by Lucy Palin, MiF Admissions Manager
Tamara Fournier Marcin, MiF full-time 2019 student, and Lucy Palin, MiF Admissions Manager, reflect on their experiences at the Women in Business Conference as an organiser and attendee, respectively.
Tamara Fournier Marcin, MiFFT2019
Being part of the Women in Business Club (WiB) and organising the 19th Annual WiB Conference was one of the biggest highlights of my time at London Business School. The flagship event is one of Europe’s largest forums for discussions around and progression of gender equality and inclusion in the workplace. This year the conference was attended by 375 people with a mix of 60% c-level executives, industry professionals and entrepreneurs, and 40% LBS students, staff and faculty.
The Women in Business club was something I wanted to get involved in before joining LBS as I am very passionate about gender equality, diversity and creating a conversation around it. I was fortunate to be selected along with 10 other LBS students to be part of the conference team and bring together one of the biggest global business conferences in London. My role was Co-Chair for the conference’s speakers. This involved working with Carter Haughton, Liren Li and Madeline McCloughan to design the conference theme, the day’s agenda and securing the speakers.
The overall theme of the conference “Shifting the lens” was to explore gender inequality at the intersection with several fronts, including culture, age, technology, media and family. The conference started with an inspiring opening keynote by Dame Helena Morrissey and followed by five-panel breakouts, one interactive workshop session: hacking inclusion, a fireside chat with Alison Rose, the Deputy CEO of NatWest Holdings and CEO of RBS’s Corporate, Commercial and Private Banking business, and a networking event.
Organising the conference over six months was a roller-coaster ride that took a lot of commitment and hard work. However, it was an exciting experience as I expanded my network with other LBS students and industry professionals through reaching out for executive speakers and alumni. The feedback we received on the day and after the conference was invaluable and, without a doubt, worth the hard work.
Lucy Palin, MiF Admissions Manager
I had the pleasure of attending the WiB Conference and had a genuinely inspiring experience. There were so many things to reflect on but a key take away from the day, something touched on by almost every speaker, was that diversity is good for business. We (almost) all understand that there is a moral duty to have a diverse workforce but on top of that, and perhaps the selling point for those who still aren’t convinced, diversity allows creativity and innovation to flourish.
Fantastic! We have it confirmed that diversity really is a good thing! But, we all wondered, how do we achieve this diversity and how do we achieve it at an executive level? Our question was answered by what was my highlight of the day, a conversation between Alexis Rose, Director of Business Operations for Accenture Strategy Europe, and Alison Rose, Deputy CEO of NatWest and CEO of RBS’s Corporate, Commercial & Private Banking. Alison’s simple message was that to get more women into managerial positions we need bring more women into the pipeline at all levels. Being part of the Admissions Team at LBS, this reinforced why I care so much about the diversity of our programmes. I want more women to be equipped with leadership skills and finance/business knowledge to get into that pipeline and to achieve those executive roles.
I would like to thank Tamara and her WiB team for pulling together a remarkable day and for giving myself and the other attendees the opportunity to listen to the people challenging gender inequality in the workplace.