An event aimed at improving understanding of financial accounts and statements see more
Financial Literacy in the Boardroom - 3 December 2018
In collaboration with PWC and Women on Boards, CWN members were invited to attend an evening event at PWC’s’ offices in More Place, London as part of their focus on supporting the advancement of women in the boardroom.
The event was targeted at current and aspiring board members who don’t have a financial background who wish to improve their understanding of financial accounts and their ability to read and analyse financial statements
Dasa Brynjolffssen, PWC Director from the Accounting Consulting Services team, took us through a fast-paced tour of key elements of a set of company accounts with Women on Boards chairing the event and sharing insight and guidance through the event and during the Q&A.
Dasa delivered a practical and engaging session, providing a much appreciated safe space for all to ask questions openly and learn from each other.
Themes discussed during the evening included various responsibilities from a financial and non-financial perspective of being both a Non-Executive Director as a well as a main Board Director
Various types of board roles were considered, and discussions took place on how they differ from sector to sector and how this impact on understanding the financial accounts.
Conversations continued over drinks and canapes, where guests from PWC, Women on Boards and PWC enjoyed networking and sharing experiences.
CWN plans to develop further events during 2019 on the theme of ‘Board Readiness’.
Committee member Geraldine Gallacher reflects on our recent reverse mentoring workshop see more
Reflections on Reverse Mentoring
Events Strategy Committee member Geraldine Gallacher reflects on our recent reverse mentoring workshop.
CWN advises and supports Fractio Vitri (FV), a cross-sector network for early stage career women. We hold a few joint annual events and this year we tried out Reverse Mentoring, hosted by the law firm Howard Kennedy. Given our relative ages and experience, we make the ideal composition for such an event.
We were delighted to be hosted by the law firm Howard Kennedy and their Head of People Irena Molloy started off the event by telling us about their own soon-to-be launched reverse mentoring programme.
We then paired up, one FV and one CWN member and had 15 mins each to share experiences. To get things off to a quick start we had worked out some questions in advance from each network as follows:
1. What would you find inspiring in a female leader?
2. If there was one thing you could change about senior leaders’ approach to developing your generation what would it be?
3. In what ways do you feel technology helps and hinders you?
4. What is your biggest concern now about the world of work?
5. How do you feel about remote working versus being in the office?
1. What could we do to influence leaders who are resistant to change?
2. The phrase "too old for change" is often bandied around. How can the junior workforce influence change in leaders/the more senior workforce when there is a resistance to change?
3. What do you think you can learn from the junior workforce? What knowledge do you think they have which can be transferred to a more senior workforce?
4. The junior workforce is more focused on the work "experience". How do you think the workplace is changing and what changes do you welcome? For example, flexible working or working remotely.
5. Technology and the ways of working are fast evolving. How do you think technology assists in the workplace?
6. Being honest and giving feedback to the senior workforce can often be difficult. How do you embrace such feedback?
It seemed however that no specific suggestions were needed as the conversations seemed to flow well and it was hard to break them up before starting Round 2. This time, we swapped around to allow people the opportunity to meet someone different. Again, if the volume level was anything to go by these conversations proved equally absorbing. We were pleased that there was a hand-bell, otherwise we might have gone on indefinitely…
We concluded the formal part of the event by grouping the CWN members and the FV members together to discuss our learnings in the respective groups, with the idea to share these later with our cohort.
From the CWN perspective, what surprised us was that the FV members found it hard to approach older women in their companies and so the Reverse Mentoring format provided an ideal forum for doing this. They felt comfortable asking questions they might not usually like to ask such as “What regrets do you have and what sacrifices do you feel you have made to achieve where you’ve got to in your career?”
The CWN members found it hard to think of regrets but they did wish they had had their Gen Y counterparts’ more balanced approach to life earlier. Learning that the FV members had multiple goals, with career being just one of them, offered us a valuable prospective on what “ambitious” means for the younger generation.
Reflections on CWN event where Monica Parker discuss the nature of our changing workplace see more
In collaboration Derwent, CWN members and guests were invited to attend an evening event at 25 Saville Row in London, one of Derwent’s showcase properties, to hear Monica Parker, founder of HATCH Analytics, discuss the nature of our changing workplaces.
After a wonderful introduction to Derwent and CWN from Emily Prideaux, Head of Leasing, Monica Parker took the audience on a journey with a dynamic, engaging and entertaining talk addressing big topics including the future human skillset encompassing presence, unlearning, aha moments and, a new term for many of us in the audience, meraki.
And what about disruptors like automation, globalisation & portfolio work? Monica encouraged the audience to embrace the positive in these – citing examples of facial recognition used to reunite orphans with their parents in India and the first flower, a beautiful zinnia, grown in space, to make her point.
Turning our attention to the key contributors to an engaged workforce, Monica shared her perspective on cause, control, contemplation & community as essential aspects of the workplace.
We also explored the way in which we develop new skills. On this topic, Monica asked us to consider Kurt Lewin’s change model stages of thawing, reframing and refreezing – still compelling and relevant. Monica also shared research on neuroplasticity and learning with a wonderful video of one person’s attempt to ride the “backwards bicycle” as an adult compared to his young son’s.
Conversations continued over drinks and canapes where guests from Derwent and CWN were able to speak with Monica Parker, network and share experiences.
Masterclass with Kings Business School: Purposeful Leadership and Meaningful Work - With Professor Katie BaileyFinding meaning in the world of work see more
Masterclass with King's Business School: Purposeful Leadership and Meaningful Work - With Professor Katie Bailey
Hosted by King's Business School, over 120 CWN and King’s alumnae came together at their new premises in the beautiful Bush House on Aldwych to learn more about finding meaning at work.
Professor Katie Bailey explored the future world of work where the aim is no longer merely financial performance but instead we are now in a world where the so-called triple bottom line of people, purpose and profit becomes reality. She drew on recent cutting edge research into purposeful and ethical leadership and meaningful work and asked what businesses would look like in this new world order, exploring the barriers and enablers of successfully creating and sustaining an ethical workplace.
Katie is a thought leader on meaningful work, employee engagement and strategic HRM. She is the author of over 180 articles, papers, books and reports, including 60 peer-reviewed journal articles on the topics.
Following the presentation, all the guests enjoyed a networking reception over drinks and canapes, meeting CWN members as well as the guests from King's. This is the first event in which we have partnered with King's Business School and we hope it may be the first of many!
Using the power of your voice to lead with confidence, resilience and impact see more
One Voice: Masterclass with RADA in Business
Yes, you can sing!
Can you sing? Most of us will say ‘no’ to that question.
This Masterclass, One Voice, held on 19th September, taught us that it is possible for anyone to sing, and how powerful and energising it is when done as a group.
This was the third evening event that CWN organised in partnership with RADA in Business. After focusing on posture and presence in earlier sessions, we now experimented with another essential leadership tool: our voices.
In a lively session of an hour and a half, RADA's Vocal coach and renowned West End musical director, the incomparable and fearless Tom Wakeley encouraged, cajoled and orchestrated some fifty attendees into performing as a choir - for the final performance when everything came together.
Find your unique voice
Tom began the evening by helping us better understand that often under-utilised leadership tool: our voices. On our feet within minutes, Tom started off with practical breathing and vocal exercises. There was no time to be self-conscious as our attention was cleverly directed to feeling what was going on within our bodies with each breath as we sustain sound.
Referring to Kristin Linklaters’ book ‘Freeing your natural voice’, Tom explained how we each have a natural resonance and a unique voice that is most effectively used when linked with our emotions. Also, any tension in the body will affect the quality of your voice.
What if we replace “I can’t” by “How can I?”
We moved right into the action when Tom introduced the lyrics of the song we were about to perform: ‘The Rhythm of Life’ from the hit musical ‘Sweet Charity’. The attendees did not have any time to have second thoughts, it was time to use those voices!
Tom organised the singers into groups, giving them roles, guiding their voices and encouraging them ‘to do something out of their comfort zone’. It was indeed a Masterclass in fostering a growth and change mindset.
Stumbling over words, losing and finding text, laughing out loud, we learned about pitch and volume, tune and harmony, choreography and movement. We savoured our success when things came together for the final performance.
The power of the human voice
This masterclass was a reminder of the power of the human voice. It also showed what rewards await when you push your boundaries.
The buzz at the networking drinks afterwards reflected the sense of achievement and the energy and joy that came from performing as ‘One Voice’.
The evening was a powerful testimony to how we can work on our confidence and learn to express ourselves while supporting others.
This piece was inspired by a blog written by one of our attendees at this event, member Beverly Landais, who has captured the essence of the evening so beautifully. Thanks Beverly!
C-suite panel discussion – tips from top leaders see more
Leading Through Uncertainty with Resilience and Impact
In partnership with the Fractio Vitri network and hosted by Dow Jones, CWN put on an event for both senior leaders and for more junior women in order to learn from each other through the sharing of experiences both from personal and personal perspectives.
The event took the form of a panel discussion with speakers being Sally Todd of Northill Capital, Clare Hafner of Fintrax, Naomi Bowman of Berkeley Research Group, Charlotte Vitty of the British Transport Police and Carla Stent, Director of MCS Advisory Ltd.
Table discussions followed after the panel event when guests continued the conversations over drinks and canapes.
Themes explored included the challenges and opportunities of leading in uncertain times, the qualities required of a good leader of both teams and of oneself, leadership and gender and life lessons from both personal and professional perspective relating to leading through uncertainty with resilience and impact
Top tips from the panelists included the following:
- “Outsource what you can in order to improve balance in your life”
- “Perfect is the enemy of good”.
- “Get to know that brings out the best and worst in yourself and work with that”
- “Stop comparing yourself to others and just be ‘best’ you can be”
- “You can’t fight every battle so choose them carefully”
- “Choose roles that enable you to be recognized whilst also being fulfilling”
- “Do work you enjoy as you if not, it will all become hard and overwhelming”
CWN members meeting with the renowned leadership coach and author Caroline Webb at Nomura. see more
An Evening with Caroline Webb
On a beautiful evening in early Autumn, Nomura opened its doors and their fabulous roof terrace to host around hundred CWN members and guests who, on 13th September, came to meet the renowned leadership coach and author Caroline Webb.
In 2016 Caroline published her highly successful book How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life, which received accolades from the readers as well as within the industry. It was easy to see why – throughout the talk Caroline quoted fascinating insights drawn from the behavioural sciences combined with her own rich professional background as a Partner at McKinsey and seamlessly connected this with what the scientists say on the subject. The presentation was punctuated by Caroline’s trademark humour that highlighted her authenticity and remarkable connection with the audience – it was evident that the CWN’s members and guests alike were fully engaged in the presentation. It turned out to be a very interactive hour, where we were asked to discuss with a person next to us an idea introduced by Caroline. Many of us were intrigued by a concept of committing to a positive intention that is likely to spin around what would otherwise be a chain of routine events of a day. Through simple exercises Caroline convincingly introduced the idea of single tasking to enhance daily productivity, and the audience was evidently surprised by the simplicity and the power behind this small change in how we do things.
Following interesting comments and questions for Caroline, our hosts Nomura invited the audience to continue discussion at a drinks reception where some exquisitely delicious canapes were served. The room was buzzing with the phrase “how to have a good day”, with members and guests sharing their personal suggestions and ideas inspired by Caroline’s stimulating talk. It is not often that in the business world we hear a set of ideas that are as simple, effective and powerful as those described in Caroline’s brilliant speech.
Historic female game changers of their time. see more
Ambitious and Inspiring Women Across the Ages
We had a great turnout at the National Portrait Gallery for a bespoke tour. Members and guests arrived to a glass of champagne at the gallery’s rooftop restaurant for an amazing view over London’s iconic skyline. We were then whisked away by Gayna Pelham, one of the gallery’s art experts to see four portraits in some of the gallery’s many rooms. We heard about Mary Wollstonecraft’s life as a campaigner for women’s rights and personal challenges breaking from convention in the name of love. We then heard about Mary Seacole and her courageous work setting up a British hotel behind the lines during the Crimean war. Then we were off to see Elizabeth Garret Anderson who challenged medical authorities to become Britain’s first female doctor. Finally we wrapped up with Jan Morris hearing about her brilliant writing career and fully realising herself as a woman through gender reassignment. The evening ended over the twinkling lights of London with everyone enjoying networking and lively discussion over delicious canapés.
Debbie Wosskow OBE, UK’s most well-known serial entrepreneur and Jocelyn Hillman OBE, Working Chance see more
CWN Summer Drinks 2017 - ‘Inspiring confidence and realising ambitions’
Debbie Wosskow OBE, UK’s most well-known serial entrepreneur
We welcomed Debbie Wosskow OBE as our main guest speaker at the beautiful and historic Chandos house. With lots of self-deprecating humour and self-mockery, she talked us through her business successes. From being brought up in an entrepreneurial family, through how she created home swapping , after watching a boring movie, to the challenges she faced from working with civil servants on research related to the sharing economy. This led her to giving advice on the sharing economy in the UK and to launch her latest business, Allbright, a platform to give support and invest in female-led businesses. One important message she wanted to get across was that cultural change is needed to get more female investors investing in female-led businesses. Currently only 7% of total investors are female.
She ended her inspirational and energetic talk with one of her main mantra’s the 3G’s, which according to Debbie are all of equal importance to be successful. Graft (putting the hours in), Grace (be gracious and giving back) and Grit (it takes 10 years of chewing glass before being successful).
Jocelyn Hillman OBE, Working Chance’s founder
Our second speaker of the evening was Jocelyn Hillman OBE. CWN has been supporting Working Chance for 18 months and Jocelyn shared with us that we have raised £18.000. Over 760 women have been helped back to employment since the start of the charity with Working Chance working closely together with businesses to get these women back on track. She linked some examples back to Debbie’s speech; that most women could be brilliant entrepreneurs but first need to build a normal life, because financial autonomy will lead to independence. ‘Women backing women’ was Jocelyn’s mantra for the evening, stating how important networks are for these vulnerable women who have to start from scratch again. We raised future funds for this valuable and important charity during the evening by running a raffle with great prizes.
The rest of the evening we were able to enjoy the nice surroundings of Chandos House while drinking a nice summer drink such as Pimm’s or Prosecco, which were accompanied by delicious canapés.
High Impact Communication by Sophie Clark see more
High Impact Communication
On the evening of Tuesday 13th June, we were delighted to have our guest speaker, Sophie Clark from Denison Clark, speak at an event on the subject of “High Impact Communication” in the attractive setting of the Brand Exchange members club near Bank, in the city of London.
As a communications expert in helping individuals and teams in organisations improve their communication skills, Sophie shared her wisdom and insights on helping people to speak with confidence and speak with impact.
Sophie delivered a lively seminar where we listened to her insights and observation, woven with the participants doing some individual exercises in the moment. We then worked in pairs so as to enable us to learn from each other whilst networking and getting to know other participants.
Top tips included the importance of pausing to allow the audience time to digest the information, sharing your career success and using the right language to have real impact.
Sophie shared her golden rules on eye contact and body language. Sophie’s creative use of video, observing people in the public eye and their various communication styles, helped illustrate her points in a colourful and impactful way – role modelling and providing practical take-aways for all in the audience.
After a lively Q&A session, conversation continued over drinks and canapes between guests until well after closing time .
CWN guests enjoy a night of shopping, socialising and small business inspiration at The Fold see more
An Evening at The Fold with Founder and CEO, Polly McMaster
In partnership with the Fold, a chic clothing brand for professional women, CWN and Fold held an evening VIP event at the Fold’s flagship store in Cadogan Place, Knightsbridge London, for CWN Members and their guests.
Polly McMaster, CEO and Founder, shared her career journey to date with 40 guests and took part in a Q&A discussion alongside Sally Todd, CWN President, inviting questions from the guests.
We learned about the challenges and opportunities that setting up and managing the Fold has brought to Polly and her team and also about the success the Fold now enjoys as it grows.
The much admired community of Fold Women was discussed during the session as exemplary in the way Polly and her team are championing and showcasing the careers of many of their customers, women with lifestyles and unique stories who continue to inspire others. For more information on the Fold Woman see www.thefoldlondon.com
Polly was passionate about the importance of seeing the bigger picture regarding business development and networking and in being patient in that process and in not underestimating the importance of hard work and ‘keeping going’.
Experiences were shared at the event about the imperative of understanding finances and of how important that is to the growth of any business.
Networking, shopping and more conversation continued over canapes and drinks after Polly’s and Sally’s session. Many enjoyed the opportunity to try on and purchase the new autumn/winter collection in a relaxed and fun environment.
We hope to offer more events like this over the coming year.
Digital Transformation, Disruption, the Gig Economy and what it means to you see more
Warwick Business School Masterclass on the Future of Work
The third CWN/Warwick Business School Masterclass on the Future of Work took place on the 26th June at The Shard. There was a great turnout with over 50 CWN and FV members attending the lively session and Professor Pinar Ozcan’s presentation was extremely well received.
The event showcased a preview of Pinar’s research on the Sharing Economy. The findings of her study are now in the public domain and can be found here.
Pinar is one of Warwick’s world-class faculty members and teaches across a number of programmes for senior executives including the top-ranked Executive MBA and The Warwick Executive Diplomas.
To learn more about Warwick’s London campus and how the School is working with organisations from across the globe, please contact Sarah Hansen at Warwick Business School by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 02476 574319.
For further information about Warwick Business School, please click here. CWN and FV members are entitled to a 15% discount off course fees for Executive-level programmes.
The Psychology of Failure with Fiona Murden see more
The Psychology of Failure
As part of our series of events on the theme of Leading through uncertainty with confidence, resilience and impact , Fiona Murden, chartered psychologist and author, gave a fascinating morning talk on why we are set up to fear failure and how to overcome that in order to be more successful as a leader of ourselves and our teams.
At an event hosted by Nomura at their impressive offices in the heart of the city, Fiona led a talk for both men and women focussing on the following three areas:
- Why we fear failure
- How the brain responds to fear
- What to do to minimize the impact on performance
Take-aways were shared on:
- How to personally re-frame our mindset regarding failure
- How to improve EQ as a means of addressing failures and setbacks
- How cognitive re-framing can better understand underlying brain mechanisms to overcome fear of failure
- How, as a leader, we best use these insights to create an optimum team environment
After Fiona’s talk and some interactive sessions, a very lively Q&A session took place followed by networking and book-signing by Fiona of her new book, ‘Defining You’.
We hope to put on future events related to this topic building on the popularity of this subject and its relevance in today’s world of work.
ANZ Bank hosted a high-profile mix-gender panel discussion a wide range of current topics see more
It was standing-room only for CWN’s What About The Men? event hosted by ANZ Bank on 25th April. The distinguished panel featured ANZ’s CEO for the UK and Europe Diana Brightmore-Armour, Citibank’s CFO for EMEA Frank Mannion, Journalist and broadcaster Martin Daubney and paternity coach and paternity leave campaigner Tom Beardshaw. Harriet Minter, the renowned broadcaster and journalist, skilfully moderated, armed with the breadth of knowledge on the subject of diversity and the generous helping of her trademark sense of humour.
The conversation started with “Why we should worry about the men?”, to which Martin gave his candid opinion on the lack of government policy to protect men’s mental health. He followed on to talk about paternity rights, and Tom expressed strong views on the reasons for the failure of the shared parental leave to take off properly. The debate then focused on the overpowering problem of the absence of women at the top with Diana giving a frank overview of underlying corporate policies that lead to this. She talked about biased recruitment practices and other examples of the unconscious bias which still stubbornly remain in place. It was fascinating to hear Frank speaking about his rich experience as the top manager in a large bank, about the change of his personal attitude over the years and about the push that is required to make gender diversity at the top level a reality. He conceded that in many businesses men are still promoted over women.
It lead to Martin advocating the proverbial carrot over stick in men standing up for women’s progression in business, whilst Tom brought in his perspective as a single dad to talk about men taking more proactive role at home and therefore freeing the women some extra time to focus on their career. Frank emphasised the role of the leader in encouraging the balanced approach to work and the audience were visibly won over by his candid and witty delivery. Diana added that there is often the tendency to try to fit women into the existing picture of leadership and this is unproductive. The lively, often humorous yet earnest debate lead to a myriad of question from both men and women in the audience, and ended on the high note with Martin suggesting that “men should become part of the solution, not part of the problem”.
Hilary Scarlett's insights into neuroscience see more
Leading Through Uncertain Times - Insights from Neuroscience
A great event in a great location. Hilary Scarlett treated us to a really fascinating insight into recent findings in neuroscience and the implications of this for organisations. After a clear and compelling description of the basics about the brain we learned some new insights such as;
- Your brain may only weigh 2% of your body weight but it uses 20% of your energy. The impact of negative stresses such as a difficult relationship at work can use up nearly all of that energy.
- Brains are attuned to threat and so you need to think about how you position tough feedback in performance management situations.
- Brains like autonomy and like being given a choice. This has significance for a command and control management style.
- Brains don’t like unpredictability and crave certainty.
Hilary gave us a great model for using neuroscience in a practical way. It’s the mnemonic SPACES.
Self esteem, Purpose, Autonomy, Certainty, Equity and Social Connection. These are all the things that brains love and worth considering when you are looking to motivate others. But remember, everyone is different and some will resonate more with different individuals and at different stages of their life.
The event was certainly “heightened” by taking place at the top of the BT Tower and the icing on the cake was when it revolved at the end of Hilary’s presentation!