Speakers Corner Celebrates International Women's Day

12 January 2021

Celebrated every year on the 8th March, International Women's Day is a day that belongs to no single organisation or country, but provides a moment to reflect on the progress made while highlighting the inequalities that still exist and the ongoing fight for true parity between the sexes.

We've seen a significant trend from businesses booking a female keynote speaker  for International Women's Day to not only provide the inspiration for their female employees to break through 'the glass ceiling', but highlight the opportunities diversity brings across all areas of the business. Indeed, we know companies that champion and promote diversity within their organisation reap very real rewards from their efforts, not just enhanced business performance, reputational strength, a more innovative and collaborative culture, but the ability to attract and retain top talent.

With the ultimate aim of ensuring and safeguarding an equal and safe world for girls and women, International Women's Day has witnessed greater equality in legislative rights for women and more women in the boardroom since its inception, and with female astronauts and prime ministers, young girls have much to aspire to.

Speakers Corner has a rich and varied catalogue of brilliant, brave and innovative women who have, in their own ways, made a difference in the world. From entrepreneurs to sporting icons, from smart thinkers to technology visionaries, adventurers and comedians, here are some of our expert recommendations to consider when booking a female keynote speaker for International Women's Day.

Jo Malone CBE

Famous for the cult status her namesake brand has across the world, not many people know Jo Malone CBE has a severe form of dyslexia and left school at 15 without any formal qualifications. But Jo’s story, which began by mixing bath oils in her kitchen while working as a beauty therapist, demonstrates that with the right blend of creativity and persistence, with top notes of daring, make for a successful formula in business.

Kanya King CBE

While working as a TV researcher, Kanya King CBE spotted a gap in the music industry which celebrated music influenced and inspired by black music. This led to the iconic MOBO platform launching in 1996, which has gone onto become a champion of diversity, inclusion and recognition for talent within the creative industries. Kanya, who has has been acclaimed as one of UK’s Most Influential People, uses her story to demonstrate how a genuine leader moulds, rather than seeks, consensus.

Karren Brady

Karren Brady has used her elevated status in the business community, via newspaper columns and government advisory positions, to champion women in the boardroom, rrepeatedly called upon her fellow female professionals to help those trying to make their way in the business world. Karren, who was elevated to the House of Lords in 2014 as Baroness Brady of Knightsbridge CBE, became Managing Director at Birmingham City at the age of 23 and was responsible for the club's flotation 4 years later. Now the current vice-chairman of West Ham and Alan Sugar’s advisor on The Apprentice, we can’t recommend Karren enough as a speaker for International Women’s Day.

Pippa Malgren

Pippa Malmgren has been named one of the Top 50 Inspiring Women in the UK, one of the Top 100 in Tech and one of the Most Influential Economists in the World. Pippa, who previously served as Special Assistant to the President George W.Bush of the United States for Economic Policy, has an incredible CV and we were delighted she joined our Virtual Masterclass: Making Sense of an Uncertain Time, delivering an expert overview of where the future lies post-pandemic.

Lorraine Heggessey

As the first female controller of BBC 1, Lorraine Heggessey led the channel to become the most popular in Britain and revamped Saturday night entertainment with hit shows including Strictly Come Dancing and the new Dr Who. Lorraine, often described as a trailblazer in business circles, discusses how to be an authentic, inspirational leader and is an exceptional choice for International Women’s Day.

Afua Hagan

A charismatic speaker who provokes debate within the audience, Afua Adom has become one of the leading voices on diversity. Afua, who has been featured prominently on mainstream media discussing Black Lives Matter and Equality for Women, started her TV career working at T4 and PopWorld, before moving into music publishing, producing and presenting the popular ABN TV show Young & Rising, and launched Entertainment Weekly.

Karen Blackett OBE

If you’re looking for a female keynote speaker who is a proven business leader, has vast experience driving revenue streams and been instrumental in delivering inclusion and diversity policies which increased women in senior management roles by 44%, then we think you can’t look much further than Karen Blackett OBE! Karen, who is the UK Country Manager for WPP and Group UK CEO and was named by Vogue as one of the 25 Most Influential and Inspirational Women of 2018, has a forthright and engaging style which leaves audiences engaged long after the event.

Martine Wright MBE

Paralympian Martine Wright MBE is truly an inspiration to us all. After losing both her legs in the Circle line bombing in July 2005, Martine managed to overcome the traumatic events with a unique outlook that took her on a journey to the 2012 London Paralympics. When Martine spoke at our Knowledge Guild event  in October 2018, she received a standing ovation at the end. An incredible speaker, Martine determined to spread the word about the advantages that teamwork and motivation can hold for business.

Catherine Mayer

Co-founder and President of the Women’s Equality Party, Catherine Mayer is an excellent choice for a keynote speaker for International Women’s Day. Author of Attack of the Fifty Foot Women: How Gender Equality Can Save the World, Catherine was named Oxford University Suffrage Champion 2018, Gender Equality Top 100: Most Influential People in Global Policy 2018 and, with Sandi Toksvig, NatWest Spirit of Everywoman Award 2018. A respected journalist who became Editor at Large for TIME, Catherine is perfect for starting a debate on feminism, gender politics in the workplace, the future of technology and how it engages with diversity and world-wide journalism.

Tanni Grey Thompson

Tanni Grey-Thompson, Britain’s most successful Paralympic athlete in wheelchair racing, is a respected authority on disability sporting issues advocating a level paying field for all. Tanni, who conquered 5 Paralympics and won 6 London marathons, uses her incredible story to inspire audiences to overcome adversity, champion diversity and inclusion, and understand what high-performance truly looks like.

For further information or to book a speaker for International Women's Day, call us on +44 (0)20 7607 7070  or email  info@speakerscorner.co.uk .

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