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Promoting Female Leadership: The Impact of International Women’s Day Speakers

Every year on March 8th, the world celebrates International Women’s Day (IWD), a day dedicated to recognising the achievements and contributions of women while also highlighting the ongoing challenges and barriers they face.

Many advances have been made since the first ever ‘Women’s Day’ in 1911, with the top nine countries having closed at least 80% of their gap in terms of gender disparity. These include Norway, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany, and Lithuania. The highest of all is Iceland, which is the only country to reach 90% (91.2%).

However, not a single country across the globe has achieved full gender parity yet.

Female Leadership Speakers

The decline of Women in Leadership positions

One area that is particularly poor in terms of gender disparity is leadership. Reports show that women account for 41.9% of the workforce in 2023. Yet, the proportion of women in senior leadership roles has dropped by a staggering 10% to 32.2.%.

There are various reasons for the decline of women in C-suite and senior leadership roles, including women being pushed out of corporate positions or choosing to leave.

Regardless of the reasons, the bottom line is negative not only for corporations financially but also in terms of culture and broader society.

Promoting Female Leadership on International Women’s Day

Despite the systemic difficulties they face, women have shattered glass ceilings, broken down barriers, and made their mark in every field imaginable. From groundbreaking scientific discoveries to groundbreaking political achievements, women are proving their capabilities and challenging societal stereotypes.

International Women’s Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate these incredible women in leadership, platform their stories and inspire the next generation of women to self-advocate and achieve their dreams.

At The Speakers Agency, we are proud to work with some incredible female speakers in leadership positions across a huge variety of sectors. Many of these sectors are male-dominated spheres, and they are challenging biases, preconceptions and societal expectations day in and day out.

Here are 10 of our favourite ‘Women in Leadership’ Speakers

Baroness Karren Brady

Baroness Karren Brady is the Deputy Managing Director of West Ham FC and Lord Sugar’s right-hand woman on The Apprentice.

When asked about what ‘leadership’ means to her, Baroness Brady says,

“I’ve learned there’s a big difference between managing people and leadership. Good managers ensure good outcomes, but great leaders can deliver a vision by getting people to work together. Good leaders communicate through both hearts and minds. The minds part is about communicating where we’re going, how we’ll get there, and people’s individual roles in it. It’s also about explaining what the reward will be for success. The hearts part is about creating a passion and a real connection between the person and the business. You’ve got to make people feel they’re part of the team, and that their work is recognised and valued.”

Source: The Guardian

Jacquie Davis

After a career as a close protection officer (aka bodyguard) Jacquie Davis is well-equipped with tools that are applicable to everyday life and the business world.

She’s been stabbed in the leg, thrown through a shop window and shot at by snipers. Whether she’s educating groups of women on how to stay safe or inspiring the next generation of female leaders, Jacquie is entertaining and inspiring in equal measure.

I.Stephanie Boyce

After four attempts I. Stephanie Boyce made history by becoming the 177th, the sixth female, the first person of colour and the second in-house solicitor in almost fifty years to become president of the Law Society of England and Wales in March 2021.

Stephanie is a multi-award winning, highly experienced, approachable and inspiring adaptable leader including leading through turmoil and challenging times.

Jaega Wise

Jaega Wise turned her love of beer into a wildly successful career which has seen her win Brewer Of The Year twice at just 34-years-old. Not only that, but she’s one of the female brewers intent on raising the profile of beer, a traditionally male-skewed drink.

Jaega began her passion by home-brewing beer with friends at university while studying chemical engineering, but never thought she’d make a career out of it. Now, she is the head brewer of a small independent brewery called Wild Card Brewery based in Walthamstow, London and is an inspiration for women worldwide.

Jo Malone

Jo Malone left school with no qualifications and went on to build a multimillion-pound global fragrance brand.

Fast forward five years after she started Jo Malone from her kitchen table, she sold the company to Estée Lauder for “undisclosed millions”.

Jo left the beauty industry in 2006, having battled breast cancer, and vowed never to launch another fragrance. However, that all changed in 2011 when she launched Jo Loves, a new beauty brand and shop in Belgravia, London.

Jude Kelly

Jude Kelly is a creative practitioner, business leader and a celebrated global champion of equality, with a particular focus on intersectional gender equity.

Jude is the former Artistic Director of the South Bank Centre, which she ran withy an all-female leadership team.

Now, Jude dedicates her time to the Women of the World (WoW) festival which she founded, a network of arts festivals that celebrate the achievements of women and girls as well as highlighting the obstacles that face them.

Kate Richardson-Walsh

Kate Richardson-Walsh, is the most capped female hockey player in her country’s history, and was captain of GB women’s hockey teams for 13 years. An inspirational and charismatic leader she has been widely credited for helping build the incredible team ethos and commitment that drove the GB team to a nail-biting victory at the Rio Olympic Games.

Kate is an expert in building high-performance teams, a collective culture of behaviour, a sense of common purpose and a distributed leadership structure.

Lorraine Heggessey

Lorraine Heggessey has had a hugely varied career, with accolades including being the first female controller of BBC 1, CEO of independent production company talkbackThames, and Founder & Executive Chair of Boom Pictures.

Lorraine is an inspirational speaker on leadership, women in business, and being a female business leader in male-dominated industries.

Phoebe Schecter

Phoebe Schecter is a pinnacle figure in the UK’s American Football scene. She worked closely with the Buffalo Bills as their coach to develop a successful NFL team, an experience that today makes her an authoritative leadership expert.

Phoebe can talk about her experiences of leadership, leading by example, consistency, and the importance of celebrating positive achievements.

Book a Female leadership speaker for International Women’s Day

The perfect way to celebrate International Women’s Day is to hire a speaker to share their inspiring stories, offer valuable insights, and provide actionable advice for women aspiring to leadership roles. These speakers serve as role models, demonstrating the power of determination, resilience, and self-belief.

Contact The Speakers Agency today to enquire about our speakers and for a free, no obligation quote. Call us on +44(0)1332 810481, email or fill in our contact form and one of our agents will be happy to help.

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