On Wednesday 25 September, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity held its very first event in partnership with Women in the City. At the full-to-capacity event, delegates from City and military backgrounds heard about leadership challenges and experiences from an impressive all-female panel.
The evening began with networking and drinks, set against a backdrop of the impressive Lloyd’s building in the City of London followed by speeches from Gwen Rhys, CEO of Women in the City and Kate Billingham Wilson, Head of Partnerships at The Soldiers’ Charity. Gwen drew parallels between the battlefield and the office, highlighting the challenges that one might face in either setting, whilst Kate emphasised the importance of women in the Army throughout history, including the charity’s very own Case Studies Liaison Officer, Helen McMahon who was one of the first female colonels in the British Army.
Another military trailblazer, Major General Susan Ridge – the first female to hold the rank of Major General in the British Army – then delivered the evening’s Keynote speech. Drawing on her own experiences as the Former Director General of the Army Legal Services Branch, Susan discussed the importance of reciprocal leadership and giving team members the space to grow and develop. Susan then joined a panel featuring Commandant Philippa Lorimer (FANY), Annette Andrews (Lloyd’s) and Claire Bowler (DWF), who all added their own fascinating insights into female leadership. Finally, the panel took questions from the audience which promoted discussions surrounding flexible working and finding mentors and sponsors in predominantly male environments.
As the formal part of the evening drew to a close, there was a clear buzz in the room as delegates shared their own experiences, and the networking continued into the evening.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks all of our speakers, Gwen Rhys (WiC) for facilitating and chairing the panel and to Lloyd’s for sponsoring the event.
To find out more about Women in the City please visit http://www.citywomen.co.uk.
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