The Women's Business Forum brings together current and the next generation of leading business men and women, from all sectors and corners of the UK and Europe.
We continue to attract the world's most influential and inspirational speakers on the subject of business management and performance. The line-up for 2013 will be announced in the near future and is guaranteed to be no exception.
In the meantime, please see below for the list of 2012 Speakers for reference:
Founder of The Women's Business Forum and Chief Executive of An Inspirational Journey
Heather is the Founder and Chief Executive of The Women's Business Forum, one of four initiatives from An Inspirational Journey, which seeks to increase the number of skilled women working at the top of corporate Britain.
An Inspirational Journey, launched in May 2011, fuelled by the Royal Bank of Scotland, unites companies, their women and their male business leaders. It aims to mend the leaking pipeline of talented women and and ensure organisations have the best talent to lead them, Regardless of Gender without need for mandatory quotas enforced by legislation.
Sylvia Ann Hewlett
Center for Talent and Innovation, New York
"Regardless of Gender... The Future"
Sylvia Ann Hewlett is an economist and the founding president of the Center for Talent Innovation (formerly the Center for Work-Life Policy), a Manhattan-based think tank where she chairs the "Task Force for Talent Innovation", a task force of 73 global companies committed to global talent innovation. She also directs the Gender and Policy Program at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Century Association and the World Economic Forum Council on Women's Empowerment.
Hewlett is the author of ten Harvard Business Review articles and ten critically acclaimed nonfiction books including When the Bough Breaks (Basic Books, winner of a Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Prize), Off-Ramps and On-Ramps (Harvard Business School Press, named as one of the best business books of 2007 by Amazon.com), and Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets (Harvard Business Press, August 2011). She is ranked #11 on the "Thinkers 50" listing of the world's 50 top business thinkers. Her writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and the International Herald Tribune and she is a featured blogger on Harvard Business Online and Forbes. In 2011 she received the Isabel Benham Award from the Women's Bond Club and Woman of the Year Award from the Financial Women's Association.
Hewlett is the founder of Sylvia Ann Hewlett Associates LLC advisory services that focus on helping organizations leverage talent across the divides of culture, gender and generation.
Hewlett has taught at Cambridge, Columbia and Princeton universities and held fellowships at the Institute for Public Policy Research in London and the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard. In the 1980s she became the first woman to head up the Economic Policy Council - a think tank composed of 125 business and labor leaders.
Hewlett is a sought-after speaker on the international stage. She has keynoted International Women's Day at the IMF, given the featured address at Pfizer's Emerging Markets Leadership Summit in Dubai, and spoken at the White House. She is a frequent guest on TV and radio, appearing on Oprah, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Charlie Rose, ABC World News Tonight, The Today Show, The View, BBC World News and Talk of the Nation - and she has been lampooned on Saturday Night Live.
A Kennedy Scholar and graduate of Cambridge University, Hewlett earned her PhD in economics at London University. Less
McKinsey & Company Inc.
"Regardless of Gender... Effective Implementation of a Diversity Programme"
Emily Lawson is a Partner at McKinsey & Company. She is the leader of global Human Capital practice, and helps companies across the world on all issues related to organisational performance, in particular on issues of talent strategy and management, capability-building and culture change, with a focus on pharmaceutical and financial services.
Emily led McKinsey's 2012 research on diversity, Women Matter: Making the Breakthrough, and heads their work across Europe on helping companies attract, develop and retain their women. Emily holds an MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, a PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of East Anglia, and an MBA with Distinction from the Said Business School, Oxford.
"Regardless of Gender...A Mad (Wo)Man's Perspective"
An 'M&C Saatchi Lifer' Carrie began her career as a Graduate Trainee at Saatchi & Saatchi in 1991 and joined M&C Saatchi when it was founded in 1995. She was promoted to Managing Director in 2007 and Chief Executive in 2011.
Carrie's client responsibilities include Transport for London, Olympic Delivery Authority, Direct Line, Heinz and Vertu. Carrie was recently elected as an IPA Council Member and is also part of their Professional Development Group.
She champions the Saatchi spirit and is a fierce protector of people and talent within M&C Saatchi. Creatively driven, she is associated with much of the agency's strongest work and will be pushing the creative agenda of the future.
My Family Care
Panel Discussion: "Regardless of Gender... Family Responsibility - Whose is it?"
Ben Black started his career as a corporate lawyer at Ashurst before joining one of his clients the Club Company. Inspired by the work P&G was undertaking around working mothers Ben and his brother Ollie started a childcare business in 2000, Tinies, which is now the UK's largest supplier of nannies and nursery staff operating from 30 branches across the country. Tinies is part of the My Family Care group which Ben founded in 2005 with the ground breaking emergency childcare service.
My Family Care specialises in providing work and family support to parents and carers at many of the UK's best employers including Barclays, Shell, IBM, Deloitte, KPMG, Freshfields and GSK.
Ben is also a founding director of the Good Care Guide, the Trip Advisor type site for the care industry; a regular commentator on childcare issues; and slightly randomly a non-executive at AnyJunk, the nationwide clearance business.
In his spare time a French wife, 3 young children and an annual marathon keep Ben busy. Less
Managing Director - Asia Pacific
"Regardless of Gender... Everyone Needs a Role Model"
Bob Charlton is the Managing Director for Asia Pacific at DLA Piper. He is based in Hong Kong and leads a team of over 650 lawyers based in five countries across Australia, China, Japan, Singapore and Thailand. Bob is responsible for achieving DLA Piper's vision to be the leading business law firm in the region.
Prior to moving to Hong Kong in May 2012, Bob was responsible for the Finance & Projects practice for the firm. He joined DLA Piper in 2009 from Freshfields where he was a partner acting for a range of banks, principal borrowers and Governments.
Prior to joining Freshfields, Bob was a partner at Clifford Chance for over 12 years and gained a significant amount of international experience working in the firm's offices in London, Asia and the Middle East
Bob has always believed in equal opportunity and fair hiring practices and recognises that the importance of diversity and balance at work cannot be over-emphasized. Within Bob's role as Managing Partner for Asia Pacific this emphasis in today's increasingly global workplace environment is even more important. The ability to effectively communicate with people of different cultures and backgrounds is an essential skill. Most importantly, Bob believes that diversity and balance at work helps to cultivate an environment where everyone feels accepted and valued for his or her workplace contributions, and free to work towards their full potential. Less
Managing Partner for People
Ernst & Young
"Regardless of Gender... Is Agile Working the Way Forward?"
Liz is Ernst & Young's Managing Partner for People in the UK & Ireland and sits on the UK firm's Executive Board. Liz is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusiveness and for all 25 years of her career at EY has been determined to create an environment where people from all backgrounds can succeed and flourish.
Under Liz's stewardship EY recently achieved first place in Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index and Liz was recently featured as one of 16 global role models selected by Stonewall to participate in their recent research.
Liz has worked with the following organisations to deliver impactful presentations that encourage others to realise their potential: Stonewall, Women in Banking & Finance, EYGLES (EY's LGBT Network), EY's Women's Network and the European Commission. Less
General Manager, Customer and Business Development
Procter & Gamble
Workshop: "Regardless of Gender... Effective Business & Behavioural Performance"
Geraldine Huse joined P&G in 1986 as a graduate in the UK & Ireland sales organisation. Through the 1990s, she managed P&G's Convenience Retail Channel in the UK and then moved into marketing, managing leading laundry brands in Poland. Since then, Geraldine has progressed through a number of senior leadership roles across P&G's global business. She has been responsible for P&G's Skin & Cosmetic business in Europe, the global Personal Cleansing business (focussing on China, NA, Canada and WE), and led the multifunctional business team for J Sainsbury in the UK. Geraldine then became responsible for overall Market Strategy in the UK & Ireland. Following an assignment in Geneva leading P&G's Western European Market Strategy & Planning organisation, Geraldine is now back in the UK as General Manager of Customer Business Development. Geraldine is a Trustee of the Industry charity, Caravan.
CEO, RBS Corporate Banking
"Regardless of Gender... Reward and Recognition"
Chris Sullivan was appointed Chief Executive of the Corporate Banking Division including SME and the GTS Division in August 2009. These businesses hold market positions of 1st (in the UK) and 5th (globally) respectively. Chris' previous role was as Chief Executive of RBS Insurance. Prior to this, Chris was Chief Executive of Retail and Deputy Chief Executive of Retail Markets.
Chris is the Group sponsor for Gender Diversity and the Focused Womens Network which has seen its membership grow from 500 to currently over 5000 members.
Working initially in a number of sales and sales management roles he was appointed Head of Group Training and Development in 1991. The role reflected his sustained interest in leadership and management development and initiated his close working relationship with Professor Harry Schroder (Princeton). In 1993, Chris became the National Sales Director for Lombard Business Finance, moving on to become Managing Director and later Chief Executive of Lombard Group, a business he joined from school in 1975.
Chris has a proven track record in growing businesses which he continues to demonstrate throughout his career to date.
FCIBS - Chris Sullivan earned his Fellowship of Chartered Institute of Bankers Scotland for his services to Scottish Banking in various roles throughout his career. Less
Head of Organisational Effectiveness
"Regardless of Gender... You Need the Right Mindset"
Kirsty is based in London and accountable for leading BP's Organisational Effectiveness function, working closely with the Executive Team of the company to surface the issues that get in the way of, or can unlock better organisational performance. This remit incorporates the focused approach to the company's values & expected behaviours, its Diversity & Inclusion agenda and further developing the company's Organisational Change and Development capability.
She believes deeply that people are the most valuable asset an organisation has, and that enabling and harnessing the sense of belonging, diverse thinking, talent and energy of people across the business is key to sustainable business success.
Chairman of a portfolio of organisations
Panel Discussion: "Regardless of Gender... Tough Calls"
Allan started his career at Mars Confectionery as a Salesman in 1974. He worked his way up through the company before leaving in 1991. He then joined Pedigree Petfoods where he was Sales Director until his appointment in 1992 to Asda Stores Ltd. He began his career in Asda as Group Marketing Director and was appointed Chief Executive in September 1996. In November 1999 when Wal-Mart bought Asda Allan became the President and CEO of Wal-Mart Europe.
In November 2000 he left Asda and developed a new work ethic - 'Going Plural' - as he took on non-executive positions in a number of companies including lastminute.com, Dyson Ltd, Cannons Group Ltd, BHS Ltd, BSkyB Group plc and Selfridges & Co.
Allan joined the Royal Mail as Company Chairman in 2002, whilst in post he drove a period of modernisation that has transformed Royal Mail from loss making into a profitable business. Allan stepped down from his role in March 2009 making him the Royal Mail's longest serving Chairman.
Allan was President of Loblaw Companies Ltd from April 2008 and has acted as a Consultant to George Weston Ltd (Holding company of Loblaw) since 2000. In February 2011, Allan announced that he was stepping aside as President and Deputy Chairman of Loblaw but will continue his role as business advisor to George Weston Ltd.
Allan is currently Chairman of Pandora A/S, Chairman of Pace, Chairman of Office, Chairman of MusicMagpie.co.uk and deputy Chairman of An Inspirational Journey.
In 2004 Allan was awarded an Honorary Degree at Cranfield University and in 2010 the University of Lancashire awarded him an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of outstanding achievements.
Allan is a Patron of Breast Cancer Care and all proceeds from his books 'On Leadership: Practical Wisdom from the People Who Know' and 'Tough Calls' go to this charity as part of his pledge to raise £1million for this fantastic cause. Less