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?
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 October. To invoke the spirit of Christmas, please check HH’s website for some ideas on how to raise money and awareness.
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
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!
The latest news from our CWN President , Sally Todd see more
President's Newsletter - September 2018
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.
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!
#CWN40 #femaleleadership #inclusionjourney #ValuingDifference #inspire #realiseambition #leadingthroughuncertainty
CWN President's Newsletter April 2018 see more
President's Newsletter - April 2018
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,
#futureofwork #inclusionjourney #inspire #realiseambition #leadingthroughuncertainty #CWN40
CWN President's Newsletter January 2018 see more
President's Newsletter - January 2018
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!
All the best
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.
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
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.
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
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.
President's Newsletter - August 2017 see more
President's Newsletter - August 2017
I feel a strong sense of pride as CWN continues to evolve as a network and remains relevant in this fast-paced, ever changing environment.
At the beginning of 2017, we committed to you that we would focus our activity and events on the following engaging and topical three key themes:-
- The Future of Work: digital transformation, disruption and the gig economy
- Leading through uncertainty: with confidence, resilience and impact
- The Inclusion journey: inspiring confidence and realising ambitions
I’m delighted to say that we are delivering on that promise. We’ve held over 13 events so far this year ranging from our more intimate 8 @ 8 breakfasts to the Warwick Business School Masterclass led by Dr Tamara Friedrich on sparking innovation, developing creativity in yourself and others; an illuminating talk by Merryn Somerset-Webb entitled Love is not Enough; How to speak like a leader led by Sophie Clark, Communications coach (and a representative on our membership committee) to name a few. We also arranged a private tour at The National Portrait Gallery to view ‘Ambitious Women Across the Ages’ – which was most befitting of our CWN members and appropriately themed inspiring confidence and realising ambitions.
Our Corporate Members continue to play a pivotal role in CWN. Nomura is kindly co-hosting our next event on 13th September where we will hear from Caroline Webb on how behavioural science can help us raise our game. EE will welcome us at the exclusive BT Tower to hear insights from Hilary Scarlett in November on leading through uncertain times. Please click here to register for our events in 2017 and beyond.
Our community is growing with our LinkedIn membership group at close to 1,000 and 6,000+ Twitter followers. We encourage you to be active members – whether that’s by regularly attending our events or getting involved by joining a committee. We welcome your insights, expertise and support. Please do not hesitate to email me to express interest in becoming a committee member or sharing any feedback you may have.
As our formal relationship with Working Chance draws to a close at the end of this year, we will shortly be screening nominations for our new charity. Please look out for details on our website as to the selection criteria should you be interested in putting a name forward for consideration. We will announce the name of our new Charity during December.
Thank you for your ongoing engagement and interest in CWN. A special thank you to the Board and Committee members as without their commitment and time we would not be able to continue to thrive as we do.
Looking forward to seeing you all soon.
ArticlePresident's Newsletter - March 2017 see more
President's Newsletter - March 2017
I was honoured to be voted in as your President at last week’s AGM and am delighted to confirm your 2017 Board Members as follows:-
Vice President, Marketing and Communications Committee Chair
Treasurer and Operations Committee Chair
External Relations Committee Chair
Nicolette Wykeman & Rhonda Martin
Events Strategy Committee Co-Chair
Jacqui Moore & Sarah Brakebill
Membership Committee Co-Chair
Please join me in thanking the following Board members who have chosen to step down this year:-
Donna Halkyard, Karin Barnick, Maria Bentley, Claire Betty, Angela Cha, Alison Hood & Madelaine Verchere
We have enjoyed their friendship and contribution during the last few years.
We are so grateful to all of our Board and Committee members whose support is vital in ensuring that CWN remains vibrant, relevant and the success it is today.
We have selected three key themes with your input to focus our events on during the next 12 months and we hope you will agree that they are engaging, topical and of interest:-
- The Future of Work: digital transformation, disruption, the gig economy
- Leading through uncertainty: with confidence resilience and impact
- The Inclusion journey: inspiring connections & realising ambitions
The calendar is already starting to fill up so please click here to register for our forthcoming events.
As you know, CWN is a voluntary network and we would love for as many of you as possible to get involved by joining one of our committees. We welcome your insights, expertise and support. Please do not hesitate to email me to express interest in becoming a committee member.
Looking forward to seeing you all soon.
All my best,
ArticleCWN President’s Newsletter Winter 2016 see more
President’s Newsletter - December 2016
I had hoped to be celebrating a first with you. The election of the first female US President but sadly that’s not the case. I think it’s best not to comment further apart from that I must practice what I preach – which is to embrace other people’s differences and views (including views on this election however tough that may feel right now!)
Yesterday Equal Pay Day coincided with our Membership Breakfast. As I’m sure you’re all aware it’s 46 years since the Equal Pay Act. Based on the 18.1% pay differential between males and females we are effectively now working for free until the end of the year….unless of course we just take the rest of the year off! I wonder what each of you will do to help close your gap.
Meanwhile at CWN, our corporate membership just keeps growing and the role of our corporate members in hosting events with our committees has been really appreciated. We recently welcomed EE as a corporate member and we held an induction to CWN at their office in September. We are delighted to welcome them on board.
Walk the Tightrope was a dedicated corporate members only event hosted by ANZ in September. Justine Lutterodt FRSA, Director and Leadership Consultant, Centre for Synchronous Leadership led a highly interactive session looking at how women and men relate to power. We had a lively and provocative discussion on the implications for career success, fulfilment and organisational leadership. Justine’s work featured in HR magazine and you can read the article here.
As you know, Working Chance has been our charity for the past year. I am thrilled to announce that we will be suporting Working Chance throughout 2017 too. If you would like to know more about this charity and get involved – there are more details here. I would like to share this message from them to all of you:
‘We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as City Women’s Network charity of the year for the second year running. It’s incredible that women who are at the top of their game in the City want to help those that have been behind bars. Our candidates continue to be judged long after they have served their sentences and struggle to find progressive employers that will look beyond the conviction. From everyone here at Working Chance, thank you CWN for understanding that, just as in business, all our candidates want to do is learn from their mistakes and turn them into opportunities for positive change.’
It’s been great to catch up with many of you at recent events. I really appreciate how involved you all are as members in making CWN the vibrant community it is. Our committees are full of engaged and enthusiastic women always thinking about how we can make our network even better. That being said – we'd still love more of you to join our committees and help shape our events calendar. Please do let me know if you are interested in doing so.
We have a mix of events coming up and it would be great to see you there. You can find more details on our website.
- Wednesday 16 November - Inspiring Women 2016 Conference with Management Today
- Tuesday 22 November – An Evening with RADA – Telling your story for mentoring
- Wednesday 18 January – CWN Winter Drinks ‘Women in Power’
- Tuesday 7 February – High Impact Communication with Sophie Clark
As always, as I sign off, I would like to ask you for any feedback on how you think we are doing for you as a member. Please get in touch!
I look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming events either before or after Christmas and in the meantime, keep well.
ArticlePresident's Newsletter – October 2016 see more
President's Newsletter – October 2016
I’m delighted to announce that Working Chance has been selected to take part in the Big Give Christmas challenge, the UK’s largest match funding campaign. Every donation made to Working Chance (up to the value of £10,000) will be DOUBLED during the 3 days of the campaign.
The Big Give Christmas Challenge runs for 72 hours ONLY starting at 12 midday on 29 November. Donations made at this time will be matched by the Pilgrim Trust - one of their generous funders. This is the best possible time this year to give to Working Chance!
Working Chance aims to raise £10,000 in that 3 days for a series of debt management workshops to help some of the most vulnerable women they work with. This can enable women to get back on their feet financially, to avoid eviction and support their children.
How you can help
If you plan on supporting Working Chance this year (or at our Winter Drinks on 18th January) , please do so during the Christmas Challenge when your donation can be doubled. Go to the Working Chance donation page
Please make a note in your diary now including this link Big Give. Sharing this message with people you know could amplify the impact of your support even further.
If we pull together now to support women through their most vulnerable time, we can make a huge difference to their lives and the prospects for their children.
Thank you for taking action with us.
ArticlePresident's Newsletter - February 2017 see more
President's Newsletter – February 2016
I do hope you’ve all had a good start to 2016. I can’t believe it is February already but then again it has been a busy 1st month for CWN.
I was delighted to announce that Working Chance was selected as our Charity of the Year. What makes it even better is that Working Chance received over 50% of your votes and I have to admit mine was one of them! We aim not only to support this really worthwhile cause financially but also to help them engage with business and create opportunities for Working Chance women to get back into employment. We are putting our heads together with their CEO Jocelyn Hillman to come up with some meaningful recommendations. I will be in touch again shortly about how we can work together on this.
On 12th January we supported Fractio Vitri’s 2nd event since their launch last year. It was kindly hosted by RPC one of our Corporate Members. Elinor Dennehy, a seasoned HR Leader from GE coached around 45 ladies on how to get the most out of their annual reviews and have constructive dialogues regarding performance management. The feedback from the attendees was hugely positive.
Next up, we celebrated a healthy-ish start to the year with drinks at the London Capital Club on 14th January. As always there was a fabulous turn out of dynamic, vibrant and wonderful women. We were inspired by William Banks-Blaney, of WilliamVintage educating us on “Couture through the Ages”. William has been called the King of vintage by both Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. He donated a percentage of the proceeds he made selling copies of his book ‘25 Dresses’ on the night to our Charity of the Year. So all in all it was a fab night with mocktails, wine, canapes, interesting chat and the feel-good factor of supporting Working Chance.
As many of you know we have raised funds for our Charity of the Year by sponsoring the British 10K for a number of years. This year’s race is on 10th July and this is my serious call to all you runners out there who want to get fit and support our Charity of the Year. Once we have our team of volunteer runners, we will set up a sponsorship page – so look out for that. If you are interested in taking part and I for one am up for again this year – please email me email@example.com
Finally we promised you a full calendar for the year and we have some really good events coming up and these include:
- Working Across Cultures with Allyson Stewart-Allen at Nomura TONIGHT
- Mindfulness in the Digital World with Professor Gianvito Lanzolla at Cass Business School on 8th March
- Leadership Myth Busters at EY on 20th April
Check out our website for registration and more details. We will also be having our ever popular Membership Breakfasts and Drinks – the dates are on our website and the first one on Wednesday, 24th February has already sold out. But don’t worry – you can still put your name down on the waitlist.
And finally, I wanted to give you the heads up that we’re continuing to partner with the 12th annual CBI supported First Women Awards. This year’s celebration takes place on 22nd June at the Lancaster Hotel, London. We encourage you to put forward your nominations across a range of categories. To find out more and to place your nominations, please visit:
Look forward to seeing you at one of our events very soon.
Please do not hesitate to email me should you have any feedback or comments in general.
Very best wishes,
City Women Network
ArticlePresident's Newsletter - October 2015 see more
President's Newsletter – October 2015
With the leaves turning golden and falling from the trees and the sudden chill in the air, I wanted to catch up with you with all our CWN news.
First up, CWN Rising Star and Secretary to the Board, Sarah Brakebill won a 2015 WeAreTheCity (WATC) Top 50 Rising Star Award in the Investment Management category in September. The WATC Rising Star Awards showcase the UK pipeline of female talent below management.
Next, CWN President Emeritus Brenda Trenowden and Professional Development Committee member Miranda Brawn were finalists in Brummell's 2015 list of Most Inspirational City Women which this year focused on 'City Champions of Diversity.' Panelist Heather Melville of RBS said this year's finalists had "spearheaded nothing short of a cultural revolution in their organisations ... and proved diversity is the key to success for every business." You can read more here.
I’m also excited to tell you about Fractio Vitri – this is a new cross sector independent network for early stage career women working in the City or thinking about it. Fractio Vitri (FV) founders Kelly Blair, Claudia Buffini, Harriet Sasson and Sophie Sinclair-Kemp are holding their launch event on Tuesday, 27th October at Morrison Foerster. There’s lots more information on our website about and you will see that I with a few other CWN board members will be FV’s advisory committee.
As someone who received support on tap from sponsors throughout my career, I feel it’s my responsibility to give back and help those who will be our next generation leaders. This is a commonly held view of the CWN Board. We want to accelerate the career advancement of emerging leaders and will contribute as best as we can be that to FV or for example our Corporate Rising Stars.
Our Gala Dinner was once again a great success with the substantial sum of over £16,000 raised for Eaves’ Poppy Project. I was so sorry that work commitments kept me away but I hear it was a very enjoyable evening. I hope those of you who were there have had a chance to look at the gallery of photos on our website. And for those of you who were unable to make it- take a look at what you (and I) missed!
Our next CWN event will be our Membership Breakfast on Tuesday, 17th November at One Lombard Street, EC3V 9AA. These events are very popular and are a great opportunity for people who are interested in knowing more about CWN to come along and meet us. Equally, it’s a terrific networking event for our individual and corporate members too.
We have decided to mix things up a little this year and will host a New Year event with a difference (as opposed to our traditional Christmas drinks). We know how crowded all our diaries become towards the end of the year so we are planning something exciting and fun for you in January 2016 - more news will be sent out shortly.
Watch out for news too on choosing our next Charity of the Year. As you will know, we have changed the timeframe so that we work with our selected charity for the calendar year. We will be making full use of technology and asking you to vote by email – there will be the opportunity to see the different presentations from the nominated charities and of course, we will announce the result as soon as we can.
Finally, I know many of you enjoyed the Resilience & Well Being event last week; we were delighted to have a full house. Thank you to RPC for hosting us. I have committed to introduce a few small changes in my life as a result of what I heard on the night. It was exciting to see the huge amount of Twitter activity during and after the event. Twitter is a great way to be part of the CWN community and we make every effort to tweet and retweet items of interest to our membership. Here is our Twitter handle - @CityWomenLondon - join the 3300+ CWN followers and keep up to date. Remember too our LinkedIn group with over 700 members initiating and commenting on discussions about topical and relevant items to the wider CWN community.
So hopefully, catch up with many of you over the next few months.
With best wishes,
ArticlePresident's Newsletter – July 2015 see more
President's Newsletter – July 2015
Summer has finally arrived! What a glorious start to July – long may it last!
We celebrated the start of summer with our annual CWN Drinks which was a sell-out event. Richard E Grant graced us with his presence and his scent ‘Jack’ was another sell out on the night. Many thanks to our sponsors for the evening: Elegant Resorts, One & Only, Louis Roederer and of course, Harvey Nichols. The format was a trial for us so we really appreciate the feedback that many of you have taken the time to send us. You rated the night 8.92 overall out of 10 – fabulous recognition for our Social Committee’s efforts – as without them we would not have been able to host such a terrific night.
Sadly, I missed the rescheduled Ruby Wax event on Monday 22nd June. I gather she was equally highly entertaining and thought provoking. How the mind works and our power to influence our thoughts has always fascinated me. I do hope to find the time to read her book ‘Sane New World’ – I’m certainly adding it to my summer reading list!
I did get along to the First Women Awards 2015 and thoroughly enjoyed Clare Balding hosting this important event recognising female talent. It was good to see Brenda Trenowden, President Emeritus, CWN and Amanda Phillips, External Relations Director, CWN on the judging panel. With some 70 women shortlisted for the wide range of awards – it was fantastic to hear everyone’s stories of achievement. Clare Balding was visibly surprised to discover that she was awarded the First Women Life Time Achievement. Full details of the awards can be found here: http://firstwomen.co.uk/awards
We have a full events calendar for the coming months. There is a Members’ Breakfast on 13th July – yes, it is first thing on a Monday morning but it is being held on Level 38 of the Gherkin – an awesome venue.
We have our Financial Literacy for the Boardroom Workshop on the evening on 22nd July at PWC. This is particularly suited to those who do not have a financial background and would like a basic understanding of financial accounts.
And finally to fill the spot from summer to autumn, we are holding our Annual Gala Dinner on Thursday 24th September. This year it will be in the Great Hall of One Great George Street, SW1. This is an exciting new venue and we are supporting our Charity of the Year, Eaves. As usual we will start the evening with a champagne reception where you will have the opportunity to meet up with CWN friends and their guests.
So now I am off to get in some practice for the Vitality British 10k Run on 12th July. There are 6 of us running under the CWN banner again for Eaves and you can support this important charity here - https://www.justgiving.com/CWN2015.
Looking forward to meeting up with you soon.
ArticlePresident's Newsletter - April 2015 see more
President's Newsletter – April 2015
If you’d asked me 4 years ago when I first became a CWN Corporate member if I thought I would write to you all as President of CWN, my response would have been – highly unlikely! Not because I wouldn’t relish the responsibility but when reflecting on the amazing achievements of past Presidents, like most women, I’d wonder if I was up to the challenge. And yet here I am - stepping up and leaning in.
I’m incredibly excited and honoured to be appointed CWN President. I feel humbled to step into Brenda Trenowden’s shoes.
For the past 3 years, Brenda has shown an overwhelming passion, dedication and commitment to our network. Under her inspirational leadership we have really made our mark on London. We are a powerful and growing community of 250+ senior women. In addition to growing our individual membership base, we have secured corporate sponsorship from leading companies in the UK which has helped fund our strong calendar of events ranging from social to professional development seminars and workshops. We have just under 2,500 twitter followers and 800 members on LinkedIn.
Our Annual Conference has gone from strength to strength resulting in “Plugged In ...Tuned Out” selling out in February this year. Our Gala Dinner, our most elegant event of the year, has raised tens of thousands for our chosen charities and no doubt will shortly be another sell out event.
I graciously thank you, Brenda and the Board for all your hard work in making CWN what it is today. I would also like to acknowledge the contribution made by those Board Members who are also stepping down this year - Isabel Evans, Mary Peterkin, Jeanine Long, India Wardrop and Ann Goodger - your work has been greatly appreciated by everyone. And I thank you, our membership, for continuing to keep our network current, fun and vibrant.
So now I’m lifting the CWN baton with pride in our achievements and with some exciting plans for the future development of CWN.
Over the next year, I want to make sure all our members, whether you’re an individual or corporate member, experience the full value of being connected to CWN.
I would like to see more of you participating in our committees and having a say in what you want and expect from me as your President and your Board. We will shape our events to meet your needs with relevant and meaningful content.
We will continue to extend our influence and reach through strengthening our connections with associations, partnerships and alumni. By building a stronger community both on and offline we will enrich the quality of interaction and opportunities to learn from each other.
I’m so delighted to have the support of the CWN Board to help us achieve our mission. We have an excellent mix of new faces whom you will be meeting over the coming months and luckily there are seasoned members staying on the board to give us continuity.
As always, we have some terrific events coming up – just click on the links below to find out more about our event with EY on 13th May and our very glamorous and fun Summer Drinks on 2nd June.
Looking forward to see you all very soon.
All my best
ArticlePresident's Newsletter - October 2014 see more
President's Newsletter – October 2014
The highlight of September was undoubtedly the CWN Gala Dinner, a wonderful evening of networking, fundraising and inspiring and entertaining talks. It was great to be a part of an occasion which embodies what CWN is all about. We had more than 170 attendees and raised a fantastic £31,000 for CWN’s Charity of the Year, Eaves. Putting together such an event requires a tremendous amount of work and I would like to thank everyone who gave their help and support, particularly Jackie Ronson and the Gala Dinner Committee as well as our two sponsors – GE Capital and LV.
Other events during September included a Networking Breakfast on the 4th attended by a good sized gathering of members and non-members. CWN was also involved in a charity event on the 19th, when Lord Mayor of the City of London Fiona Woolf CBE persuaded Inga Beale to join her in abseil down the Lloyd’s of London Building. As part of our partnering and supporting other organisations, CWN members went along on the same day for a wonderful evening at the Guildhall to celebrate Powerful Women in Opera.
We have some exciting CWN events coming up, social as well as professional and personal development, which I’m sure that you will not want to miss. The first, CWN Communications in the Workplace on November 11 is looking full now, but if you are interested in attending, please check the website to see if availability opens up. Start the holiday season with the CWN Christmas Drinks, taking place on December 2nd at the elegant Bentley’s bar on Swallow Street. Then, on December 9 there is the opportunity to hear Ruby Wax, the lively and provocative comedian, speak about finding calm in today’s frenetic world. Having become a mental health campaigner, she will be speaking from her critically acclaimed book, Sane New World.
On January 27, back by popular demand, is Professor Roger Steare, author of ‘ethicability: how to decide what’s right and find the courage to do it’ and co-designer of the ‘MoralDNA’ personality profile to give us a presentation on Managers and their MoralDNA. When he used this ‘MoralDNA test’ to measure the moral values of 60,000 volunteers across 200 countries, Roger found that women are more likely than men to make decisions based on how they impact on others. Roger will identify the MoralDNA of sustainable, high performance cultures and will show the correlation between leadership with strong moral values and superior performance.
And finally, I want to remind everyone to register for the CWN Fourth Annual Conference ‘Plugged in- Tuned Out?’, which will take place on February 10, 2015 at the Royal College of Physicians. Non-members can take advantage of a £20 Early Bird discount until the end of November. We promise a fascinating day with industry leaders engaging in a series of debates on the implications of digital connectivity and asking whether this is empowering or isolating. With technology leaving few aspects of our lives untouched, this topic couldn’t be more timely. The day will be structured around three themes. The first, ‘Polarisation out of digitisation’, will look at what the costs and gains are to business and will raise the question of whether we are creating a greater divide between the ‘Haves and Have Nots’. The second, ‘Collaboration through connection’ will examine the costs and benefits to innovation. And finally, ‘Optimisation or dehumanisation’ explores the risks and gains to society and ourselves, as we demand more from technology and reduce direct human interaction. We will also have a special Head to Head debate in which renowned Oxford vs Cambridge Union debators, coupled with industry experts, will put forward opposing views on one of today’s increasingly important and emotive issues – whether we are taking data privacy seriously enough in this digital era.
Please stay in touch with CWN through the website, twitter and Linked In. In addition to finding out what is coming up, these highlight reports, discussions and media coverage on women and the workplace that will be of interest. And as always, we welcome participation through these communications channels and invite you to take part by joining a committee.
I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming events.