Breaking the Mould
On Friday November 2nd-3rd, Breaking the Mould, the first annual Women In Business conference, was held with great success at the School. Organised by students, with corporate support and sponsorship (Chubb Insurance and Anderson Consulting; additional support from Goldman Sachs), the conference was held to raise awareness of women in business and to offer a positive environment for the sharing ideas and experiences.
With around 250 business students and professionals in attendance, the event provided incredible networking for all participants. Participants included business students and alumni from MBA programmes across Europe including London Business School and INSEAD, and from US programs such Cornell and MIT. In addition, there were many other London professionals and corporate guests.
The event started with supportive words from the Dean, who spoke of the need to increase the number of women at business schools and in the top ranks of companies. Some of the business world’s most successful female names were present, including Merlyn Lowther, Chief Cashier at the Bank of England, and Candice Carpenter, co-founder and chairperson of iVillage: The Women’s Network. Both gave inspiring speeches on making it big and both touched on issues dear to all professionals trying to have it all – balancing one’s personal life with their career.
In addition to the keynote speeches, participants attended panel discussions dedicated to their industries of choice. They were structured for maximum participation from the audience and covered issues current to their respective industries. These panels ranged from Media, featuring panel members Bronwyn Curtis from Bloomburg Europe, Stevie Spring, and Mary Ann Sieghart, Editor of The Times to Finance, which featured several high-profile contributors, including Noel Harwerth of Citibank.
The e-commerce/high tech discussion was led by Lucy Marcus, CEO of Marcus Venture Consulting and founder of HighTech Women. Other panels included consulting, entrepreneurship, and retail. Additional workshops were given by Elizabeth Coffey, Director and Executive Coach – The Change Partnership Limited and co-author of “The Changing Culture of Leadership – Women Leaders Voices” and London Business School’s own Patricia Hodgins. Several speakers were also given by the Committee of 200, a US organisation of women executives.