• CWN Admin posted an article
    Coffee With Dawn-Louise Kerr see more

    Coffee With Dawn-Louise Kerr


     An entrepreneur, business owner and social media specialist.


     Dawn - Louise – tell us what you do and what you love about your job?

    I’m a passionate and proactive leader of persuasive digital marketing. A storyteller.

    I run a digital marketing agency and no ‘two days’ are the same. One minute I’m running a ‘marketing discovery’ workshop to help clients create a marketing strategy aligned to their business strategy; another day I might be replying to our client’s customers on social media or live tweeting from a sports event  to product launches and email campaigns for later life advice. I love the variety in my work and I love meeting new people.


    You set up your own marketing business seven years ago –what did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?

    Oh my goodness, have I grown up now? There is still so much fun and adventure to be had, I think we sometimes forget this as adults. When I was younger, I always wanted to be a physio, a sports physio actually as I was sports mad in my younger days, but alas university wasn’t an option for me. I actually hated the school I went to. This  makes me smile now as many of my teachers said if I didn’t stay on at school ‘I’d be in a dead-end job by the time I was 20 and on the dole at 30’ – you can see why I hated that uninspiring place. However, it taught me resilience and fired my drive to succeed.


    CWN is a partner with Fractio Vitri – a cross sector network of young women to encourage each other to be ambitious about their careers. Do you have one piece of career advice that you would share with them?

    Yes, get comfortable with being ‘uncomfortable’ and push yourself to do things you may not know how to do, yet. Change is ‘a certain’ thing in life. Roll with it and enjoy the ride. Your rewards are on the horizon.

    My daily mantra is “I am braver than I believe, stronger than I seem and smarter than I think!” Change the I to you and you have your own mantra. I’d love to hear if anyone else has a daily mantra or is it just me?


    You are a passionate advocate of social media – what are you most proud of in that capacity?

    Hmm, there are a lot of “proud moments”, but possibly my standout one would be when I helped a charity turn an image of a beneficiary into a piece of art, animated digitally. This, alongside the social media campaign helped us improve not only the profile of the charity but also raised £thousands of extra donations for them over a 3 month period. They deliver ‘personal’ dreams, a customised experience to their beneficiaries and families. These extra funds delivered an additional 5 dreams, which wasn’t in their budget at the start of the year. Lots of smiles and a lovely feel good factor to boot.


    What is the best and /or worst decision you have ever made?

    Best decision was to start my own business after being made redundant. It’s not been an easy journey, but I’ve learnt so many new skills that I wouldn’t have had exposure to in my corporate world. I’ve met so many inspiring people along my journey and I’ve also put myself into new learning situations to keep pushing myself to grow.

    There are no bad decisions, because to FAIL is your First Attempt In Learning. Whilst these decisions may be tough at the time, you need to push through the hard parts to understand what you learned from them. 


    What do you think women can do to help other women in their careers?

    Oh so much, I think our strength, drive and resilience makes us all unstoppable. If we could bottle our energy along with these traits – we would have a winning formula for women. 

    I think to answer your question ‘CWN’, we help provide the quiet confidence in our fellow females as they grow into their careers. We listen and can, more often than not, stay silent if that is all that is needed from the conversation… that’s powerful.


    Who would you most like to have coffee with and where?

    Could I opt for a Redbush Tea instead? I’m on a health kick! Seriously, I have so many people I want to meet and spend some quality time with; in fact if you are still reading this piece to its end, you are no doubt someone I’d like to have a cup of tea with! I think Michelle Obama is such an inspiring lady; with strong values and seems to have mastered being a ‘Mum’ and ‘Wife’ with all her other activities as an ex First Lady and now role model. I’d love to ask her how she does this so seamlessly and what are her top tips?

  • CWN Admin posted an article
    Welcome to our new newsletter! see more

    CWN Newsletter December 2018

    Welcome to our new newsletter! In this bi-monthly round up we’ll update you on developments and news at CWN, our events - both at CWN and with partner organisations - and what our members are up to. If you would like to hear about particular issues, please get in touch! 2018 was a memorable year as we turned 40, with inspiring events, panel debates and opportunities to connect with our members. Whilst proud of the CWN legacy, we remain alert to ‘focus forward’ on issues that matter to our members.

    We are recruiting for an expert to advise the CWN Board on diversity and inclusion. We are keen to hear from our members - please get in touch for more detail on the role. We also recently surveyed our membership to hear about what you value most (and less so) about CWN - stay tuned for our feedback!


    Spotlight on Monica Fisher

    Monica Fisher, founding member of CWN and former executive with Bank of America and First National Bank of Chicago, shares insights from her career and tells us what inspired her to become a founder member of CWN.

    Back in the late ‘70s, banking was still a man’s world. Most women were secretarial or clerical, so there weren't many professional women in any one organisation. I was invited to join a ‘Little Ladies of London’ lunch. This tongue-in-cheek name was our spirited response to the all-male clubs and Old School Tie networks. It wasn't long before CWN was born.

    Read more about Monica’s career working in Eastern Europe, putting together cross currency interest rate swaps, encouraging school girls to aim high and climbing the Matterhorn!


    External Partners and Events

    We’ll bring you news here on our partnership programmes and events. Please visit our External events page for updates and how to book The Royal Institute of International Affairs CHATHAM HOUSE Responsible Business Conference in London on 29 February 2019. We are excited to support the RIIA for this event. The agenda and speakers will consider the role of corporate governance and leadership in setting standards and promoting responsible business in a digital age.

    We are very grateful for our members' and sponsors’ continuous support to benefit our Charity of 2018-2019 Haven House. We were delighted to attend the Haven House Annual Ball in OctoberTo invoke the spirit of Christmas, please check HH’s website for some ideas on how to raise money and awareness.


    Next Events

    As we look forward to 2019, please visit our Events page for details of our annual Winter Drinks in January, followed by RBC hosting Kate Phelp to discuss resilience in February. In March, we’ll be exploring changes in the UK economy in partnership with Nomura. In the second quarter, we’ll delve into Health and Wellbeing as essentials for good leadership.

    Our members’ drinks and breakfasts will continue through 2019 and we will also revisit our most popular events including the Psychology of Failure - Part II, our annual cultural event and our Masterclass series with RADA and Business School partners.



    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.

    Click here to hear about what our CWN members learnt ‘ambitious’ means for the next generation of contributors


    And Finally...

    We look forward to seeing many of you at 67 Pall Mall, the exclusive wine club in the heart of St. James's for our New Year drinks on 23 January 2019. We’ll sample some fine wines and learn from some of the most prominent female wine experts.

    CWN wishes all our members a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

  • CWN Admin posted an article
    The latest news from our CWN President , Sally Todd see more

    President's Newsletter - September 2018

     Dear Member,

    As we look to the last quarter of our 40th year, it has been a busy time for CWN! It was great to welcome many of our members, our corporate members and friends to our 40th Anniversary celebration at The Devonshire Club in June. Do take a look at our photo gallery which captured many of the evening’s best moments, including inspiring talks by former CWN President Diane Morris and Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, and our silent auction which made a substantial contribution to the over £7,300 we have raised thus far for our charity partner Haven House Children’s Hospice!


    Member Engagement Survey … get more involved with CWN

    We want to hear your views on your experience of CWN. Please do respond to our membership engagement survey if you have not already done so. It will take just over 10 minutes to complete and will provide us with valuable feedback to help us understand what you find most beneficial about being a member and where we could improve.  We'd also like to hear from you if you would like to get more involved in the delivery of our vision and objectives and join a CWN committee. Equally please let us know if you would be interested in working with us to help shape our diversity and inclusion strategy; we will be actively recruiting for a new dedicated role!


    Female Leadership, Valuing Difference and the Gender Dividend

    Looking at today’s 2018 FT and HERoes Champions of Women in Business ranking  which celebrates company leaders who support women in business, it is not hard to see why workplace wisdom has long been skewed by uniformity! Homogenous groups of any kind tend to come to decisions too quickly and don’t question their assumptions since everyone at the table seems to agree with each other. Generating alternatives, and gathering diverse views is key to teasing out a whole range of bad cognitive habits from groupthink to confirmation bias when trying to solve complex business problems. As Nobel Laureate Thomas Schelling said: “One thing a person cannot do, no matter how rigorous his analysis or heroic his imagination, is to draw up a list of things that would never occur to him.”

    Looking at the opportunities and threats presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the speed with which disruptive technologies are affecting our lives, not least the many projections of how many jobs will be lost, gained or changed by artificial intelligence (AI), there will doubtless be scenarios that would never occur to many of us! We need to bring evidence back into the debate and stimulate ideas and ethical reasoning on how we can ensure we all benefit from an AI-enabled future. To succeed in this endeavour, we need the collaboration of different voices round the table. 

    At a grass roots level creating the environment for a more diverse and inclusive workforce is critical to business performance. A recent report from The Pipeline suggested that Britain is missing out on a £13 billion gender dividend by failing to get more women into more senior, decision-making roles in business. Still, an incisive report released on Monday by The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and University of Exeter Business School found that while 98% of FTSE 100 and 88% of FTSE 250 companies have a Board diversity policy, only a tiny 15% of the FTSE 100 and a tinier 6% of the FTSE 250 comply fully with the FRC’s guidance on diversity and are likely to view it as an issue of strategic importance to company strategy.

    But why, given the evidence that greater diversity leads to greater financial resilience? In a CWN interview today, Tracey Groves, CWN Membership Chair,  who has been recognised today as an FT and HERoes 2018 Champion of Women in Business, explains that such barriers still exist because companies are not doing enough to debias their organisational systems.


    Champions of Women in Business

    The FT and HERoes 2018 Champions of Women in Business rankings applaud (male and female) company leaders who support women in business and play a major role in driving diversity across their business. Congratulations to Brenda Trenowden, Former CWN President and Member who is ranked #1 and to Tracey who is ranked #48 amongst 100 senior female business leaders effecting the greatest changes in women’s careers in the UK and beyond by the FT and HERoes judging panel. Our Q&A session, 'The Power of the Business Leader as a Real-Model for Diversity and Inclusion’, goes on to discuss the critical role of responsible business leaders in treating diversity as part of the business strategy.



    In other CWN news, on behalf of the Board, I am delighted to announce that Paula Kienert has joined the CWN Board as Co-Chair of the Events Strategy Committee. Paula will make a valuable contribution to the Board in her oversight and contribution to the ongoing planning and execution of our programme of events and partnerships.


    CWN Events

    On the subject of events, since our break over the summer, we got back in the saddle in early September with an inspiring talk from Polly McMaster, Founder of The Fold. You can review the highlights of the event on our website. Last night we held the third in our Masterclass series with RADA Business, an inspirational and interactive workshop looking at the art of projection of one’s voice using pitch and volume, tune and harmony, choreography and movement. Skills often not fully appreciated in our busy lives but invaluable to improving communication and confidence and how to express oneself.

    We have an equally exciting programme of events planned over the rest of 2018, please do review these via the website, and to register. And please do let us know of topics and issues you would be keen for us to explore in 2019.

    9 October: Membership drinks for prospective and current members

    17 October: “What are they thinking?” Reverse mentoring event with FV, our associate network

    7 November: Masterclass with King’s Business School, Purposeful Leadership and Meaningful Work

    14 November: 8@8 Prospective Members Breakfast

    27 November: The Changing Workplace, hosted by Derwent London

    3 December: Financial Literacy in the Boardroom with PwC


    Charity Initiatives and Trustee Leadership Programme

    If you are interested in becoming involved with our activities to support our charity Haven House please get in touch with our External Relations Chair Anne-Marie Balfe. Haven House provides holistic and palliative care services for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions (aged from birth to 19 years). Would you like to help us increase CWN’s activities and volunteering with Haven House to help us contribute in a meaningful way towards the charity’s ‘Vision 2020’ initiative? If so please get in touch! Next up, we are supporting the Haven House 15th Birthday Ball on 11th October; Pumpkin Fest on 28th October; Christmas Wonderland on 1st December and the Haven House Business Breakfast on 7th December with Deborah Meaden of Dragon’s Den fame!

    We are also supporting the Trustee Leadership Programme created and delivered by social enterprise Cause4 in partnership with Close Brothers Asset Management and the Clothworkers’ Company. This course will give potential Trustees the skills and confidence needed to join a charity Board and provide a refresher on essential elements of Trusteeship.  This course runs over 5 evenings in London and you can sign up via the CWN external events page, where we also list other external events of interest.

    Do follow us for updates and further details as well as other news and developments on LinkedIn and on Twitter @CityWomenLondon. I look forward to seeing many of you at some of our forthcoming events and at our special New Year Drinks event in January, details coming soon!


    Best wishes,

    Sally Todd

    CWN President

    #CWN40 #femaleleadership #inclusionjourney #ValuingDifference #inspire #realiseambition #leadingthroughuncertainty

  • CWN Admin posted an article
    CWN President's Newsletter April 2018 see more

    President's Newsletter - April 2018

    Dear Member,

    CWN has been committed to providing a supportive network for senior women in UK business for 40 years. CWN enjoys a strong heritage and is one of the longest standing networks for women in the UK. I am immensely privileged to serve our membership as President during this milestone year as we celebrate our 40th anniversary. 

    Our Board elected at the 2018 AGM brings together an accomplished and dynamic team of women from a cross section of industries, ably supported by our committees whose commitment and energy help to maintain the core functions of our organisation. This camaraderie continues to drive our community and our founding principles continue to endure since they were established in 1978.

    Already this year we have welcomed two new corporate members BCS Consulting and Derwent London; we look forward to working together to support and enhance their internal diversity initiatives.

    Besides our own, there are additional milestones of note this year. February marked 100 years since (some!) British women were first guaranteed the right to vote. And this month, large British companies revealed their gender pay gap.

    For the first time this year companies with over 250 employees had to comply with a new government mandate to provide the numbers that disclose their gender pay gaps. Because gender bias has been unconscious and often unintentional, it has long persisted without tangible challenge. Looking at the numbers in black and white helps to place this complacency into stark relief. 

    A fundamental reshaping of how we work in future is required. Senior women do not overwhelmingly “choose” to leave work at a faster rate than men. The female talent drain tends to be about company practices, entrenched behaviour and culture. The correlation between the thinning out of opportunities to work part time or flexibly right up the talent pipeline, and the thinning out of women in more senior roles is no accident. This has a huge impact on the gap between average male and female salaries, so making flexibility available at a senior level is critical.

    Of course this is not solely an employer issue; government and society also have a role in challenging assumptions. And the increase in the momentum in the UK behind the diversity and inclusion agenda is noticeable. Companies are recognising the business case for more inclusive and diverse operations as well as the benefits of improved flexibility in the workplace. The acknowledgement of greater accountability means many will have to make significant changes.

    According to research published by MSCI to mark International Women’s Day, gender diversity has a material impact on productivity and on returns to investors. MSCI’s analysis of the composition of boards at 617 of the world’s largest companies found that average employee productivity growth was higher for companies employing three or more women at board level between 2012 and 2016 than for those that employed just one or no female directors. The latest Hampton-Alexander Review of Women on Boards in November 2017, found that less than a fifth of FTSE 100 executive committee members were women, and only 16.6% of those roles on the FTSE 250 were held by women. As Sir Philip Hampton said at the time, “We look forward to hearing cogent reasons from companies that struggle to identify women with strong executive abilities.”

    In our efforts to mobilise debate on such key topics, please do keep an eye on our events calendar via the website – we value your participation – and our news. If you missed our International Women’s Day Q&A ‘The best part for me has been the people’ with former CWN President Brenda Trenowden, you can catch up here. Our events aim to align with three key themes which help to frame and focus our thinking and activity: ‘The future of work’; ‘Leading through uncertainty’ and ‘The inclusion journey.’

    On 25 April we are hosting a panel event ‘What about the men’ at ANZ which will explore gender dynamics in and out the workplace and how working better together is critical to success. Harriet Minter, Journalist, Broadcaster, women in leadership advocate and presenter of the acclaimed Badass Women’s Hour on Talk Radio, will moderate this panel so expect a lively exchange! The next event via our collaboration with Warwick Business School on 26 June (note the new date) is all about the future of work. This session with Professor Pinar Ozcan will explore the transformation of industries particularly through technology and the rise of the sharing economy, and how we can future proof our own skillsets.

    We will be hosting another masterclass with RADA on 19 September, and another panel event later in the year with FV, our partner network for early stage career women, oriented around ‘reverse mentoring’ – a fascinating opportunity to hear feedback and tips from the next generation of female leaders. And there’s lots more.

    In June we will celebrate our 40th Anniversary at the elegant Devonshire Club, a gathering of past Presidents of CWN through the years, our members, our corporate members and distinguished guests not to be missed! More information will be forthcoming but on behalf of the Board we are thrilled to welcome Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE as our guest speaker. In 2007 when Ruby was appointed CEO of Mitie Group PLC, she was the first Asian woman to be appointed in such a role within the FTSE250. We look forward to hearing her story on this special occasion. We are privileged to also welcome former CWN President Diane Morris, who was first elected President in 2003 and served in that role for three years. Diane will share a unique perspective on CWN’s heritage and journey and how our CWN community has evolved over the years. We will also be helping to raise funds for our charity of the year Haven House Children’s Hospice which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.

    I would love to hear feedback from you on our events and news – we want to keep on top of your agendas – let us know what you’d like to see more of, or less of. And please do keep up with us on our new LinkedIn page! We have migrated to this new company page so please follow us there if you haven’t already.

    As we work through this special year, I’d like to thank all our members and corporate members for your support and I do hope to see many of you at our Membership drinks this evening at Royal Exchange.

    With best wishes,

    Sally Todd
    CWN President

    #futureofwork #inclusionjourney #inspire #realiseambition #leadingthroughuncertainty #CWN40

  • CWN Admin posted an article
    CWN President's Newsletter January 2018 see more

    President's Newsletter - January 2018

    Dear Member,

    Happy New Year. 2018 is a particularly special year for us as we celebrate our 40th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in the UK.

    As many of you know, CWN was founded by Joni Nelson, an American and a partner in an international law firm in 1978. Her mission was to connect like-minded women in the Square Mile for social information sharing as there were so few professional women in the City at that time. Whilst female representation in the workforce in the City and London at large has increased significantly since then; we are still woefully behind being close to equal representation at all levels of seniority. Our mission and purpose today remains the same as it was in 1978. We are a peer to peer networking community for senior professional women to connect, contribute and grow together. We provide thought provoking and relevant professional development talks and seminars, aim to stimulate dialogue on topics that count, host networking drinks and breakfasts, and equally importantly we have fun together.

    In 2017 our events calendar went from strength to strength where our most recent notable professional development events included: - How behavioural science can help you raise your game at work, presented by Caroline Webb and hosted by Nomura and Leading through uncertain times, insights from neuroscience, presented by Hilary Scarlett and hosted by EE at The BT Tower.

    Our thinking and activity around three primary themes will continue in 2018: The future of work: digital transformation, disruption and the gig economy; leading through uncertainty with confidence, resilience and impact; and The inclusion’ journey: inspiring confidence and realising ambitions.

    We will kick this year off in style with our Winter Drinks at 6pm on 17th January at Kitty Hawk. We’re delighted to welcome Mitesh Sheth, CEO of investment consultancy Redington, who will share his experiences aligned to our theme of Leading through uncertainty. Please click on the link to register here if you’ve not already signed up. Our partnership with Warwick Business school will be further cemented with our Future of Work Masterclass hosted by Mark Skilton on 1st March at The Shard. And hopefully you’ve all received our Save the Date for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on 12th June where we will be addressed by a very special guest and inspirational business woman – more details to follow shortly – and where we will also honour former CWN Presidents and Board Members.

    I am delighted to announce that we have selected our Charity of the Year (well for actually two years!). I would like to thank the External Relations Committee for its significant contribution and the nominees and shortlisted charities:- Haven House Children’s Hospice, CoppaFeel!, Working Families and Five Talents. The selection process was particularly challenging this year and it was the first time I was involved from start to finish. It was an incredibly rewarding and a humbling experience for me personally. So without further ado – CWN has elected to partner with Haven House. Haven House aims to provide the highest quality holistic and palliative care services for babies, children and young people aged from birth to 19 years with life-limiting conditions, along with their families, who live in the charity’s local communities within North and North East London. Haven House is also celebrating a key milestones in 2018 – its 15th anniversary. You will have the opportunity to hear more about Haven House at our Winter Drinks but please click here should you wish to browse its website in the meantime.

    The Board and I are really excited about the year ahead as we celebrate 40 years of connecting, contributing and growing together as CWN.

    We are incredibly proud that CWN continues to flourish as one of the longest standing networks for senior professional and business women in the UK. Keep an eye on our 2018 calendar of events and we look forward to seeing you all on 17th January.

    May 2018 be your best year yet – both personally and professionally!

    To stay in touch with all our latest news – please follow us on LinkedIn and also update your personal profile on our website

    All the best

    Sandy Lucas


  • CWN Admin posted an article
    Next Events see more

    Next Events

    We have plenty of events to look forward to. Here are some highlights, to see them all click here. To read more about any event listed below, just click on the heading.

    Our inaugural CWN Member’s Forum on 20 June has sold out but don’t worry there will be another one later this year. The event has been designed with your feedback in mind, for our members to share ideas and learn more about each other.

    It’s out big annual Summer Drinks on 10 July at the beautiful Landsdowne Club in Mayfair. Come along and bring two guests with you so they can enjoy the power of the CWN network and have fun at the same time!

    Looking ahead to the autumn, we start with Suzanne Williams, QPM, sharing her tactics and techniques for Decision Making in Negotiations on 11 September.

    And, back due to popular demand, we team up with RADA in Business on 26 September, save the date in your diary so you can book a ticket when the event is opened.

  • CWN Admin posted an article
    Key dates in the history of AI from Ada Lovelace’s Coding to Google’s Driverless Cars see more

    Artificial Intelligence: a timeline with key highlights


    We often think of Artificial Intelligence as a recent development however as this timeline shows, it’s been around for a lot longer than you may realise.

    Many of us not directly or indirectly involved in the development of AI may think that this is a relatively recent discovery. However, that’s simply not the case. Just ask Lady Ada Lovelace. She was on of the first pioneers of AI in the 1840s. In fact, the team “artificial intelligence” was coined in 1956 by Stanford professor John McCarthy, and this date is generally considered as the modern birth of AI.

    In terms of the history of AI, a one of the first pioneers of AI was Lady Ada Lovelace 1840s but the term “artificial intelligence” was coined in 1956 by Stanford professor John McCarthy, and this date is generally considered as the modern birth of AI.

    And while it is true that AI has grown in leaps and bounds very recently, there are a number of impressive developments that have been around for some time. The timeline below highlights some of the key dates in the history of AI.

    1952 Computers playing games. Arthur Samuel develops the first computer checkers-playing program and the first computer program to learn on its own.

    1961 The first industrial robot, Unimate, starts working on an assembly line in a General Motors plant in New Jersey.

    1965 Joseph Weizenbaum develops ELIZA, an interactive program that carries on a dialogue in English language on any topic.

    1966 The first mobile robot. Shakey the robot was the first general-purpose mobile robot to be able to reason about its own actions. In a Life magazine 1970 article about this “first electronic person,” Marvin Minsky is quoted saying with “certitude”: “In from three to eight years we will have a machine with the general intelligence of an average human being.”

    1972 AI in medical diagnostics. MYCIN, an early expert system for identifying bacteria causing severe infections and recommending antibiotics, is developed at Stanford University.

    1980 Robots read and play music. Wabot-2 is built at Waseda University in Japan, a musician humanoid robot able to communicate with a person, read a musical score and play tunes of average difficulty on an electronic organ.

    1986 The First driverless car, a Mercedes-Benz van equipped with cameras and sensors, built at Bundeswehr University in Munich under the direction of Ernst Dickmanns, drives up to 55 mph on empty streets.

    1997 AI beats a chess master. Deep Blue becomes the first computer chess-playing program to beat a reigning world chess champion.

    2000 Identifying emotions. MIT’s Cynthia Breazeal develops Kismet, a robot that could recognize and simulate emotions.

    2000 Robot waiters. Honda's ASIMO robot, an artificially intelligent humanoid robot, is able to walk as fast as a human, delivering trays to customers in a restaurant setting.

    2009 Robots pass their driving test. Google starts developing, in secret, a driverless car. In 2014, it became the first to pass, in Nevada, a U.S. state self-driving test.

    2009 AI writes news articles. Computer scientists at the Intelligent Information Laboratory at Northwestern University develop Stats Monkey, a program that writes sport news stories without human intervention.

    2011 AI wins TV quiz show. Watson, a natural language question answering computer, competes on Jeopardy! and defeats two former champions.

    2016 AI defeats Go master. Google DeepMind's AlphaGo defeats Go champion Lee Sedol via self learning.

    2017 Robots start delivering take-away. Kiwibot & Door Dash food delivery under Starship Technologies in Berkley, California develops self driving delivery robots with a 6 km radius and a maximum delivery load of 10kg.

    Paula Kienert, CWN Events Committee Chair and Executive Director Fidelity Investments

  • CWN Admin posted an article
    An introduction to Artificial Intelligence by Paula Kienert, CWN Events Committee Chair. see more

    Making Sense of AI: The History, the Hype, and the Hard Truth

    Always wanted to know more about Artificial Intelligence (AI) but never dared to ask? This fascinating introduction to AI, debunks many of the myths and looks objectively at key developments and potential outcomes.

    AI. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear or see the term? A film like Ex Machina, Chappie, RoboCop, Blade Runner or 2001: A Space Odyssey? Or perhaps you think of more specific concepts or images along the lines of facial recognition technology, Bitcoin, job losses, autonomous vehicles, killer robots? What is AI, exactly? Margaret Boden, OBE, ScD, FBA, and Research Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Sussex, states quite simply that “AI seeks to make computers do the sorts of things that minds can do.” That’s a pretty broad definition. And now, AI seems to suddenly be the hot topic. Let’s explore why AI has seemingly mushroomed overnight, review a some lesser known historic developments in the field, consider how the future of work is likely to be impacted and finally, reflect on some important aspects around how the media reports on the topic.

    Understanding Frequency Illusion, Selective Attention and Confirmation Bias

    If you’re anything like me, it does seem that AI is cropping up everywhere. It’s like that time I heard about an obscure chamber music-electro-punk band one day. Then, later in the week, a song of theirs suddenly appeared in my recommended Spotify playlist! Was it simply a coincidence ...or did the social media algorithms have me pegged? It could very well be the latter but equally likely, I experienced the “frequency illusion.”  Stanford linguistics professor Arnold Zwicky coined the term back in 2006 to describe the syndrome in which a concept or thing that one suddenly learns about suddenly seems to crop up everywhere. Zwicky attributes this to the combination of two psychological processes - selective attention which is activated when upon noticing a new word, object, or concept; after that, it’s on the radar, triggering an unconscious hypersensitivity to its existence, and as a result, its found more often. The second process, confirmation bias, suggests to your mind that each sighting is additional proof of the impression that the item has become omnipresent overnight. This is also known as the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, first established in 1994 after a commenter in an the online discussion board of a US newspaper heard the name of the ultra-left-wing German terrorist group twice in 24 hours.

    While “frequency illusion” or the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon may be at work when it comes to the ubiquitous presence of AI, a number of catalysts have contributed to the acceleration in the field, namely significant advancements in computer processing power, the miniaturization of materials, rapid prototyping, increased connectivity and significantly lower cost of storage (P. Anderson).

    AI is not a recent discovery

    In terms of the history of AI, a one of the first pioneers of AI was Lady Ada Lovelace 1840s but the term “artificial intelligence” was coined in 1956 by Stanford professor John McCarthy, and this date is generally considered as the modern birth of AI.

    And while it is true that AI has grown in leaps and bounds very recently, there are a number of impressive developments that have been around for some time (Artificial Intelligence: a timeline with key highlights). For example, in 1952, the first industrial robot, Unimate, started working on a General Motor’s assembly line based in their New Jersey plant. Then in 1972, Stanford University developed an early expert system called MYCIN to identify bacteria causing severe infections and to recommend antibiotics. AI beat a chess master when Deep Blue was the first computer chess-playing program to beat a reigning world chess champion in 1997. Right up to the present day where robots not deliver food in Berkley, California and Milton Keynes her in the UK.

    The impact of AI at work

    Given the great recent advances in the field, how should we think about the near term impact on the workplace?  The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report offers some interesting observations from their wide-reaching survey and suggests that the future isn’t all gloomy. For example, while most companies expect that automation will lead to a reduction in the full-time workforce by 2022, 38% of businesses surveyed actually expect to expand the workforce to new productivity-enhancing roles, and more than 25% expect automation to lead to the creation of completely new enterprise roles. By 2022, emerging professions are set to experience 11% growth in the total employee base, whereas the employment share of declining roles is set to decrease by 10%. And the bulk of employment across industries - about half of today’s core jobs - is expected to remain stable in the period up to 2022. While this may be less negative that you may have anticipated (thanks to media coverage, as we will see later), we should still anticipate dramatic shifts as the AI landscape continues to evolve.


    What types of jobs are likely to benefit and what skills will employers value most? According to the World Economic Forum’s research, we’re likely to see increasing demand for roles along the lines of Data Analysts and Scientists, Software and Applications Developers, and Ecommerce and Social Media Specialists. In conjunction, roles requiring distinctively ‘human' skills, such as Customer Service Workers, Sales and Marketing Professionals, Training and Development, People and Culture, and Organizational Development Specialists as well as Innovation Managers will be of value in order to facilitate the change associated with the advances in technology. It could be argued that some of these roles will be AI driven (think chatbot), the survey results also point towards accelerating demand for completely new specialist roles focusing understanding and leveraging the latest emerging technologies: AI and Machine Learning Specialists, Big Data Specialists, Process Automation Experts, Information Security Analysts, User Experience and Human-Machine Interaction Designers, Robotics Engineers, and Blockchain Specialists.


    Which skills will employers be seeking?


    And for those uninterested in a purely tech focused role, here’s a glimpse into skills tipped to be most sought after in a mere 3 years.


    Table 1: Comparison of the top ten skills demand

    Today, 2018

    Trending, 2022

    Analytical thinking and innovation

    Analytical thinking and innovation

    Complex problem-solving

    Active learning and learning strategies

    Critical thinking and analysis

    Creativity, originality and initiative

    Active learning and learning strategies

    Technology design and programming

    Creativity, originality and initiative

    Critical thinking and analysis

    Attention to detail, trustworthiness

    Complex problem-solving

    Emotional intelligence

    Leadership and social influence

    Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation

    Emotional intelligence

    Leadership and social influence

    Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation

    Coordination and time management

    Systems analysis and evaluation


    For most workers, up-skilling will be crucial to navigating the new workplace landscape. And for all workers, there will be “an unquestionable need to take personal responsibility for one’s own lifelong learning and career development”. Many individuals will require support through periods of job transition and phases of retraining and up-skilling by governments and employers who will be looking for the right formula to encourage individuals to voluntarily undergo periodic skills upgrading.

    How can we respond to these changes?

    But forget about the future, what about right now? Paul Armstrong’s book Disruptive Technologies: Understand, Evaluate, Respond is a great place to begin if you’re keen to understand how to grapple with the impact of new technologies in your own workplace.  Armstrong’s book outlines the steps that you can take to engage with emerging technologies today in order to serve the consumer of tomorrow. It is a practical book offering a distinct response to emerging technologies - including Blockchain (Bitcoin), artificial intelligence, graphene and nanotechnology (among others) and other external factors such as the sharing economy, mobile penetration, millennial workforce, ageing populations - that impact business, client service and product models. Armstrong provides a clear roadmap to assess, respond to and problem-solve: what are the upcoming changes in technology, when is the right time to respond to those change, and what is the best response?

    “AI’s future has been hyped since its inception” says Margaret Boden.  We should always be mindful that the media has a tremendous amount of power to direct our shape our most basic views on the topic. Consider these recent headlines:

    • ‘The AI that can tell you when you’ll DIE...’ (MailOnline, 23 Feb. 2018)
    • ‘DeepMind has trained an AI to unlock the mysteries of your brain’ (Wired UK, 9 May, 2018).

    The Oxford Martin School and Reuters Institute recently conducted an analysis of the UK media and its coverage of AI. They determined that news coverage is significantly biased with clear political leanings. Their findings may align with your own observations – but here’s the proof: they found that left leaning media outlets tend to highlight the issue of ethics such as discrimination, algorithmic bias and privacy while the right draw attention to economics and geopolitics, including automation, national security and investment. In addition, content itself is overwhelmingly drawn from industry sources and CEOs amplifying their self interest. To make matters worse, serious cuts to budgets supporting journalists have resulted in an overwhelming reliance on basic press releases for day-to-day science and technology news stories. Some news desks even completely eliminated their science and/or technology desks. In order to present a more balanced view of the AI landscape, greater input is needed from scientists, activists, as well as others for alternative and independent views. The bottom line regarding the media is that in order to be well informed and differentiate between what is possible and what is aspirational, one should seek out varied sources of information rather than relying on newspapers alone.  For example, New Scientist magazine or academic centres such as the Alan Turing Institute.

    In the midst of tremendous change, some basic truths remain – the human characteristics of creativity, persuasion, adaptability, critical thinking and collaboration underpin our positive steps forward. Only time will tell whether AI will help, or hinder, these very human traits and aspirations.  For more, head over to the Barbican to experience their current exhibition “AI: More than Human”.

    Paula Kienert, CWN Events Committee Chair and Executive Director Fidelity Investments


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    External Partners and Events see more

    We are delighted to confirm our partnership with NEDonBoard, the UK professional body for non-executive directors and board members. This partnership provides CWN members with access to NEDonBoard’s quarterly “Board Best Practice” events and selected Expert Panels. It is a distinctive benefit for CWN members contemplating or honing a NED career with the opportunity to connect with senior female and male Board level representatives.

    NEDonBoard events are targeted on specific topics on Board best practice benefiting those of you who have Board level roles and need to keep up to date and/or wish to learn more about current hot Boardroom topics.

    The first event of our collaboration is on 24 September – NEDonBoard Best Practice Remuneration Committee. The next is on 29 October – NEDonBoard: ESG in the Boardroom.

    Places are limited so please do sign up quickly if you are interested.

    As with the Women on Boards' partnership, we are delighted that we can offer these events at preferential rates to our members.

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    CWN newsletter June 2019 covers role models, artificial intelligence, NEDonBoard & upcoming events! see more

    CWN Newsletter June 2019


    At last the evenings are lighter, which means the summer season of social and sporting events has started. The highlight being the CWN’s Annual Summer Drinks on 10 July. Did you know that as a member you have two complementary guest tickets? Make the most of it and bring your contacts so they can experience themselves what it’s like to be part of CWN and, of course, have some fun with like-minded professionals. In the meantime, if you do know anyone interested in becoming a member, our next CWN Prospective Members Breakfast is on 3 July at 8am. In addition, we’re thrilled to give you advanced notice of our AI themed event on the evening of 18 July with Paul Armstrong which our corporate sponsor, ANZ, is kindly hosting. Look out for a ‘Save the Date’ email arriving in your inbox soon.

    Our annual drinks also provide an opportunity to help others, with our silent auction to raise funds for Haven House Children’s Hospice, CWN’s nominated charity. If you have any experiences or prizes you could share for us to include as part of the silent auction, it would make a big difference to what Haven House can provide to children and young people – please email our admin office with the details.

    We’ve had some fabulous events since our last newsletter and we’re delighted that Stem and Glory, who served us a delicious meal at our supper club, now offer 20% discount to all CWN members and guests. Also the Gut Stuff who gave the fascinating introduction to gut health are offering a discount to their Gut Diary Book – for more details click here.

    We are already receiving positive feedback following the recent launch last month of our partnership with Women on Boards and are pleased to announce a similar collaboration with NEDonBoard. Working together with these organisations we are in a position to provide members access to a broader range of options, at preferential rates, to develop their skills and networks. We will keep you updated on our external partnerships by email, in the meantime, we’ve included more detail on our work with NEDonBoard below as well as other interesting stories.

    As always, if you’d like us to cover anything in particular, please do let us know by emailing our admin office.


    Articles in this issue:

    Spotlight on Pinar Ozcan 

    External Partners and Events

    Making Sense of AI: The History, the Hype, and the Hard Truth

    Artificial Intelligence: a timeline with key highlights

    Next Events

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    External Partners and Events see more

    We are excited to be partnering with Women on Boards to provide CWN members access to Women on Boards’ skills-focused Boardroom Insights series covering Board training. The next event, FTSE and AIM Listed Boards, is on 25 April at 6pm. Find out more about different types of board opportunities across these markets, hear from a panel of experienced board directors and broaden your networks.

    Want to apply for a role in the public sector? Broaden your understanding of the range of opportunities, understand how your skills and experience are transferable and meet other board members at the Boardroom Insights event focusing on Public Sector Boards on 16 May, at 6pm.

    Read more about both events, the panels of experts and book tickets on our events page.

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    Next Events see more

    Next Events

    Hopefully you’ve seen all our upcoming events on our website. Below is a selection and to find out more about our other events click here.

    Protect Your Business, 12 June
    This event has a computer forensic expert covering how we can protect our businesses – click here for more information.

    CWN Members’ Breakfast Forum, 20 June
    We are particularly enthusiastic about this new bi-annual event. We’ve designed this in response to feedback in our members’ survey. You’re looking for more time to share ideas and learn more about each other. We’re hoping this event will do that (and more!). This link reveals all.

    Communicating persuasively in negotiations, 11September
    Looking ahead to the autumn, we start with Suzanne Williams, QPM, sharing her techniques for decision making and communicating in negotiations. This link has the latest detail.

    Masterclass with RADA, 26 September
    Back due to popular demand, we will team up with RADA in Business, more detail on the Masterclass will be updated here.

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    The 50:50 Project see more

    The 50:50 Project


    We are delighted to share information about a new project at the BBC: the 50:50 Project.

    The overall aim of the 50:50 Project is to increase the number of Women in Journalism.  It is now the biggest collective action on increasing women’s representation in BBC content that there has ever been. It has spread organically throughout the BBC and involves over 410 teams including over 3000 journalists and content makers from across TV, radio and digital.

    The 50:50 Project is delivering remarkable shifts in women’s representation in BBC content. It has tapped into a widespread desire among BBC staff to resolve imbalance. You can sign up to be part of the Project in your personal capacity at an individual level or as a partner organisation. Please scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to download and read more about the 50:50 Project.

    If you would like to be put in contact with the 50:50 Project, please email the Membership Committee.

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    Inspiring Role models, the BBC’s 50:50 project, and upcoming events in our May/April CWN Newsletter. see more

    CWN Newsletter March/April 2019

    We can’t believe it’s Spring already. It only seems days ago that we were celebrating International Women’s Day and as in previous years, CWN continued to contribute to the conversations. Our event with Stephanie Flanders from Bloomberg sharing her insights on Brexit and the global economy, generated great discussion amongst members. Similarly, our individual and corporate members sharing on our social media channels what #BalanceForBetter means for them, created great engagement. Thank you for your contributions.

    Over the past few months we have been engaged in a search for a new Board role. We are delighted that Dawn Jackson will be joining the Board as Diversity & Inclusion Adviser on 3 June 2019. 

    For those of you that look forward to our summer party, the date to put in your diary is Wednesday 10 July at The  Lansdowne Club. To book your tickets, click here.

    If there are subjects and topics of interest you would like us to look at in more depth either here, on our website or via social media, do let us know. 


    Articles in this issue:

    Spotlight on Jayne Berkye

    External Partners and Events

    The 50:50 Project

    Next Events

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    CWN Newsletter January-February 2019, full of member stories and upcoming events! see more

    CWN Newsletter January-February 2019

    Welcome to the first newsletter of 2019! We kicked off the year with our Members’ Winter Drinks in 23 January at 67 Pall Mall wine club. Member Ana Pacheco reflects on the evening here.

    At the end of last year, we conducted an online survey of all CWN Members. Thank you to everyone who participated and provided valuable insights on their experience as a CWN member. You can read about what we heard from you below.

    We are excited to announce our collaboration with Women on Boards to give CWN members access to Women on Board’s Boardroom Insights series, find out more below, and do check the CWN events calendar for plenty more coming up.

    We are making progress with our search for an Adviser on diversity and inclusion, but would still like to hear from you (until end February) if you or a contact may be interested. Further information is on our homepage. Finally, in our member Spotlight this month we talk about the internet of things with Sue McLean, technology expert and Partner at Baker McKenzie and Women in FinTech Power Lister.


    External Partners and Events

    We are excited to partner with Women on Boards to provide CWN members with access to Women on Boards’ Boardroom Insights series which covers a range of Board topics. The first event of our first collaboration, taking place on 7 March, explores Cross Sector Boards. Participants will be introduced to cross sector board opportunities and will hear from a panel of board directors with a wealth of experience. Read more about the event and book tickets on our external events page.

    We are also supporting Chatham House’s Responsible Business Conference taking place on 28 February. Topics include corporate responsibility in the digital age and the current standards of practice for diversity and inclusion. Find more information on our external events page.

    Our Charity of the Year, Haven House’s annual Women in Business Lunch will take place on 5 March at the RAC in London, hosted by CWN President Emeritus Sandy Lucas. Click here to find out more and to book individual or table tickets.


    Membership Survey

    During the final quarter of 2018 we conducted an online survey of all CWN Members supported by a selection of interviews by telephone. The response to the survey was extremely positive, with nearly 30% of our total membership answering the online questionnaire. This feedback and commentary was further reinforced by Members’ insights received via the one to one calls which formed part of our overall detailed analysis.

    Thank you again to everyone who participated in the survey and provided such rich insights on their experience as a CWN Member. In particular, your thoughts and ideas as to how CWN can continue to provide real value through what we do and support you in your role in the workplace were extremely valuable.

    Click here to review the key findings from our Membership Chair Tracey Groves and importantly what’s next!


    Spotlight on Sue McLean

    Sue McLean is a partner in the IT/Commercial Practice Group at Baker McKenzie. She has been named in the Women in FinTech Power List for three years and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Digital Banking. Get the inside scoop from Sue as she shares her career insights and tips, and what attracted her to working in the digital space.

    Click here to read about how Sue started off in tech; made partner, learned to embrace fear, got the Twitter bug and puts mentoring top of her list to help other women achieve the same heights


    Next Events

    Do check our calendar to review all our upcoming events. Don’t miss out on our International Women’s Day lunchtime talk ‘Beyond Brexit’ with Stephanie Flanders, Senior Executive Editor of Economics at Bloomberg on 12 March. Find out more and book your tickets here.

    Other events include our Spring Membership Drinks for Current and Prospective Members on 2 April, and our AGM to be held on the morning of 26 March at Haymarket Hotel.


    And Finally...

    Join hundreds of others to celebrate International Women’s Day at CARE International’s #March4Women event on 3 March at Westminster Central Hall. Hear from inspirational speakers like Lady Hale and Helen Pankhurst, singers like Beverley Knight, and people who have challenged and changed the law to tackle injustice and inequality. The event is from 2.15pm to 4.15pm; tickets are available from the Care International website 


    In Memory

    Joyce Arram, a leading pioneer for training women in law, 1935-2018. Joyce worked as a legal executive for Alexander Johnson Solicitors and was involved in many charity and voluntary organisations. Joyce was an active CWN member from 2006 – 2017 is remembered fondly.