Our first International Women’s Day event on Thursday 8 March at the Royal College of Physicians, was attended by more than 160 people including our staff and a few of our customers.

The event was hosted by Dr Joan Myers, OBE, QN who then invited our Managing Director Mark Creelman to share his opening remarks. Mark set the tone of the event by informing the audience about the purpose of the event and the theme #PressforProgerss.

He was followed by our keynote speaker Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson who captivated the audience with her motivational journey. Her talk was followed by the co-design session of our staff Women’s Network. The session was led by Janine La Rosa our Deputy Director Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Helen Hughes our Interim Director of Technical Services and Operations. The network is being launched to ensure that women working in our organisation have a platform to share their thoughts and concerns.

After this session, our host and chair Joan welcomed the panel speakers on stage. This included Dr Emma Vaux, Senior Censor and Vice President (education and training) at Royal College Physicians, Marie Gabriel, Chairperson of East London NHS Foundation Trust and Rini Laskar, Director at United Bank of Switzerland.

Emma’s candid and honest speech on perseverance despite of constant failures resonated with the audience. Then Rini inspired them with her thoughts on being different and thriving in a male dominated environment. Marie’s talk focused on progressing with others and lifting others to achieve your own ambitions.

The #PressforProgress panel comprised of a few of our own female staff members. These women motivated the audience by sharing their personal stories and how they pressed for progress in their professional and personal lives. This was followed by Janine La Rosa our Deputy Director Equality, Diversity and Inclusion closing the event with her presentation on ‘What next as we #PressforProgress?’ She talked about addressing gender stereotypes, gender pay gap, sexual harassment and other timely subjects.

Two key themes that came out during the whole event and resonated with the delegates were passion and perseverance. The day featured honest conversations about gender and the challenges women face in every walk of life. It was the perfect celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the globe.

You can view the highlights from the event below