibility to spend more time conducting. By 1993, she’d made music her full-time career. As she once said, ‘I’ve always had this sense that the arts provide some kind of insight into the ultimate truth, whereas banking and computer systems don’t’. As the founder of Grange Park Opera, Wasfi has produced over 50 operas and raised tens of millions of pounds. She received an OBE in 2002 for her work in prisons.
As Senior Vice President & Commercial Director, EMEA for Hilton, Patricia oversees revenue management, sales, regional marketing & ecommerce, brand marketing loyalty and partnerships for over 465 hotels, leading a team of more than 400 people. A true hotelier at heart, Patricia’s career in hospitality started nearly 30 years ago as a management graduate at Hilton London Heathrow Airport and has transitioned through various positions and corporate roles, one of which led to her achieving the title of Global Revenue Director of the Year in 2010. Patricia also chairs Hilton’s EMEA Women’s Team Member Resource Group, which provides a discussion forum to connect female team members and promote diversity across the region.
Christine is contributing editor of Management Today and co-founder of communication and change consultancy Jericho Chambers. Prior to Jericho, Christine spent 20 years in advertising, PR & research agencies, based in London, Toronto and Washington DC. Christine is currently working with the CIPD on the Future of Work is Human campaign and researching the circular economy. She recently introduced plastic fishing to London’s docks and launched a boat made out of 99% recycled plastic. She is also on the PTA, in spite of her own advice on the subject. Her new book, author of Mother of All Jobs: How to have children and a career and stay sane(ish), is published in September.
An award-winning editor with 20 years of broadcast experience, Jonathan has worked on some of the BBC’s biggest brands and run programmes from around the globe including the US Election Results and live broadcasts from Kashmir for the BBC Asian Network. Now the deputy editor at BBC Breakfast TV alongside Kelly Crawford, he leads the day-to-day operation of Britain’s biggest breakfast TV show, managing a 24-hour team of producers who serve over six million people viewers every morning. He led the programme’s General Election coverage including interviews with the Prime Minister and other party leaders, and has worked closely with big name presenters such as Carol Kirkwood, Dan Walker, Steph McGovern and Richard Bacon. .
Jenny has lived with endometriosis since she was 12, a condition where cells from the lining of your womb grow over your bladder, ovaries and bowels, causing blistering, scars and excruciating pain. There is no cure. Jenny has been self-employed since she was 20: being her own boss is the only way to manage her working diary around the pain. She's a qualified beauty therapist and owns Jenny Betts London, a luxury soy candle, reed diffuser and bath product business. All products are paraben-free and environmentally safe.
Lena grew up in the mining town of Shirebrook in Derbeyshire and was the first member of her family to go to university, holding down several jobs to fund her degree at Nottingham University. She was offered one of 12 places on KPMG’s management programme, graduated with a MBA Distinction from Manchester Business School (scooping the prize for highest overall performance), then joined Asda. Within a year, she’d been promoted to head of commercial finance (general merchandise). Now at parent company Walmart, she heads up global strategy, planning and PMO for finance global business services.
An award-winning journalist, Kelly has worked in the biggest and busiest of newsrooms in the world, as a programme editor of the six and ten o’clock news, leading some of the most high profile news presenters. As deputy editor of BBC Breakfast TV with Jonathan Aspinwall, she manages a 24-hour team, reaching more than six million viewers each week. Together they lead the day to day operation of the UK’s most watched breakfast programme. As well as shaping the breakfast news, Kelly oversees the arts and entertainment, and business content, working closely with the digital team. Kelly is a proactive champion of flexible and part-time working, speaking on the subject at BBC events and mentoring part-time workers within the corporation. Kelly relocated to Manchester seven years ago, works part-time and has two children. .
As the CEO of the Chartered Management Institute, Ann is a transformational leader with vision, pace and proven ability in increasing impact of management and leadership excellence. She is an expert on gender balance in the workplace and on the gender pay gap. Ann has authored ‘Financial Times Guide to Management’ and has been named in the top 100 women to watch in the 2015 Female FTSE Cranfield report. Ann was awarded the MemCom ‘Louis Armstrong award for outstanding leadership of a UK professional body’ in 2016. Ann previously held senior executive positions at: Procter and Gamble, Mars, Boots, Yell and BSI.
Alexandra leads the Women in Business division at the Government Equalities Office, responsible for work to improve women’s economic empowerment, close the gender pay gap, increase the availability and quality of returner programmes and boost the number of women on boards. Having recently come to the end of the first year of world-leading requirements for mandatory gender pay gap reporting by large employers, the Government Equalities Office is now supporting employers to understand and tackle the factors driving their gender pay gaps, including through a groundbreaking partnership with the Behavioural Insights Team. Alexandra has worked in strategy, communications and policy roles across the Civil Service since 2011, with previous experience in Parliament and in public affairs in London, Brussels and Washington DC.
Poppy is at the helm of Cambridge-based cyber security firm Darktrace, which uses AI to mimic the human immune system in computers. Set up in 2013 by a mix of mathematicians and government intelligence experts and backed by Autonomy founder Mike Lynch, the company is now valued at $1.25bn – giving it the coveted "unicorn" status – and has just announced a record year’s trading with contracts worth $400m secured. Chartered accountant Poppy, who has gone from CFO to COO to co-CEO, was named City AM’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2017.
Oxford grad Ann started her career with top consulting firm LEK Consulting before bagging a job with FTSE 100 hospitality giant Whitbread, owner of Premier Inn. As investor relations manager, she works alongside CEO Alison Brittain and the board to prepare trading updates, results presentations, analyst notes and competitor trends. Ann is also a co-founder of Eyedea, a networking group for the capital’s young female professionals.
Dr Maja is an associate professor of management and organisation at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick. Her research explores executive management and leadership, corporate governance and accountability, and decision-making in practice, as well as coordination in challenging settings, including most recently during on-the-ground responses to refugee emergencies. Her work has appeared in leading practitioner publications, including MIT Sloan Management Review ('Staying in the know: overhauling your personal knowledge structure', 2015). In 2017, was shortlisted for the Thinkers50 Radar Award, which aims to identify management thinkers most likely to shape the future of how organisations are led and managed. .
Bev heads up the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the chartered body for safety and health professionals. She leads on the delivery of IOSH’s new strategy, WORK 2022, which outlines how IOSH will work globally with businesses, stakeholders and individual members to shape the future of safety and health at work. She has an impressive track record of delivering organisational transformation and cultural change across national and local government. Bev has held senior roles in local government and prior to joining IOSH was the senior director of business improvement at Ofwat. She is currently a non-executive director and vice-chair of Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.
Mairead has been chief HR officer at Diageo since 2015. Sitting on Diageo’s Global Executive Committee, Mairead leads Diageo’s HR function of around 500 people in a business which employees 30,000 people in countries around the world. Mairead also drives Diageo’s inclusion and diversity strategy globally which has led to Diageo being ranked by Thomson Reuters as the fourth most diverse and inclusive company in the world. .
Brought up in inner city Birmingham, Nami’s Indian immigrant parents told her that education would unlock a "better life". She studied hard and graduated from Cambridge University with first-class honours before being snapped up by Deloitte and qualifying as a chartered accountant. She joined 21st Century Fox as a senior finance analyst in 2010 and has rocketed up the ladder to become CFO of Fox Networks Group UK and Africa.
As managing partner of the digital thought leader Econsultancy, Richard helps brands and business be bold and brave with their marketing, communications, tech and talent. His career highlights include working globally with The Coca-Cola Company, heading domestic marketing for McDonald's and, pre-Econsultancy, leading Publicis Worldwide's P&G business in EMEA. Richard is an award-winning diversity advocate, recognised by Management Today and the Women’s Business Council as a Male Agent of Change, ranked in the top 12 men championing women in the workplace by the FT, and SheSays’ first male SuperMomma.
Carrie is the founder of Love Public Speaking, a London-based company which helps people overcome fear of public speaking. She is an NLP practitioner, coach and public speaking expert. Carrie began her career as a conference producer for an education publishing company, before moving on to head up a conference division within a communications agency where she was listed as the company’s best hire of 2011 in PR Week for innovative leadership, and was the youngest director in the company’s history. Carrie founded Love Public Speaking in 2016 after spending many years overcoming her own fear of public speaking. Her passion is helping people find their voice to positively impact their life prospects.
Audrey runs her own executive coaching practice, coaching leaders and rising stars in the corporate environment. She also has a passion for entrepreneurship and is involved with numerous organisations coaching female founders. Audrey studied neuroscience and physiological sciences at Oxford University, followed by 16 years in investment banking at UBS and Deutsche Bank as a managing director where she was running a 50-strong sales team in equities. She left banking seven years ago after the surprise of twins for her third (and now fourth!) child and retrained as a certified executive coach. She set up her coaching business in 2012. Diversity, high performance females, and stress management are subjects of particular research interest.
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 the Inspiring Women event.