• CWN Admin posted an article
    Next Events see more

    Next Events


    We’ve included highlights below but in the current climate we are updating our events every week so please see our website for the full list.

    9 April: What not to do on Zoom and the speaking blunders to avoid - Join CWN Marketing and Communications Committee Co-Chair, Dawn-Louise Kerr and Speaking Coach, Celia Delaney for a practical update on how to make the best use of Zoom video conferencing for business.

    16 April: To blog or not to vlog? That is the investment question - Join CWN Marketing and Communications Committee Co-Chairs, Dawn-Louise Kerr and Ana Pacheco for a discussion on the benefits of investing in your marketing during tough times and engaging with your audience from a different angle. They will also share with you their top tips for vlogging and blogging.

    21 April: Being a strong leader in turbulent times - In this workshop, Anne Roques and Penny Shapland-Chew will share their own stories and learning as well as some models for handling trauma which they use in their coaching practice. As highly experienced coaches, they are keen to draw on your reality and will use the breakout rooms on the Zoom platform to allow for plenty of interaction and to take questions.

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    News from our Charity Partner Wellbeing of Women see more

    News from our Charity Partner Wellbeing of Women


    In these uncertain times, it’s as important as ever to safeguard the future of women, girls and babies everywhere. As many of our clinical researchers are called to support the NHS front line response to COVID-19, we are working hard to make sure they can return to their research as soon as possible

    We are extremely proud to be funding some of the best and brightest doctors and clinicians in women’s health and, whilst they help the fight against this pandemic, we will continue to raise awareness of their incredible work. For example, Dr Varsha Jain, who is researching causes of heavy menstrual bleeding that affects 1 in 4 women. Varsha’s research will be on hold whilst she works on the NHS front line and we are working hard to ensure her work and that of our other researchers can continue when this pandemic is over.

    There are many ways you can support us from your home – here’s just a few ideas:

    • Run a quiz with friends – full of fun facts on women’s health – download questions and answers here
    • Organise that big clear out you’ve been meaning to do for years and donate proceeds. – Virgin Money Giving & Ziffit can help with logistics.
    • Sign up to a virtual race – like the Local Landmarks challenge or Running Woman – and fundraise online here.
    • Support Wellbeing of Women by doing your everyday shopping via this link

  • CWN Admin posted an article
    Suki Gill, CFO for ViacomCBS UK/Australia, on life in media, mentors, role models & self-belief. see more

    Spotlight on Suki Gill

    Suki Gill, CFO for ViacomCBS of UK/Australia region, talks about life in media, mentors and confidence. She shares how embracing constant change can be an opportunity if you get comfortable with uncertainty, which is incredibly pertinent in the current climate. 

    What do you do/what's your typical day?

    I am CFO for ViacomCBS for the UK/Australia region, leading the finance function for well-known brands such as Channel 5, MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. As well as supporting the leadership team, managing budgets and reporting on financials, a significant part of my day is currently spent working on major transformation programmes within finance and the wider business, in partnership with colleagues across the globe.

    What attracted you to becoming a CFO and working this industry?

    I was keen to get a solid business grounding when I left university, so training as a Chartered Accountant was a great route to achieving that goal. I have always been an avid media consumer, whether it be TV, cinema or music, so jumped at the opportunity of working in the sector.

    What do you find inspirational/useful about the CWN?

    The opportunities to meet like-minded professional women and share experiences. Everyone is so warm and welcoming at events, and the topics covered are highly relevant for women in business.

    What is your background to reaching this point in your career and how has it defined you?

    I qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen which gave me an excellent start to my career as the training in professional service firms is second to none, and it was also a lot of fun being part of a large graduate in-take as it eased the transition into the world of work. I have subsequently held a variety of roles in the media sector at Sony Music, Capital Radio Group, Channel 7 (Australia) and Sony Pictures International which have all contributed to getting me where I am today, both in building business and leadership experience. I couldn't have made this career journey without the supportive managers and mentors who have guided me along the way, plus the benefit of having executive coaching to help get the best out of me.

    Which achievement are you most proud of in your professional life and what are your top tips for our members looking to succeed in a similar way?

    I am most proud of the journey I have made in my current role over the last few years - how I took it on with fear and trepidation, how much I have learnt along the way and how my confidence has grown.

    What was the most challenging experience you've had in the workplace and what are your top tips for women to turn similar experiences into an opportunity?

    The most challenging element is embracing constant change which can certainly be an opportunity if you can get comfortable with uncertainty or be a forward thinker and lead from the front, so you bring your team with you.

    As a CFO yourself, what do you think we can do to encourage more women to choose a career in finance and reach the highest levels?

    I don't think there is an issue in attracting women into the profession, it’s more about retaining and developing women so that they can progress up the ranks. I am fortunate that in my company and in media there are a lot of visible female leaders who inspire and mentor female talent so they can advance to more senior roles.

    What career advice would you give your younger self?

    I wish I could have told myself to have more self-belief and that there’s no need to be so hard on myself, especially if things don’t go to plan…which they invariably don't!

    How do you juggle your work/life balance and what do you like doing when you do have down time?

    Flexible working is key so I can be available for my daughters as much as possible, and still keep the plates spinning on the work front. Also, tight diary management, yoga and pilates, as well as watching Friends with my daughters on Comedy Central…it’s so lovely to see them enjoying it as much as I did first time round!

    What are you reading (or watching) right now?

    Recent TV favourites include Succession (as it's about a media mogul), & The Crown (I love escapist period drama).

  • CWN Admin posted an article
    Article on Uma Cresswell, CWN President sharing her story and tips on overcoming career challenges. see more

    CWN Board and Member Profile: President, City Women Network

    Following the news that Uma Cresswell has officially been appointed President of City Women Network, we took the opportunity to catch up with her so we could share with you Uma’s personal journey, career path and her vision for the foreseeable future (in a constantly changing world). So, we set up a zoom call and went from there.

    Congratulations on becoming President of CWN…so, where did it all start?

    For me, it all began back in 1972 when my parents had to leave Uganda and we arrived in the UK. I owe everything to the sacrifices they made and I’m grateful every day for the opportunities I’ve had.

    Your ‘day’ job outside CWN is in HR – what attracted you to that career?

    I started my career working on local radio (more on that later). As a broadcast journalist, I interviewed some fascinating and high-profile people. My highlight was interviewing Imran Khan and Kapil Dev (at the time captains of their respective national cricket teams, Pakistan and India). I was captivated by the richness of the people I met, which led to pursuing a career in HR after moving to London. Working in IT recruitment and meeting a wide range of people, reinforced that I was valued for my contribution rather than being judged for how I looked. I built on my recruitment experience to move into various HR roles in different industries including retail banking, telecoms, investment banking and consulting.

    Which achievement are you most proud of in your professional life?

    I’m proud of several achievements but the ones that spring to mind are from when I worked at ANZ. Diversity and Inclusion was a key priority in their culture which meant that my actions could really make a difference. Also, markets outside of Europe such as Asia and India were major contributors to their financial success, so I worked with a broad range of talented people. I even incorporated a revenue generating aspect to my HR role; I worked with the Institutional business to set up a reception for key clients and prospects of Indian Banks to celebrate Diwali. The feedback was incredibly positive with attendees commenting that it showed ANZ understood the Indian culture and reinforced their position as a bank that their community wanted to do business with.

    What led you to setting up your own business?

    In the latter part of my career at ANZ, I was in a senior global HR role achieving many goals I had set for myself. I was able to influence senior leaders and key stakeholders and saw it part of my raison-d’être to leverage my position by advocating talent that would benefit from a helping hand especially working mums, women from an ethnic minority and many other aspirational career women.

    I was also part of a high potential mentoring programme (which a previous CWN president Brenda Trenowden was involved with – more on that later). This ignited my desire to become a mentor and coach and to focus on the aspects of HR that are ‘value add’ and that I really enjoyed and excelled at such as, influencing senior leaders and creating inclusive cultures supported with the appropriate conduct and behavioural frameworks. Setting up Paradigm HR Limited was the culmination of that ambition.

    What is your top tip for staying positive when women experience a challenging work environment?

    I have experienced first-hand some very tough times, cut-throat cultures and appalling behaviours which sometimes dented my confidence and self-belief. At one point I worked in a culture where you couldn’t be your true self or talk about your personal life. This was a particularly difficult time for me as my father was terminally ill and subsequently passed away which left me very disillusioned in my role and not sure what to do next.

    Having said that, I have always got through these times by relying on my incredible network of friends and colleagues:

    • talking to people helps you realise that you don’t have to figure it out all yourself and you feel less isolated.
    • having a variety of people across diverse cultures and at different levels (and not just those in senior roles) gives you a broader perspective. If you have a varied network, someone is bound to have gone through something similar - often just having validation about what is happening can make you feel more positive.
    • asking for help from both your professional and personal network; the former will remind you of your achievements and capabilities and the latter will support you and be there for you. Also, being proactive and talking to a professional can really make a difference and help you with your mental wellbeing.

    How did you hear about CWN?

    As I mentioned earlier, I worked with Brenda Trenowden when I was in a Global Head of HR role at ANZ. At the time, Brenda was the President of CWN, and I worked with her to set up ANZ’s corporate membership as we were keen to partner with a network that was cross sector and cross industry.

    After leaving ANZ, I continued my individual membership and met the CWN President at that time, Sandy Lucas. Sandy was instrumental in encouraging me to join the Board and I am very grateful to her for believing in me

    It was an exciting time as Sandy had great ambitions for CWN, in particular, succession planning of the network and building a pipeline of more diverse role models on the Board. I led various projects including the selection of Haven House (our previous charity partner) before stepping into the role of Vice President. I saw this opportunity as being the right time, having the right platform, and with the right support from my fellow Board Members to bring that inclusive ambition to life that Sandy had initiated and wanted to fulfil.

    Now that I am President, I want to ensure that we create the right conditions, behaviours and environment for all our membership. A place where our members feel they belong and a network that is led by a diverse and inclusive Board.

    Inclusion and belonging are extremely important to you, what drives that passion?

    Growing up as a child in the Midlands during the 1970s wasn’t easy and I didn’t feel that I fitted in as I was split between two cultures (and bullied because of the colour of my skin). However, that all changed when I left school and worked at BBC Radio Leicester which was the first and only Asian community radio station in the UK at that time. Not only was I working with people that looked like me, (so I felt like I ‘belonged’), but they trusted me to deliver a great job. My confidence took a massive leap as a broadcast journalist.

    Having grown up feeling like an outsider and then experiencing that I could truly belong means I have seen first-hand the positive difference creating inclusive environments can have on an individual’s wellbeing and an organisation’s success.

    What do you put your success down to?

    Without a doubt my work ethic has driven me to where I am today. Seeing how hard my parents worked really instilled the importance of hard graft. We grew up with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all living in the same house with heating in only one room (and an outside loo!) which made me determined to achieve as much as possible. It was also drummed into me that as an immigrant I would have to work tirelessly and continuously to prove myself.

    Also being open to opportunities, seeing where they will take me and not listening to that doubting voice. If you’re hesitant about a new role or project, ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen? Remember you can always ask for help.

    Which leads me to mentors and sponsors. They have been critical throughout my career and I am grateful to the support from the many senior men and women who have believed in me.

    What’s your favourite food?

    In true culturally integrated style, I have two firm favourites: egg and chips and a wholesome vegetarian biryani (like my grandmother used to make).

    What’s your hidden talent?

    I can sing!

    What’s your favourite holiday destination?

    It has to be Rishikesh in India – a beautiful, peaceful and spiritual place on the banks of the river Ganges and where we scattered both of my parent’s ashes.

    What’s your guilty pleasure?

    A huge batch of salted, buttery popcorn – not for sharing!

  • CWN Admin posted an article
    CWN newsletter Mar/Apr covers keeping members connected in unprecedented times. see more

    CWN Newsletter March/April 2020

    During these unprecedented times we are conscious more than ever, of the importance of continuing to provide a platform for our members to make connections within our network and to share information and keep each other updated. With that in mind, we have moved our events to an online platform for the next few months. We are excited about this new phase for us and for the opportunity to support one another during this difficult time. 

    We start with news that Uma Cresswell has been elected ‘President’ as a result of our virtual AGM held last week. Uma shares insights into her personal and professional career, including how she has overcome adversity. You can read all about our conversation with Uma in a detailed article further below.

    Continuing our theme of keeping connected, we caught up with one of our members, Suki Gill who is the CFO of ViacomCBS for the UK/Australia region. Our charity partner, Wellbeing of Women, share an update as many of their clinical researchers are now part of the NHS front line response to COVID-19.

    We are incredibly proud of our network and all that they are doing to help their families, communities and organisations. For CWN, the Events Strategy Committee and Board Members have worked tirelessly to get our online platform up and running - we will be hosting events covering a wide range of topics and share practical and useful strategies and tips.

    As always, we hope you find the content in our newsletter useful. If you have a topic you would like us to feature, or if you have any suggestions for our virtual events, please do let us know by email.


    Articles in this issue:

    CWN Board and Member Profile: President, City Women Network

    Spotlight on Suki Gill

    News from our Charity Partner Wellbeing of Women

    Next Events

  • CWN Admin posted an article
    The inside story on Dawn Jackson, Inclusion & Belonging CWN Chair, and her ambitions for the network see more

    CWN Welcomes Dawn Jackson, Inclusion and Belonging Chair, CWN Board.

    I took the opportunity recently to meet and welcome Dawn Jackson to CWN. Anyone that knows me, will know I’m never one to miss an opportunity to meet new people as I’m always curious to hear what motivates them to do what they do. So, over a glass of bubbles at The German Gymnasium I asked Dawn a few questions about her background, what inspires and drives her, and what she wants to achieve in her role as the CWN Board Inclusion and Belonging Chair.

    Here’s what she had to say…


    Had you heard of CWN before you got involved?

    Sasha Scott who came to Aviva to discuss diversity and inclusion with me at ICBC Standard Bank (ICBC) recommended the network, but really it was my meeting with Uma Creswell where I learnt more about CWN. I worked previously as head of diversity and inclusion at Aviva and was very well connected through other memberships and actively networking. Whilst working with an executive coach at the bank, we were discussing my thoughts about what else I wanted to do with my career, and he said you should meet Uma ‘she’s a great connector’. So, we met, she recommended me to Sally Todd, and then I met fellow CWN Board members Tracey Groves and Ann-Marie Balfe. I talked to them about my passion for diversity and inclusion and how I had brought it into the bank.

    I came along to the balance sheet event with PwC and then I just thought there’s a great opportunity here – CWN is a great network, it is a diverse female network but there is an opportunity for the network to evolve and do other things. I felt I could make a difference and help make this happen. So, my involvement started there.


    You’ve recently started a new job, tell me more about that?

    After the freedom of travelling around the States for a month on the back of a Harley Davidson, I’m a few months into a whole word of new things! I worked for 6 months (part time) at Corndel Management School as a Professional Development expert supporting apprenticeships, coaching and tutoring as many as 25 learners from organisations including UBS and Bank of China, mostly from the financial services industry – I loved it.

    I worked with people at the mid-senior management level; who are often called the frozen middle – including many women who were struggling with wanting to step up or make an impact in a male dominated environment. (Editor: Can you relate?). Although I had a standard curriculum to take them through, the key area of focus was leadership and development which often included conversations around how to maximise the effectiveness of teams and simply to be better leaders - which often led to some great discussions on inclusive leadership behaviours and what these look like.

    Since leaving full-time corporate life and moving on from Corndel last month, I am now setting up my own coaching and inclusion business - CoachInclusion. 

    I want to leverage my coaching skills to create more inclusivity from two different angles. Connecting diverse individuals within the talent pipeline to coaching, those talented individuals who often do not get to benefit from the value of coaching and secondly, coaching existing senior managers and leaders in how to be more inclusive with their teams


    What appealed to you about working with CWN?

    The idea of bringing people together to share experiences and ideas, the network is a real facilitator of this. Because I didn’t know much about CWN myself before I joined (Editor: note to self, we need to do more here!), I thought a lot of other people may be in the same position. They know about other institutions for example, Women on Boards, but I thought it would be really useful if the network had more of an impact and engaged more proactively with those within and outside it.


    What was your perception of CWN?

    Sometimes forums and networks can become a bit of a talking shop unless there is a clear purpose. I love the idea that CWN is focussing on development, education and awareness, it gives the network a structure for people to help themselves develop. People have a lot of choice in terms of networks and I am not absolutely clear and sure what makes them choose CWN. We have an opportunity to revisit this and provide greater clarity around what really distinguishes us.

    Working on the diversity and inclusion agenda involves connecting with others and to learn from them. Networking is a big part of the role. You can’t stand still, remain insular and expect to remain relevant within this fast-changing agenda. We also have to think about how we provide opportunities for women in the CWN to connect with women of other kinds of backgrounds - they probably think about gender, but do they think about age, ethnicity and social mobility, as an example?


    What is going to be your focus for CWN over the next 6 months? Do you have a mandate?

    When I spoke to Sally Todd about the role earlier this year, she was keen to see how we can ensure CWN remains relevant, openly inclusive and diverse. The network is for senior women so we need to be mindful of that and retain this identity, however we should be looking at how we might work more proactively with other diverse networks. There will be networks that exist that we can work with. I asked some colleagues what would draw them to CWN – a network which was more openly inclusive was a key criteria.

    It would be interesting to see what the demographic breakdown is of the membership and also take a look at what other networks exist. I am a great believer in having people work together, the power and opportunity for organisations to work collectively or in partnership to influence societal and organisational culture change is huge - but people very often look at it from a very individual perspective.

    The next six months for me is about our members, and others outside it, starting to see some change. This starts with being thoughtful on this agenda and proactively delivering quality initiatives which show our intent and support for greater inclusion. This agenda is a complex one but I am a great believer in creating disruption through trying things that will take us a step forward. I am absolutely convinced we can learn and evolve the network this way.


    What attracted you to working in the diversity and inclusion field?

    I have always had an interest – particularly helping break down the barriers under privilege presents, especially regarding ethnicity and social mobility. I constantly educate myself around this which is very important. Whilst working at Aviva – working in a head of learning role, I was given the opportunity to take on a Head of D & I role, but I didn’t have a clue how to deliver everything from the start. That was my first realisation, that this is a big area but one that resonates strongly with my own values and passion. I have a strong belief in fairness, it’s a big thing for me and has guided me throughout my career. I want everyone to have opportunities, a sense of belonging and to feel valued. One of my personal value statements is "Valuing uniqueness. Empowering and enabling people to have a voice" which is important and something I care deeply about.


    What do you see as the keys elements to delivering real progress within diversity for business?

    I think the one thing is how do you balance the need for the environment to support a certain group, for example women, but with the need to be inclusive with everybody? If you focus too much on one network, you risk marginalising other groups.

    There is a school of thought that says networks create polarisation if they concentrate purely on specific characteristics. I therefore didn’t attempt to manufacture the creation of networks when I was at the bank but allowed them to evolve when there were passionate individuals keen to lead them. I think networks need to be mindful of being inclusive and encouraging a sense of belonging more broadly as well as providing a safe space for people with similar issues to come together.


    What did you want to be when you grew up?

    I have a brother just 18 months older, who is an air sea rescue helicopter pilot. His love of aviation rubbed off as we spent a lot of time together when we were younger. I wanted to be an airport manager or an air steward. The airport was a happy place and the gateway for people to fulfil their dreams and see the world, I liked that but what was missing to me was “can I really do that?” I came from a socially poor background. I was the only girl in my school that went to uni. I was a little bit marginalised because I was very clever and was in a school that didn’t expect clever. (Editor: I can so relate to this as my comprehensive was an awful experience, a place where you had to hide your talents so as not to get bullied) My parents were always saying go and be a bank manager, a nice safe job. I have always though, had this thing about wanting to help people grow, succeed and achieve. I have now landed somewhere that is very fulfilling.

    I am also in to better work life balance now, having spent so many years working full time in the corporate world. I am a curious person and I’m always learning; I like doing stuff. Life is ultimately about balance and giving back to yourself. And that is the way I can really help others.


    What’s your passion in life?

    To connect people. If I was (London) Mayor, I would look at bringing people together. I would love to create an environment where everyone can feel they can be themselves and feel able to reach out to and learn from others not like themselves. I love it when young people feel they can speak up to senior execs. Too many are afraid to speak up. I also love it when I seeing people connecting - walking curiously towards difference rather than away from it.


    What’s your guilty pleasure?

    I’m lucky to have a partner who likes to bake, so he makes me French breakfast rolls, fresh from the oven. My guilty pleasure is eating those! Provence Rose wine, cheese and French bread in my home in France is also my idea of bliss. How indulgent is that? (Editor: do you deliver?)


    What book you are reading at the moment?

    I read personal development books all the time. Currently I’m reading Playing Big by Tara Mohr – this is a brilliant book. As a female if you feel constrained because you have this feeling of not being good enough, it talks about the inner critic and contrasts that with the inner mentor (Note, we always pay attention to the critic and should be amplifying the mentor instead!!!) and thinking big. Women often think smaller – maybe due to conditioning and how we are brought up. It is an old-fashioned view, this idea that people thinking that when you have kids you lose something by going on maternity leave, it is about turning this around and seeing it positively. You gain personally (and so do organisations) because you learn from that experience and have other rich skills and experiences to offer on your return.

    I’m also reading Gravitas (Caroline Goyder). It’s all about how you can come across with more impact and meaning in meetings and presentations. It has some very interesting, useful tips to try out.


    What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?

    I would say very simply; you are good enough as you are. You can do anything you want in life. You are simply … enough. Don’t listen to other people in terms of what they think is right for you. The academic world is important - but think beyond that. What you bring is unique, so go with it.


    Dawn Jackson was talking to Dawn-Louise Kerr, member of the CWN Marketing & Communications Committee.

    To find out more about CWN and our Diversity and Inclusion Policy please visit our website




  • CWN Admin posted an article
    A behind the scenes chat with Ana Pacheco, Marketing and Communications CWN Chair. see more

    CWN Board and Member Profile: Ana Pacheco, Marketing & Communications Chair


    Ana Pacheco, Chair of CWN’s Marketing and Communications Committee, gives us a behind-the-scenes view of the network as well as her life outside it.

    What’s your typical week?

    As the Client and Marketing Director for The Pipeline (we work with organisations to build a sustainable pipeline of diverse talent and help high potential women achieve senior roles), my week is very varied. I could be delivering a workshop sharing our 10 key observations to improve female progression in large corporates, outlining my vision to our business on improving how we attract our target audience to our website, or leading a session filming our alumni talking through their top tips.

    What attracted you to working in sales and marketing?

    Looking back, when I was at school I wanted to be a journalist, then a lawyer and then a fighter pilot! These all dropped off my radar for various reasons and it was when I was at university applying for various graduate schemes that I was drawn to the marketing induction programmes. My applications weren’t successful and after a job in finance administration and then in events I got my first taste of sales and marketing in a junior business development role for a Benefits Consultancy. From there I started leading pitches and thrived on thinking about our offering from the client’s perspective and how to get across how it would feel different partnering with the company I was working for, rather than delivering a standard proposal. I moved into running national client account programmes as well as leading sales campaigns there, and as I took on more senior roles I broadened my expertise to marketing strategy and tactics – the rest as they say is history.

    How did you reach this point in your life and was there a defining moment/person?

    Probably the most defining moment in my life, although it didn’t feel like it at the time, was when my parents divorced which meant my Mum and I abruptly moved from Egypt back to England. We lived with my grandmother who was an absolute inspiration (she lived to 104 years old). She taught me never to give up and passed on a phenomenal work ethic. Similarly, my History and English teachers totally believed I could achieve anything I set out to do which I remember to this day (and they told us always to vote!).

    What do you find inspirational/useful about the CWN?

    So many things. The other women I meet at events, the expertise and camaraderie of my colleagues on the Marketing and Communications Committee, the ideas and experience of the Board members, the insights from our speakers. I find it particularly refreshing that our members hold such varied roles in their professional lives and yet when you meet them they are so friendly and open.

    As a working mum and also the Chair of the Marketing and Communications Committee, how do you pick the opportunities you get involved with and juggle it all?

    I’m not sure I do juggle it all successfully. However, when I had the chance to get involved with the Committee I jumped at it because I thought CWN was so inclusive and I wanted to do what I could to contribute to encouraging others to join the network so they can experience what I’ve experienced. Also, it’s easier to juggle when you set up a strong support network – I’m fortunate enough to have a fantastic array of friends where I live and colleagues at work or in previous roles that I know I can call for help or advice.

    What’s the role of the Marketing and Communications Committee?

    Our initial focus was to increase our interactions with members which has resulted in more regular newsletters, features (such as ‘spotlight on’ or ‘coffee with’ members) and updates on social media. Our strategy now is to create more planned touch points which link to our 2020 theme of ’Wellbeing’, find ways of developing content with our members (e.g. in broader features on our newsletters/social media) and broaden our channels on social media to create more of a community feel (hence the launch of Instagram with motivational quotes and members’ insights).

    We all get involved by using our strengths or learning new skills which could be anything from liaising with a member to draft an article on an interesting topic, posting updates on social media or working with our charity partner to communicate ways in which we can all get involved. It’s exciting, fun and certainly diverse. We are looking for members to join the committee so if this appeals to you then do get in touch.

    Which achievement are you most proud of in your professional life and what are your top tips for our members looking to succeed in a similar way?

    I’m really fortunate that there are several moments: from winning lucrative pitches that were a turning point for the business I was working with, sponsoring women to achieve awards or roles they aspired to, turning around teams that lacked direction and delivering a campaign which directly resulted in new business. My top tip would be perseverance - usually if you keep trying you’ll find a way to get to where you want to be, even if it wasn’t how you thought it would happen when you started.

    What was the most challenging experience you’ve had in the workplace and what are your top tips for women to turn similar experiences into an opportunity?

    Having worked in a Big Four firm for 15 years, moving to grow a start-up was a big shift as I didn’t automatically have access to a large network at work. I quickly realised that it’s important not to rely only on your operational network (typically at work helping you deliver your objectives) but also to build up a strategic network outside of your day job. Now I have a much broader network which I prioritise helping when I can as it has given me so much more confidence and meant I can add more value where I work as I learn every day from the people I connect with.

    What career advice would you give your younger self?

    Don’t be so harsh on yourself – remember what you have achieved rather than what you haven’t.

    What do you like doing when you do have any down time?

    Like most people, I don’t have as much down time as I’d like but when I do, swimming, singing or chilling with my nine-year-old daughter are top of the list.

    What’s your guilty pleasure?

    Buying Hello magazine before going away for the weekend or a longer holiday. Once I’ve opened that magazine I know I’ve left the office well and truly behind (I really can’t believe I’ve admitted that to you all).

    What are you reading (or watching) right now?

    I’m reading ‘Invisible Women’ by Caroline Criado-Perez. Every person, whatever their gender or how they identify themselves, should read it. It is truly eye-opening as she explains how the smallest things are creating a huge gender data gap.

  • CWN Admin posted an article
    Next events see more

    Next Events


    Our pick of events run by CWN and our partners – click on the heading to read more:

    25 February: Women on Boards – Cyber Literacy for the Boardroom. This event features Charlotte Wilson of Cisco’s Security Acquisition Team and provides a background to the cyber landscape, highlights some best practices that organisations deploy and ultimately arms you with the information to ask the right questions in the boardroom.

    4 March: Prospective Members’ BreakfastMany of our members say this event really gives them an experience of what it will be like to be part of the Network so do encourage any of your peers who are interested in joining to come along and meet our Board members in an intimate setting.

    12 March: The Impact of Digital Technology on Inclusion – Enabler or Barrier? – together with CWN’s corporate partner Nomura, and in collaboration with the National Black Women’s Network, a diverse panel will discuss the extent to which technology is an enabler or inhibitor of inclusion. The moderator is Sasha Scott, founder of the Inclusive Group with Karima-Catherine (KC) Goundiam, Christine Hemphill, Mark Martin and Wincie Wong on the panel.

    19 March: NEDonBoard – The Effective NED and Board Member One Day Course This specialised course is dedicated to business leaders on track to become a non-executive director or committee chairperson, or those newly in a non-exec role. Speakers includes experts from Aon and Genius Methods as well as a former Chief Legal Officer/Company Secretary.

    31 March: NEDonBoard – UK Government Departments NED Introductions This event has been developed for members that are interested in NED roles in the public sector to be able to engage with the Department of Education, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Ministry for Justice and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on vacancies and opportunities.


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    CWN newsletter Jan/Feb covers inspiring role models & 2020 events! see more

    CWN Newsletter January/February 2020


    City Women Network’s winter drinks began the new decade superbly for our network; we welcomed Viv Groskop who shared many useful insights on speaking to large audiences and ‘how to own the room’. We also heard from our Acting President Uma Cresswell and introduced our charity partner Wellbeing of Women, and heard from their Chief Executive Janet Lindsay.

    Uma shared our theme for 2020 which will be ‘Wellbeing' – whether that’s personal, physical, financial or in our careers. On that note, many of us may have set resolutions or have planned changes in 2020 either at home or at work. To help us maintain momentum and stay on track to succeed we’ve spoken to three CWN members who are coaching experts for their top tips, advice and questions to reflect on.

    Looking forward, we’ve got a great line-up of events which feature in our newsletter and we’d like to highlight our event in collaboration with Nomura and the National Black Women’s Network. This event will take place on the 12 March and features a diverse panel of speakers who will be discussing the impact of technological advances on Inclusion – this is a key business priority for many organisations and individuals alike and will no doubt create a stimulating debate.

    We’re delighted to include an update from Wellbeing of Women on how we can get more involved, as well as a profile of Ana Pacheco, the Chair of our Marketing and Communication Committee.

    We hope you find the content in our newsletter useful, and if you would like us to cover anything in particular please do let us know by email.


    Articles in this issue:

    Stay Positive and Achieve Your Goals

    News from our Charity Partner Wellbeing of Women

    CWN Board and Member Profile: Ana Pacheco, Marketing & Communications Chair

    Next Events

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    News from our Charity Partner Wellbeing of Women see more

    News from our Charity Partner Wellbeing of Women

    We were delighted to launch our new charity partnership with Wellbeing of Women at our Winter Drinks in January. Wellbeing of Women is the UK’s foremost women’s health charity and invests in vital medical research across the whole breadth of women’s reproductive health and childbirth. We are very excited to be supporting their work over the next two years and will be bringing you regular updates from their research and on their events.

    There are so many ways you can support them. Here’s a few upcoming events we thought you’d be interested in.

    1 March: The London Big Half – this community running festival is incredibly popular due to the fact that it is open for everyone, no matter your age, background or running ability. If you’re a newbie to running, this world-class event actively encourages first-time runners to take part. Wellbeing of Women have a few places remaining.

    5 to 7 June: Jurassic Coast Trek – many of Wellbeing of Women’s supporters are interested so they’ve kindly opened up this Trek to our members. You can hike 26 brilliant miles from Weymouth to Corfe Castle across one of the most geologically diverse coastlines in the world to raise funds for vital research into women’s health. The non-refundable registration fee is £65 per person with only a £600 sponsorship pledge for each walker.

    5 July: Asics London 10K – join runners on a spectacular route through Central London, lined with spectators that cheer their loudest and DJs who bring the race to life. Wellbeing of Women has limited places in the event so get in touch to reserve yours – get your colleagues, friends and families involved too!

    Literary Lunches: Wellbeing of Women have a brilliant catalogue of speakers and will be hosting two of their renowned Literary Lunches this year, bringing together best-selling authors with fabulous venues and an incredible group of people, they are not to be missed! More details to follow soon…

    Please contact Laura Neale for more information on Wellbeing of Women’s event and how you can support their work.

  • CWN Admin posted an article
    Beverly Landais, Geraldine Gallacher & Joanna Bown’s top tips to stay focused on your goals see more

    Stay Positive and Achieve Your Goals


    Three members who are qualified executive coaches (Joanna Bown, Beverly Landais and Geraldine Gallacher) kindly put together their top tips to help us plan and achieve our goals over the next 12 months and how to stick to them whilst keeping a positive outlook.


    Reflecting to change your behaviours

    Joanna Bown of Distinctions Executive Coaching, suggests imagining where you want to be before looking back to deciding which behaviours to focus on.


    What are your priorities for 2020 and how to set them?

    If you were already in December of 2020 and had achieved all you wanted for yourself both professionally and personally this year, what would you practically see, feel and notice that you aren’t seeing today? Then work backwards, break that down into visual goals, and set timelines against them – Where do you want to start? What’s missing? What support might you need to ask for? And from whom?


    What new behaviours would I like to start building habits of this year?

    Separate your skills from your behaviours – what specific new behaviours would you like to be experiencing, both personally and professionally, in 2020? How would you, and those around you, know that you were showing those new behaviours? What would you experience? How would you know? What outcome are you looking for?


    What should you keep or leave behind?

    What does a good year in 2020 look and feel like for you? What might you need to let go of, or surrender from, and also into, your life this year, to live with more courage of your convictions, to lean into the chaos and discomfort of change, to flex and relax your safety structures, and to lean into the discomfort with flexibility? This is how we grow…..


    Planning to stay on track

    Beverly from Beverly Landais Executive Coaching outlines some questions to help map out putting our goals into action.


    Gaining perspective and making decisions

    Find some quiet time and space so that you can answer three questions for yourself:

    • What went well last year?
    • What didn’t go so well last year?
    • What did I learn?

    Write up your thoughts and observations. What themes or patterns do you see?


    Thinking about the future

    Having captured your insights from the previous exercise, answer these questions for yourself:

    • How might I apply this insight and learning to my thinking and behaviour in 2020?
    • What kind of support and resources will help me achieve beneficial change in my life?
    • How might I get more useful resources and helpful assistance in my life?
    • What might be the first step in this process?


    Write up your answers. Now set your intention. This is vitally important as intention guides action. What will you act upon today that moves you towards that beneficial change? Taking just one small step towards your goal will motivate and energise you to keep going. Remember "It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." Eleanor Roosevelt.


    Keeping positive in 2020

    Geraldine Gallacher, MD at the Executive Coaching Consultancy, shares a few simple ways of improving your mental wellbeing even if you are extremely time-poor.


    • get into the habit, every night of remembering three things that happened today that you are grateful for. This really helps to combat busy brain and also has been shown to reduce anxiety.
    • try positive journaling. Restrict yourself to a paragraph and just write down the good things that happened.
    • a really easy tip for making the endorphins run around is to be kind to a stranger. Believe it or not this has been proven to dramatically improve mental health. You benefit and so does the stranger!


    Thanks so much for sharing your expertise and advice – it’s certainly given the editorial team at CWN food for thought.

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    Fatema Orjela, Partner at Sidley Austin on being a trusted advisor and celebrating women in law. see more

    Spotlight on Fatema Orjela

    Fatema Orjela, Partner at Sidley Austin, gives us a glimpse into her career in law, her dedication to encouraging women to join the legal sector and how being a trusted advisor generally is an extension of her profession.

    What do you do/what's your typical day?

    I am a partner in private equity at Sidley Austin. I assist sponsors and financial institutions in M&A, shareholder arrangements and management incentive arrangements. I am also on a number of internal and external committees, e.g. London Chair of Sidley’s global women’s committee, CWN and Oxford Women in Law as well as being a wife and mother, so my day tends to involve a lot of coordination.

    What attracted you to becoming a lawyer and your field in particular?

    I have always loved being a ‘trusted advisor’ to friends and family. Being a lawyer is an extension of this; people look to you for guidance, judgment, and analytical and problem-solving abilities. Private equity, in particular, relies sharply on this skill set being put to effect at a fast pace, to understand people and their drivers to help facilitate parties to agree terms.

    What do you find inspirational/useful about the CWN?

    The exposure to exclusive high-quality events and a network of seasoned peers. I always leave events on a positive adrenaline high having learnt a new skill / perspective or met someone of interest outside of my usual professional circles.

    What was the most challenging experience you've had in the workplace and what are your tips for women to turn similar experiences into an opportunity?

    In 2016, I moved firms alongside 5 other partners and 11 associates. We have since grown our area into 20+ partners and 50+ associates across London and Munich. It was important to learn that there is not one single style of management that is effective. An effective style will depend on the environment. It’s important to be open to push yourself to change as needs be to be able to always be the most effective version of yourself.

    As a lawyer yourself, what do you think we can do to encourage more women to choose a career in law?

    Celebrate the multiple women already in the profession, the varied personalities / backgrounds, and the range of practice areas available. Women should be encouraged to be authentic as, in law, there really is something for everyone.

    How has studying science created opportunities for you that wouldn't have been possible otherwise?

    My strengths at school were sciences (Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Spanish A/AS levels). I seriously considered a career in medicine. Law and medicine are very similar in mindset. You have a toolbox of knowledge. When issues arise, you need to analyse and evaluate before applying such toolbox.

    Are there any particular issues you have come across working in the legal sector and how should other women overcome them?

    Private practice partnership models can be opaque and it can be hard to commit without knowledge of what might come. But firms are starting to focus on identifying rising stars and increased transparency. It should be noted that the initial exponential ‘learning curve’ is short compared to the length of one’s entire career. Keep on learning and helping those around you. Vocalise your enthusiasm and drive.

    You're leading or involved in several initiatives promoting diversity. What attracted you to the ones you picked?

    It is key that we retain more female talent at senior levels in the legal profession. Their talent is invaluable. Increased diversity makes law firms more interesting and dynamic places to work. The quality of complex legal thinking is better. All the legal diversity related positions I hold involve this focus.

    What career advice would you give your younger self?

    • Focus on yourself and be the best that you can be.
    • Ask as many questions as you want until you feel you understand, as if you’re asking, chances are others also don’t know the answer.

    What's do you like doing when you do have any down time?

    Cooking, travelling, scuba diving.

    What are you reading (or watching) right now?

    Unthinkable An Extraordinary Journey Through the World's Strangest Brains 

  • CWN Admin posted an article
    CWN newsletter November/December covers inspiring role models & 2020 events! see more

    CWN Newsletter November/December 2019

    As we come to the end of the year, we are delighted to include in this newsletter features on inspirational women, updates regarding changes to the Board, a run-down of the latest books to read on gender and leadership as well as the usual reminders of events in the diary.

    Firstly, we wanted to let you know that the CWN Board are sorry to announce that Sally Todd will be stepping down as President at the end of this year. Sally has made a fantastic contribution to the continuing evolution of CWN and she will be sorely missed. We send Sally all our good wishes for her future endeavours. For those who weren’t able to be at the recent Members Forum where this news was originally shared, Sally will  remain an active member of the CWN community  and you will see her at upcoming events where you will have the opportunity to extend your thanks and gratitude first-hand.

    From the 1 January, Uma Cresswell will take on the role of acting President until our AGM in March – it is exciting to have Uma leading us through the next chapter of the CWN journey.

    This edition also contains not just one, but two interviews with inspirational women. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act in December 1919, our ‘Spotlight on…’ features Fatema Orjela, Partner at the law firm, Sidley Austin. Highlighting a member who is a lawyer is timely as the act made it possible for women to qualify as barristers or solicitors for the first time.

    The other interview is with Dawn Jackson, our Inclusion and Belonging Chair on the CWN Board. You may remember that we shared her appointment with you in previous editions and we wanted to give you an opportunity to get to know her better. Do take the opportunity to speak to Dawn when you see her at future events.

    As always, our newsletter includes a reminder of upcoming events in the CWN calendar.  And finally, as Christmas is around the corner, we’ve included a selection of books published in 2019 that you might want to put on your present list!

    We hope you find the content in our newsletter useful and if you’d like us to cover anything in particular, please do let us know by email.

  • CWN Admin posted an article
    Issue 4/2019 CWN newsletter full of member stories and upcoming events! see more

    CWN Newsletter September/October 2019

    The summer drinks event seems a wonderful distant memory partly we hope, because you all managed to get a break and enjoy the lovely weather at home or abroad; but also because so much has happened since then for women across sport, banking and business.

    We started the summer all transfixed by the football played in FIFA Women’s World Cup held in Paris, which culminated in the US women’s national team winning the trophy. The success of women in Paris continued to be played out across Europe in banking and politics as, for the first time, two women were appointed to run the European Commission (Ursula von der Leyen) and the European Central Bank (Christine Lagarde). This is a historic step towards seeing more inclusion at senior levels. Similarly, we are always delighted when our CWN members and partners progress their career journey and none more so than CWN’s former President, Brenda Trenowden, who recently joined PwC UK as a partner in its people consulting business.

    As always, our newsletter has an interview with another inspirational role model, in this edition Jane Olds, who is the Head of HR at CWN corporate partner BCS Consulting and an update on our planned events. We’ve also included top tips for using LinkedIn following requests from members who want to use social media more effectively.

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


    Articles in this issue:

    Spotlight on Jane Olds

    External Partners and Events

    3 top tips

    Next events

  • CWN Admin posted an article
    Upcoming events with CWN see more

    Next Events

    We have a wealth of CWN events coming up – click on each heading to read more:

    26 September: Embodying Leadership Masterclass with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) – back by popular demand, here’s another chance to hone your skills with RADA’s experts.

    1 October: Autumn 2019 Prospective & Current Members Drinks. A great opportunity to bring women in your network to get a taste of CWN and of course for our members to catch-up.

    10 OctoberForensic Readiness – Making your business secure, hosted by Wipro, with Dr Jan Collie who is a leading authority on digital forensics and cyber security. Keep abreast of changes to help your business be prepared.

    30 October: The Role of Emotions in Leadership Masterclass with King’s Business School – our last event with King’s had fantastic feedback so here’s another opportunity to learn from a leading business school.

    And, of course, our next Prospective Members Breakfast is on Wednesday 6 November.