For 14 years a committee of City women have organised a breakfast to celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8th). I am honoured to be part of this group that includes representatives of many City businesses and organisations. We find no difficulty in filling the Great Hall of Guildhall every year with over 400 people (mainly female). We aim to celebrate the role of women in the City of London and use the theme decided by the United Nations each year in order to frame our proceedings. This year it was Each for Equal – encompassing the fact that each one of us (regardless of gender or any label or description) can help create a gender equal world. This gives us each the responsibility to act when we see or hear something that is wrong such as gender stereotyping or bias or all-male panels or speakers of interviewers. To see how we can help mentor others or actively promote or support a women’s charity or business.
On Friday 6th March we had a fantastic line up of speakers who gave personal testimony to their experiences and encouraged everyone there to act in however small a way to take a stand and make a difference. #EachforEqual.
Ranvir Singh acted as Chair and ambassador for our charity partner Refuge. “Violence against women is still a scourge on our society, ” she said and reminded us of the 24/7 National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247.
Sonita Alleyne, Master of Jesus College Cambridge, talked about life being a series of doors and how we must push ourselves a little to step through these doors.
Roma Agrawal, Structural Engineer, who worked on The Shard and Professor Fiona Wilcox, HM Senior Coroner for Inner West London both spoke about their lifetime challenges and tips.
Flavilla Fongang, Founder of 3 Colours Rule and Tech London Advocates for Black Women in Tech, gave a lively description of her multi-dimensional formal education but acknowledged that her business was founded on what she taught herself, urging us all to keep learning which keeps us young.
It was an uplifting experience for everyone attending and will resonate in many lives over the weeks to come – maybe until next year’s International Women’s Day