On Thursday 8 March I was lucky enough to go to the WIE Symposium. WIE stands for Women: Inspiration and Enterprise.
The two women behind the day are Dee Poku and June Sarpong. Thankfully they decided to bring this fantastic day over from the US. This year being the first in London.
The description on their website is as follows:
'The WIE Symposium is a dynamic conference designed to inspire and empower women. The event brings together prominent leaders from the worlds of politics, business, fashion, philanthropy, media, entertainment and the arts, in a full day of lively panels, workshops, master-classes and an inspirational awards ceremony.
WIE is a fantastic networking opportunity for women, allowing them to connect with their peers and be inspired by their mentors.
Timed to coincide with International Women's Day, WIE London will feature topics such as 'Tools for the Entrepreneur', 'Businesswomen Leading the Way, 'The Luxury Industry' and 'Creating a Network'.'
I personally have a strange negative image arise when I hear the word 'conference', I think because I associate it with all things 'corporate', another word which seems to put me on edge.....However, I would say that this well put together and fantastically organised 'event' came across in a far from corporate way. It was a relaxed atmosphere and very easy to follow. You didn't feel like a number, you felt like an individual. Although there was a time schedule to follow, you had a choice of which speakers/workshops to choose from and attend.
I'm not going to go into mass of details re each speaker (I will be posting another blog with the best quotes of the fantastic day) but I cannot finish this blog without mentioning one in particular. She stood out to me so much because what she spoke so passionately about wasn't necessarily what you would have expected for an opening speaker.
Vivienne Westwood spoke for nearly an hour about the subject of climate change. Her speech was far from perfect, her words sometimes not syncing into a proper sentence and I have to say all of this made it such a breathe of fresh air to listen to, as what was so clear to us all listening in that room as we sat silently, glued to every single word, was the pure passion and heart felt words spoken with such intensity were SO important to her. So important to us all. She was the first of many inspirational women. She was just empowering, and I am a new loyal follower of her wise words.
Please have a look at this link:
I thought I'd show you all the just a few of the speakers and how parts of the day was laid out. You can see instantly the high level of the speakers and you can imagine the unbelievable amount of empowering words that myself and the other delegates took in.
1030 - 1100
Intros /Welcome: Dee Poku, CEO & Co-Founder, WIE Network Spotlight: Vivienne Westwood, Fashion designer
1100 - 1200 :
Fashion & Beauty: A Business Not a Luxury
Moderator: Jo Elvin, Editor, Glamour Magazine
Caroline Rush, CEO, British Fashion Council
Jo Malone, Founder Jo Loves
Anya Hindmarch, Designer
Margot Marrone, Founder, Organic Pharmacy
Ruby Hammer, Founder, Ruby and Millie
Alek Wek, Model and designer
1200 - 1300 :
Telling Women's Stories - Women in Film, TV, Media
Moderator: Carla Buzasi, Editor in Chief, Huffington Post UK
Celia Walden, Journalist and Novelist Shohreh Aghdashloo, Oscar nominated actress Rosario Dawson, Actress and Philanthropis
Hannah Pool, Journalist & Novelist
Workshop: The Whole Woman - Exploring Health, Wellness and Spirituality
Host: Lynne Franks, Businesswoman and Lifestyle guru
1300 - 1400:
It's a Funny Business Being a Woman
Moderator: Kathy Lette, Bestselling author Ruby Wax, Actress and Comedian
Helen Lederer, Actress and Comedian Ronni Ancona, Actress, Impressionist and Author Wendy Wason, Comedian, Actress, Writer Shazia Mirza, Stand up comedian
1500 - 1600 :
Dreams for My Daughter
Moderator: Claudia Winkleman, Television host Nicola Mendelsohn, Chairman and Partner
Karmarama Brigid McConville, Director, White Ribbon Alliance
Diana Quick, Actress Gillian Moore, Head of Contemporary Culture
, South Bank Center Shivani Wazir Pasrich, Indian actress & maternal health advocate
Arlene Samen, Nurse Practitioner in Maternal Fetal Medicine
1700 - 1800:
Realising Your Goals - Owning Your Success
Host: Dr Linda Papadopoulos, renowned psychologist
1800 - 1830 :
Keynote Speaker - Andrew Neil - Closing
1830 - 2000
Cocktail Party + Awards
Doreen Lawrence (Stephen Lawrence's Mother) & Cherie Blair to name just a couple of the amazing women to win awards.
Not forgetting the amazing Jane Goodhall who I am sure you have all heard of, Primatologist, conservationist and UN Messenger of Peace and a lady who has dedicated the last 50 years of her life to research and studies, creating the Jane Goodhall Institue and 'empowering people to make a difference for all living things'. I mean quite simply WOW!
Next year without a doubt I highly recommend you go. You will be missing out if you don't and I say that with 100% confidence!!