BIGGEST AUDIENCE EVER FOR THE WOMEN’S BUSINESS FORUMPosted: 10-05-2012
Final tickets have gone on sale as the new website goes live for The Women’s Business Forum 2012 with organisers anticipating a record attendance. Over 650 delegates, with a guaranteed 60:40 female to men ratio, will attend the conference at Rudding Park, Harrogate on 2 and 3 October.
The event has already confirmed speakers including; economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett who is flying in from New York especially for the event, Allan Leighton, chairman of Pace, Carrie Hindmarsh, CEO, M&C Saatchi and Emily Lawson, senior partner with McKinsey & Company.
Heather Jackson, founder and CEO of The Women’s Business Forum said: “With 80% of the tickets already reserved, we are confident that what we have built and are delivering is a forum that organisations, their women and their men not only want, but need to ensure a future where the best talent can lead, regardless of gender.”
The theme for this year’s Women’s Business Forum is “Regardless of Gender – The Future” and the conference will examine the business performance benefits that can be achieved from creating a better gender balance in senior corporate roles and effective strategies to achieve this goal.
Allan Leighton said: “The issue for many companies is not why they should appoint women to the board but how they go about doing this. The Women’s Business Forum has an enviable reputation in providing companies with a road map on how to achieve this goal.
“The event aims to enable companies and their women to work together to make some really simple changes to support more women into senior positions. There is clear evidence that shows better gender balanced companies are more successful.”
Allan Leighton is backing the campaign to encourage more companies to develop their female talent; concentrating on the pipeline rather than the boards, as he believes this is an area where the UK can take the lead and see real productivity gains.
Heather Jackson, founder and CEO of The Women’s Business Forum said: “If a company just concentrates on its board makeup, it really is just putting a plaster on something which needs major surgery. What we provide is a sustainable long-term solution rather than a reactive approach through the four initiatives within An Inspirational Journey – of which The Women’s Business Forum is one of them. Our aim is to encourage and support companies who want to see the most skilled and talented people to work collaboratively and take themselves to the top, regardless of gender.”
A Gala Dinner titled “INFLUENTIAL. Leading leaders, leading leaders” kicks off the event on the evening on 2 October. Places for the dinner are limited to just 180; last year’s attendees included Chris Sullivan; Chief Executive, Corporate Banking Division, RBS, Tim Solso; Chief Executive of Cummins Inc. and Nancy Staisey, Managing Director, IBM.
The full day conference takes place the following day and has grown to become Europe’s largest event on gender balanced management. The issue has become more important to large corporates in recent years with the publication of the Davies Report, which set targets on female representation at board level for listed companies.
RBS are the major sponsor of the event. Chris Sullivan, Chief Executive of RBS UK Corporate Banking, who was recently awarded European Champion of Diversity for his support and work within this arena said: “It is increasingly accepted that gender balance at senior levels means success for both women and men. Studies have shown strong links in financial performance based on gender balance. A top agenda item for any company should be the issue of supporting more women in senior roles, we all know this makes good business sense.”
The Davies Report urged FTSE 350 companies to set out the percentage of women they aim to have on boards and in executive committees by 2013 and 2015. FTSE 100 boards should aim for a minimum of 25 per cent female representation by 2015.
The 2012 FTSE Female Report by Cranfield University showed that, in the first year of reporting, the FTSE 100 had made some progress in meeting Lord Davies’ requirements, with the proportion of women on boards increasing to 15.6 per cent from 12.5 per cent the previous year. However, the situation with the FTSE 350 worsened with 89 per cent still having no female board representation. For this reason the event has gained even more publicity and interest from businesses that fall within this category.
The Women's Business Forum is just one of the initiatives delivered by An Inspirational Journey as it seeks to ensure companies support, guide, retain, grow and develop the most balanced, skilled and talented teams of tomorrow to the top of the corporate hierarchy, Regardless of Gender.
An Inspirational Journey, supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland, provides events and online support for over 4,000 corporate women and the leaders from 26 globally recognised companies.
Tickets for the event range from £350 to £550 and are available via application through www.thewomensbusinessforum.co.uk
An Inspirational Journey has created a two minute film to articulate the issue and inspire companies and their women to embrace change within their organisation. The film, which can be viewed on YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=k02iNcLvNAM is also available as a hard copy DVD free of charge for any male or female working for an organisation needing to understand why companies need to value their women and why women need to value themselves. Please email Leicia.Feare@aninspirationaljourney.com for a copy.
The government proposed in September 2011 that quoted companies should produce a new annual ‘strategic report’ to state the proportion of women on their
“I was thoroughly
impressed with the quality of the event and I am really
pleased that EY are associated with this important mission
of An Inspirational Journey.”
Partner and People Leader,
Ernst and Young
“I can honestly say that
in every regard
it was the most fulfilling, educational, and inspiring
Forum I have ever been to.”
Editor with Hearst Magazines
“As with last year, you managed
to achieve a great line
up of speakers which made the time spent worthwhile.”
“ I thought the Forum yesterday
was excellent...The speakers were first class”
“I definitely left inspired.
It really was inspirational and I've come away fired up with new
ideas about things we could do to progress this journey.
The speakers (were) very good indeed. I look forward to continuing
We were extremely impressed by the
organisation, calibre of participants and,
of course, the choice of venue.
Founder and CEO
Thanks so much for inviting me to your
fabulous event, it was as ever inspirational, uplifting and fun!
Dr Jacqui Grey
The atmosphere of the event was wonderfully open and mutually
supportive. A rare thing in a gathering of 500 people!”
The great thing about The Women's Business Forum is it sets up
those networks across sectors and really gets people sharing the
I like the fact there are a lot more men in the audience than there
usually are at these functions...It's really important for both
sides to understand what the issue is ”
Chief Operating Officer
An Inspirational Journey and The Women's business Forum is part
of that jigsaw that's helping to move things in the right
Head of Diversity & Inclusion EMEA
The speakers were brilliant; from role models, which are essential
to anyone's progression, particularly a female's progression, to
accomplished and successful leaders
Now's the time, it couldn't be more important to say we need
more women on boards.”
Head of Organisational Effectiveness
Who Should Attend?Any leader who needs to know more about
talent management and effective performance >
Why Should I Attend?Real life practical solutions, keep up to date
with best practice and unique networking >
Delegate PackagesPackages for this year's gala dinner
and conference >