I love working with talented women and therefore it was a complete treat to be invited to an evening hosted by Bates, Wells & Braithwaite (BWB) that celebrated the achievements of women leaders in the public, private and third sectors.
The event took place on the 3rd November at The Commonwealth Club. The recipe was simple: a glass of champagne, lots of fabulous women happy to chat, and great food! Perfect. And enough to persuade any hard working woman at the end of a long day that she could take a bit of time out to play before dashing home and getting on with life.
I immediately noticed how we were all very happy to take part in the speed networking, only too willing to not be responsible for the process or any decisions, probably explained by the fact we spend most days “in charge” of something.
Rosamund McCarthy from BWB set the tone perfectly as host and there were some true moments of inspiration. For me, Dame Julia Cleverdon, the keynote speaker, took the prize as my favourite woman of the night – the fact that she had to delay her talk to take a call from Prince Charles post his evening bath made us all smile. Her advice that we should only spend time with “people who make us feel good” and her openness about ferocious divorces and life challenges had me hooked.
I spoke to Rowena Lewis and Vik Anderson, colleagues doing great work and who provide me with regular brain power, as well as meeting new women like Penny Egan from the US-UK Fulbright Commission who encouraged me to discover cultural gems in Spitalfields and swapped notes on working with young talented graduate leaders.
I left thinking how easy it can be for women to support one another and make each other “feel good” and how we just don’t do it enough. I also reflected on how unusual it was to be in a leadership group of only women, waited on by only men! Thank you BWB and I hope there are many more.