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connectedwoman June 2019






Connected Woman: A New Kind of Business Conversation

FROM THE NBWN The NBWN  came  together  with  Saϊd  Business  School           (Oxford  University)  and  the  Ins@tute  of  Chartered                           Accountants  England  and  Wales  (ICAEW)  to  present               Connected  Woman:  A  New  Kind  of  Business  Conversa@on   Panel  Discussion. In  today’s  hyper-­‐compe@@ve  global  marketplace  women   need  to  stay  abreast  of  the  very  latest  research,  business   trends  and  models  if  they  wish  to  achieve  greater  parity.    On   the  day,  aOendees  heard  from  a  panel  of  award  winning   business  owners  and  experts  to  explore  the  barriers,             challenges  and  issues  that  impede  the  success  of  female   leadership  and  networks  who  wish  to  progress.     Women  do  not  have  access  to  the  same  tools,  resources   and  sponsors  offered  in  senior  professional  networks  at  the   calibre  of  male  business  leaders.  This  creates  a  disparity  in   the  level  of  informa@on  and  access  for  women  to  create   networks  of  influence  and  impact.    Therefore,  organisa@ons   and  support  groups  need  to  be  more  open,  collabora@ve   and  inclusive  to  remove  the  unconscious  bias  that  hinders   progression  for  all.   As  recruitment  for  the  best  talent  con@nues,  leaders  need   to  ensure  that  they  are  crea@ng  environments  where  ac@on   matches  the  words  from  the  boardroom.    Women  s@ll  need   to  have  greater  access  to  role  models  and  sponsors  as  they   navigate  their  careers.     The  NBWN  does  not  believe  that  women  need  to  act  like   men  in  order  to  succeed  in  the  business  and  corporate   world.    But  for  women  in  business  today,  there's  much  more   to  talk  about  than  gender  specific  issues  like  dual  career   families,  caring  responsibili@es  or  the  glass  ceiling.  Women   should  not  under  es@mate  the  impact  that  different  linguis-­‐ @c  styles  have  on  their  leadership  style.    They  need  to  un-­‐ derstand  their  audiences  and  adapt  their  style  to  their  be-­‐ haviour  including  body  posi@oning.    Most  men  have  learnt   rituals  that  focus  on  status  and  rapport.    Women  downplay   their  certainty  whilst  men  minimise  their  doubts!     We  certainty  could  use  more  aggregated  data  from  outside   the  boardroom,  as  recruitment  at  the  top  around  the  race   and  gender  agenda  is  s@ll  low.    The  repor@ng  from  both  the   Gender  Pay  Gap  Review  and  The  Resolu@on  Founda@on  did   not  make  comfortable  reading.    We  need  current  data  that   highlights  where  the  fric@ons  are  to  provide  a  beOer                     understanding  of  the  problems  that  women  face  in  their   careers  and  business  in  order  to  be  more  effec@ve.  

THANKS: Caroline Williams

Fiona Wilkinson The Rt Hon. the Baroness Royall of Blaisdon

Fi Bendall

Farzana Badnel

Jim Jordan

Gillian Brooks, PHD

Radhika Seth Patty Sales,

Keeley Traverner

Prof. Renee B Adams

Samantha Hargreaves

Damian Walker

! connected woman • • 2

FROM ICAEW I am delighted to work with the National Black Women’s Network again. The Network brings together some fantastic business leaders and entrepreneurs whose stories of resilience and success have the power to inspire change both professionally and


I am an Executive Director at the ICAEW, where I am responsible for ICAEW’s commercial and member strategy, product development, digital strategy and UK regions. I lead a department of more than 230 staff.

We have developed a business

When I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1989, there were few women in accountancy, and even fewer women in senior roles across the wider financial services sector. Since then, the business world has made significant strides to redress this balance, but there is much more work to do. We still need far more women in senior positions in business, and opportunities for women to be mentored, particularly by mentors outside their organisation.

competition which we run every year with schools across the country, called BASE, to get our message out that accountancy is not just about numbers, and that it is open to anyone who has the drive to learn and work hard.

As our President Fiona Wilkinson mentions, this is a very special year for ICAEW, as we mark 100 years since we

To support women to achieve their next career level, I led the

admitted our first female member, Mary

development of ‘Women in Leadership’, ICAEW’s flagship

Harris Smith. 1919, referred to as the

coaching programme which has been highly successful.

“Sacred Year”, saw many of the

Women in Leadership is a tailored programme which puts the

professions admit their first female

focus on women’s strengths and key skills. It is astounding to


see what women can achieve when they focus on their strengths, rather than their perceived weaknesses.

I will be using this year to celebrate these achievements but also to

Our profession develops and nurtures talent from all

highlight the barriers to gender equality

backgrounds. Yet still, when people think about Chartered

in business

Accountancy, they immediately think you need to have background in maths or sciences – subjects which,

Sharron Gunn Executive Director, Members,

consistently, more men study than women.

Commercial and Shared Services Part of our role is to make sure young women know that being

numerate is important, but other skills such as problem solving, communication and team work are just as crucial to a successful career. that remain and press for more progress.

Women in Leadership:

We do a lot of work with schools to widen access to the profession and educate students on the opportunities which training to be a chartered accountant bring.


! connected woman • • 3


From the NBWN

Fiona Wilkinson: The power of YES!


Gillian Brooks PhD: Collaborative communication


Keeley Taverner: Love and Business


Jim Jordan: A brand new


Fi Bendall: Influence: Is

way to invest in your business

what we do! 23

Sonia Brown MBE: Networking for Success: achieving the unimaginable


Farzana Baduel: Unleashing the potential of women in business

We know women use their networks as ‘sounding boards’ to discuss common challenges! - Caroline Williams 4 • Connected Woman; A New Kind of Business Conversation

FROM Saϊd 

Business School, Oxford University Promoting diversity and inclusion requires everyone at the table: we’re all in this together and we all play a part in moving towards progressive outcomes. I work on the basis that our part [Oxford Saïd] is to create deep dive experiences for women where reflection and rehearsal happen simultaneously, and connections to peers are formed or strengthened.  Over the past few months I’ve had the great pleasure of talking with Sonia [Brown] and many male and female D&I Directors who have all agreed ‘sponsors’ are critical supporters for women in firms.  It’s not always who you know but who knows you which can offer great support to you throughout your career.  This topic arose through great conversations on how we might expand some of the work we do within our powerful on-campus Women Transforming Leadership Programme designed to immerse women within a profound journey of self-awareness, discovery and development.  Wanting to scale-up this work, we felt we could offer a

What’s Next? The Connected Woman: Are Women “Really” Benefiting from diversity initiatives is taking place in November. This interactive event aims to look at ensuring companies are providing solutions that put women at the forefront of economic empowerment in the workforce and business; bolster economic inclusion, trade and investment.

prequel six-module online programme which brings women

At the end of the event, it is hoped

from diverse backgrounds together as they work through

attendees will provide solutions that

content, in the hope we might facilitate some deep and trusted

create a more diverse and inclusive

connections which last far beyond their time online.

environment in a world that is becoming

We know women use their networks as ‘sounding boards’ to discuss common challenges and we are proud to support networks that connect women beyond organisational boundaries, celebrate role-models, and provide specific support and development opportunities. We are honoured to be the academic partner to NBWN and the Women of the Future network; we have supported female entrepreneurs who have completed our Fintech programme in applying to the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge; and we have worked closely with governments to enrich their financial inclusion policies for women. What for? We want women everywhere to have access to high quality education and experiences, removing obstacles wherever we can. Caroline Williams Director, Open Programmes


Saïd Business School University of Oxford

more disproportionate, complex, complicated and time consuming with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the impact and uncertainty of BREXIT on the UK GDP. If you are interested in learning more email

Oxford High  Performance  Leadership  Pro-­‐ gramme:  10-­‐15  November  2019,  10-­‐15   May  2020  Visit:­‐ grammes/execed/hpl   Oxford  Strategic  Leadership  Programme:   17-­‐22  November  2019,  17-­‐22  May  2020   Visit:­‐ eced/oslp   Oxford  Advanced  Management  &  Leader-­‐ ship  Programme:  6-­‐26  October  2019  Visit: oslp   Women  Transforming  Leadership  Pro-­‐ gramme:  7-­‐11  October  2019  Visit:  www.s-­‐

! connected woman • • 5

Fiona Wilkinson, President, ICAEW

The Power of Yes “I want to celebrate the resilience and determination of Mary Harris Smith to achieve the qualification she wanted.”

Fiona Wilkinson, President of ICAEW, qualified as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in 1980 and spent 11 years with Deloitte in London and Jersey and also worked in Europe and Canada. Fiona then went on to set up her own practice, working as a technical consultant to firms advising them on auditing, financial reporting and practice assurance. Fiona is an ambassador for diversity and inclusion in the profession, spreading the message that accountancy is an inclusive profession which is open to all, no matter what their background.

6 • Connected Woman; A New Kind of Business Conversation

She demonstrated that when someone says no she is more than happy to show them why they were wrong to think she was not up for the task. A random but clearly sexist comment led her to not only become an accountant but also set up her own business.  She was clear that she wanted to take control of her financial wellbeing and ensure that she was always in control of her career.  Fiona’s career journey has been defined by her ability to say “yes” when opportunities presented themselves to her.  She definitely has the confidence to follow through because she is passionate about not only business but equality.  

She has built up a formidable referral

She showed incredible resilience and

and networking system in order to

persistence to break down the barri-

attract and retain clients.

ers for women in accountancy” explained Fiona.

Fiona’s presidential year coincides with the centenary of ICAEW admit-

“Today, we still need to get more

ting its first female member, Mary

women board ready, into senior roles

Harris Smith, in May 1920. Fiona is

as well as becoming role models for

leading a global campaign of events

those trying to achieve their career

and activities to mark this anniver-

aspirations. I am proud to say that

sary, which take place from June

ICAEW is driving greater access to

2019 until May 2020 (the official

the profession, and I am delighted

month of the centenary).

that my time as President will involve celebrating this important moment in

“Mary Harris Smith was 76 years old

ICAEW’s history”.

when she became a member.

connected woman • • 7

Women need to know that it’s important to understand the communication ritual! - Gillian Brooks PhD

Networking Collaborative Communication Gillian Brooks PhD teaches the MBA elective, Branding in a Digital Marketplace, and the core marketing course on the BA Economics and Management programme. She is also a Lecturer in Management at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. Her postdoctoral research focuses on social strategy and influencer engagement, digital branding, and online reputation formation and management. She is the recipient of a Marketing Science Institute research grant and sits on the editorial board for the Journal of Professional Communication. Gillian explained that delivering your company’s social media campaign is not something you do haphazardly, it’s all about strategy and influence. Women need to take control of their brand because the national press are not doing women justice in its coverage at the moment. Whether its business, corporate or politics your brand has to be intentional, strategic but more importantly influential if you wish to attract customers and create eco systems. Coverage is now Influenced by opinions not actions e.g. the Kardashians, Kanye West, Rhianna.

In business or your career, when it comes to your brand, women need to understand the importance of communication for influence. There are numerous areas of research reinforcing how female and male linguistic styles are very different. So, if you don’t understand your audience and adapt accordingly, you will not be heard in the right way and get the results you want. It’s all about influence and impact. Gillian demonstrated how men are competitive and women are cooperative when it comes to communication. Women are trying to be the same when they are not! Understanding the conversation ritual. Men are competitive – women are cooperative. From an early age boys learn rituals that focus on the status dimensions which are culturally learned signals. Interestingly, boys and girls have the same reference points,

'Networking is marketing and its strategic. It’s about communication. Marketing yourself, your brand, your distinctiveness and your business values.”

When it comes to the tone of women, they tend to end sentences on the up and it sounds like a question. In addition to this, they provide too much detail in order to seek validation for their work. It will be interesting to see the direction that the issue of uncomfortable conversations will take between the genders in light of the #metoo debate.

connected woman • • 9

Be Different New Media, New Influencers Being heard and making it matter! To what extend has social media influencers become the new reality? Consumers have become belief driven buyers. They want to make informed purchases that align with their beliefs and show who they are. Influencers act as an intermediary between the brand and the consumer, infusing product reviews and personal preferences into the consumer’s decision making journey. 

What trends are you seeing in terms of #metoo #lgbt #climatechange

Social media isn’t going anywhere

I think that the use of hashtags has

make us more connected than ever –

allowed individuals to rally around a

whether we think that is a good idea

cause that previously they may have

or not.

and it has forever changed how we communicate. From AI to Virtual Reality, the 4th Industrial Revolution will

not known how to get involved. It provides previously hesitant

Transparency for corporations will be

individuals to publicly stake a claim

even more important as the average

on a cause.

consumer is becoming more technologically literate and

With the 4th industrial revolution imminent, how important will social media / digital platforms be for SME’s and corporates in terms of

10 •Connected Woman; A New Kind of Business Conversation

demanding higher standards.  

Gillian Brooks, PhD

Understanding why social media influencers have now become micro celebrity endorsers and are great for business!

Quick Facts In the face of the onslaught of media and communication channels, customers are tuning out the advertising noise and focusing on their specialist interests. Due to the change in consumer purchasing behaviour, influencer marketing has held its own in the digital world, especially with the rise of Instagram and YouTube. Social media influencers work hard to communicate and interact with their audience regularly and on a personal level than mainstream celebrities Influencers have a large audience reach to their niche and specific industry.

In addition to this, they have a powerful access and reach across social media platforms and have built a lot of trust with their followers. They present a new type of independent third party endorsement that shapes audience attitudes through their blogs, tweets, and the use of other digital platforms. Brand sponsored influencer posts, irrespective of the size of their audience, dominate niches and can be very useful for branding and promotion where traditional outlets fail. There are some pitfalls and a certain lack of control involved when engaging influencers who enjoy a level of creative freedom with their content where traditional advertising campaigns cannot.

Perhaps one of the most criticised examples of influencer marketing was Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi advert. The advert depicted Jenner diffusing police tension at a #blacklivesmatter protest even though she has no history of activism. It reinforced the message that in order for social media influencers to survive, their posts must be authentic, trust worthy, informative and not simply focused on selling merchandise.

connected woman • • 11



The Rt Hon. the Baroness Royall of Blaisdon spoke on the need for more empirical evidence for diversity and increasing inclusivity in business. Companies are losing top talent even having made a massive investment in training and development only to loose them due to the culture of the organisation.

12 • Connected Woman; A New Kind of Business Conversation

“Do that which you are passionate about and your work will feel effortless.”

KEY 4 CHANGE Tips for women in love and business Keeley Taverner is a British Jamaican contemporary psychotherapist who started adulthood as a mother of two, working as a cashier at Ikea while feeling trapped in an abusive relationship with a narcissist. Raised by her single mother on a London council estate where “schools housed us rather than engineer our minds for success”, she left school with no qualifications, prospects, ambition or selfbelief. Self-help books were solace, and one day, as she sorted through abandoned stock at the checkout, she experienced what she describes as her ‘yellow bag’ epiphany when she heard her inner voice speaking to her loud and clear. “Surely you can do better than this, Keeley?” She listened, hard, and step by step, brick by brick, she began rebuilding her life. From women’s refuge to fighting for a place at a university to coaching inmates, to running her own practice, Key for Change. Keeley has boldly, passionately and courageously defied the odds - and now she's on a mission to help others do the same. 

14 • Connected Woman; A New Kind of Business Conversation

Key for Change is the last resort after all the other therapies no longer work – including retail therapy! They are dispirited and lack the energy to go after their dreams because they are feeling discouraged and often suffering from (undiagnosed) depression; hiding behind the designer clothes, bags and shoes! Many of women are operating like a ball of whirlwind confusion expecting to achieve positive outcomes in their lives. They know how to buy a house, car or book a holiday but they have no strategy for their happiness and well-being. More and more, intimate relationships screw women up professionally and financially – it’s like buy one get one free! With higher levels of separation, divorce and stress, women are finding it difficult to juggle all the balls. They experience greater levels of “imposter syndrome” and are not operating in their authentic power as they navigate their journey. Keeley is all about living your best life and becoming your greatest self, she views common mental health problems as signs that you are out of sync with your authentic self. She assists her clients to discover their worth, power and voice and in doing paths way for people to be, their greatest self. 

“Women, it’s all about discovering your worth, power and voice.”

Keeley Taverner, Key for Change

Mental Health

Are their career expectations realistic considering the

Keeley is all about living your best life and becoming your greatest self, she views common mental health problems as signs that you are out of sync with your authentic self. She assists her clients to discover their worth, power and voice and in doing paths way for people to be, their greatest self. 

economic, political and social climate and challenges?

Why do you feel you are the last resort for women?

This is a rather complex question, with a range of factors feeding into it, for example, the nature of ones profession, self employment and access to working capital. To my mind, what is fundamental is passion and drive, and that supercedes trends and the social political context.

People are keen to get quick fixes and are often seduced

Its not an easy road and being adaptable to change is

by easy solutions to complicated problems. As such,

essential, but fundamentally its really about taking re-

they will try all manner of coping strategies to distract

sponilty for yourself. Now that is not always easy and

them from themselves and the uncomfortableness of

many of us can be gripped by fear or waiting for oppor-

their situation. The longer this goes on, is the more that

tunities to land in our laps. The real matter for me is al-

problems become entrenched, so it’s a short term gain,

ways about drive, passion and persistence.

long term pain. So after pursuing all kinds of alternatives, aromatherapy, massage therapy and retail therapy

You claim intimate relationships screw women up pro-

and they soon come to realise that in spite of having all

fessionally and financially – is it worth going into one?

the stuff I am sad, hurt, confused and lonely, they annoyingly get to the point where they think, I need to talk to

Unhealthy intimate relationships screw women up, that’s


why it is so important that we pay close attention to be-

What is the trend at the moment for aspirational professional women looking to take control of their future?

haviour and anomalies between what a person says and their actions. The fact is we must be grounded in reality and all to often we live in hope or in the fantasies of our

The trend of hyper independence is hurting us, humans are social beings and we are designed to connect. So for me, hyper independence is riddled with problems and can fuel feelings of isolation, confusion and loneliness, its that I have got it all, but why am I so desperately unhappy. That conundrum really gets to people and as a result, they may develop work-aholism. This is where there identity cannot be detached from their professional status. All of this then fuels their egos that in spite of the big bravado is rather fragile underneath it all. 

minds eye about how a relationship should be, all the while ignoring the glaring writing that is on the wall. This is the real issue and one I help women to understand so that they develop crystal clear clarity about their situation. Ultimately, I am an advocator of asking the difficult questions, sharing your needs and being vulnerable. That’s the key!

connected woman • • 15

ELEVATE Stepping Up! 

Radhika Seth is the Founder & CEO of Sequoia London, an International, Multi Award-Winning Interior Architecture, Design, Sourcing and Project Management Studio based in Mayfair, London. For over a decade they have been creating high-end luxury interiors for residential properties. Radhika is passionate about promoting women entrepreneurs. She wrote a blog on “Women inspiring Women” published in the Huffington Post, speaks at women’s conferences internationally and continues to mentor young women looking to start their own business and grow existing ones.  Radhika is also the Founder & Co-Chair of TiE Women, part of the London Chapter of the non-profit association TiE, dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship among women in the London Area as well as globally and also serves as a Board Member of TiE London. “It’s a great time to be a woman – we are stronger, our voices are louder and more respected and we as a gender, are more united than ever before”. A lot of women have self-limiting beliefs based on information from their childhood, community and the society around us.  If we have had positive experiences, we view life and what we can achieve more positively.  When we look at the examples of women who have overcome great hardships to start and grow their businesses, their approach can be very different. Women are often pre-conditioned not to push forward or put yourself out there to go after their dreams. Most were not taught to do that. She stressed the importance of looking at where your mentors, sponsors or influencers are in your existing networks to help you achieve your business aspirations.  It’s important to put your ego, insecurities and fears aside and become a consistent student – it’s OK to fail forward. Remember formal business support is different to what your friends will advise!

Radhika Seth, Sequola London

16 • Connected Woman; A New Kind of Business Conversation

“It’s important to define what success means to you on your own terms, in your own view. Base this definition on your personal goals and aspirations, your personality, not someone else’s expectations. What do you feel is the biggest change taking place in the women in business agenda? Everywhere you go, business conferences, award ceremonies, talks, literally everything today has a woman focused angle. Companies, Politicians everyone is focused on women. In turn, I think women in general are more confident, more focused, more determined than ever before to achieve their goals. They no have resources, mentors, friends, websites, a wealth of information to help them, support them and guide them. They feel more confident. They feel stronger. They know now, more than ever there are others out there who have their back. It’s important to put your ego, insecurities and fears aside and become a consistent student – it’s OK to fail forward. Remember formal business support is different to what your friends will advise!

“Never stop growing or learning.”

“It’s important to define the criteria for success based on your personality not someone else’s expectations. Women have different roles to men” said Radhka. “ We want to show everyone we know what we are doing! Remember to celebrate.” How important is culture on the decision’s women make when starting their business? I think people tend to do what they know, what they relate to, what they enjoy. I think our cultures to a large extent define who we are, or are not, so inevitably I think it has played a role in who we have become.

Women need to start asking the right questions!

What would you tell your eight year-old self to prepare for, in terms of running her own business? Plan, but be prepared to adjust all the time. Never stop growing or learning. However successful you become, stay humble. If you don’t ask, the answer is no.

“There are still many challenges but women should stay merit focussed and keep pushing forward.”

connected woman • • 17

THE ALPHA GROUP A Progressive Perspective on Business


ALPHA Growth,Value,Success Supporting one million businesses worldwide After a successful business career,

Now I work with companies looking

The Alpha Group Peer to Peer Advi-

spanning 40 years within corporates

to add value to their business quick-

sory Board business model aims to

and SMEs, across a variety of

ly and I use my network of relation-

get the best out of people to look

sectors, Jim is now a Speaker,

ships to make meaningful connec-

and listen to new ways of doing the

Mentor, Trainer and Coach as well as

tions which accelerate results.”

same things in business.

recently he has become a Regional

Jim is a strong believer in strategic

Over the next ten years, The Alpha

Director in Kent and London for the

networking and has used this to not

Group aims to help one million busi-

Alpha Group Executive Board.

only accelerate his professional suc-

nesses. Imagine the impact not only

cess but those around him. He has

on the quality, value and perfor-

“I’m a natural connector with thou-

spent many years building diverse

mance of the business but also the

sands of contacts across many

teams in order to get best results.

contribution to the economy.

industries’ Jim shared with the audi-

That’s why as leaders you cannot

companies = £1 billion contribution

ence. “Now I work with companies

underestimate the value of looking at

to the economy.

looking to add value to their busi-

the quality and talent of teams that

ness quickly and I use my network of

they work in or lead.

Director Consultant at BNI. More

20 •Connected Woman; A New Kind of Business Conversation


“Accept the help you can get to make decisions necessary to lead your business to where you want it to go!”

The Alpha Group is not for the faint hearted. if you are serious about dominating your market and tripling your value in two to three years, The Alpha Group is the right place for you! This peer-to-peer advisory board is targeted at business owners and managers helping them to continue to thrive and to make it to the “next level”, wherever that may be for them. The Alpha Group provides a trusted, confidential environment where Members (CEO’s, Managing Directors or other senior business executives) of SME’s can learn together and advise one another by testing plans, assumptions and decisions.

By looking at your most pressing strategic challenges, The Alpha Group is aimed at business owners and leaders who are chasing success but need a proven business model that delivers scalability and profitable outcomes! Not only do you get to work on how to scale up your business, positioning for strategic exits, and many other high-level concepts in business you leave with your FastTrack Business Plan using our award winning Gold Business Model. The Alpha Group has a stellar reputation for helping high performing entrepreneurs to double their value and dominate their sector within two/three years.

and entrepreneurial thought leaders who have a proven track record of excellence in their respective fields. The Alpha Group (TAG) helps business leaders to achieve their company’s full potential for growth and success by inspiring and motivating them to make transformational changes within their business. It also builds a member’s leadership skills so that they enjoy personal success – inside and outside of their business. Better leaders mean better, more successful businesses. For further information visit: or call

Facilitated by acclaimed Regional

for a personal consultation at 0800

Directors who are astute and

1910 100.

knowledgeable business coaches

connected woman • • 21

Jim Jordan, The Alpha Group

“Women on Boards: The Superheroes of Tomorrow. It’s about having the opportunity to unleash our leadership potential.”. - Prof. Renee B Adams

connected woman • 22

INFLUENCE Is what we do! As one of the most awarded Internationally recognised female entrepreneurs, a 2019 NSW Business Woman of the Year

Finalist, a 2018 and 2017 International Stevie Winner

including 2018 Most Innovative International Woman of the Year, with multiple International Stevies awards & Westpac / AFR 2015 100 Women of Influence, Fi Bendall is a highly respected thought leader. Fi has been described by CEO Magazine as The CEO's Secret Weapon and is acclaimed for championing female entrepreneurship empowerment.  As an expert and pioneer in behavioural digital strategy and with over 24 years’ experience in the digital / tech sector over three continents, Europe, USA and Oceania; she has a depth of understanding that is globally unique. What impact will (Artificial Intelligence) AI have on the purchasing decisions of women going forward? AI is a technology that allows machine learning of human behaviour and patterns. It enables streamlining of purchasing decisions and short cuts to create highly personalised decision making. The down side is the continuous farming of data that means privacy continues to be compromised. However the upside is we can short cut, create highly personalised experiences based on our, needs, wishes and wants. In a world getting more and more busy, it ticks a huge box in convenience not based on the masses but on your personalised choices.

23 • Connected Woman; A New Kind of Business Conversation

Women owned businesses will be

step into a traditional areas

able to use AI technology to manage

dominated by men. We need men

inventory and supply chain. For

to fem-up and be more inclusive,

example, as many woman are

at the same time we need to

running an e-commerce retail sites,

encourage women to stop trying

being able to predict purchasing

to tick every box and have the

choices, you can manage the supply

confidence to go in, try and if they

and demand and not carry stock that

fail, know it is only a step to

could sit on the shelf. AI is becoming


prolific that open source platforms, like word press will have this

We need to stop lip service and

technology built in with very little

create real meaning to inclusion

need to understanding technology or

and gender diversity in a predomi-

the background to AI, yet enable the

nantly male industry. I am hearted

average female entrepreneur to

that Dame Ann Dowling for

work smarter, faster and meet client

example if now the President of

needs and wants in a highly conve-

the Royal Academy of

nient personalised way.

Engineering, but she is still a stand out that should encourage more

What more needs to be done in

young girls and women to come

STEM to ensure that women have

forward to take the lead in this

more of a voice?


First and foremost we need to

We are seeing strong evidence

demystify technology and

that girls can out-perform boys in

engineering to the average girl /

STEM subjects at school, so that

woman. We need to encourage

suggested we are facing a

women in these subjects, and

confidence issue, not skills issue

breakdown the barriers to entry.

and the industries covering STEM need to make it attractive to

Often that is not skills or brain power

women and literally “Fem-Up” …a

of women, its confidence to step

favourite saying of mine!

Fi Bendall, TFSN Global

“Women authentically connecting to create change across the community.”

TFSN has access to almost 45 million women globally including around 4.5 million female entrepreneurs and business owners/ operators as well as thousands of Effective Opinion Leaders (EOLs). connected woman • • 24

How are women/female business

As stereo-typical boundaries break

owners engaging in the development

down, I predict there will be a huge

of AI, Drones, 3D printing as we

surge of women entering the tech

approach the Fourth Industrial

game. I am proud at The Female

Revolution to accelerate business

Social Network, our CTO is a


woman, Ellie Puddle, who created the software that brought the

Women are stepping forward more

Prevent Act into law in the UK. An

and more.

incredible achievement.

Often named as the black female

I do think these women should

Mark Zuckerberg, Tishauna Wilson is

shout about their achievements,

one of the youngest and brightest

but as women we aren’t very good

stars in technology based programs,

at doing that. Peer to peer female

a surprising number of women are

support is as important as men

leading the way on droning

also being open to women and


understanding a female / male

One in seven women are applying for funding from Innovate UK. Other no-

board, or operating team always out performs a one gender culture.

table women shining in this area are

What impact will the emerging

Pae Natwilai Utoomprurkporn from

African states have on women in

Gettrik Ltd who has developed drone

business especially during the

mapping software and Herotech8’s

BREXIT negotiations?

Siobhan Gardiner is creating accessible, reliable and enabling tech in

Africa and the African Diaspora is

agritech & human logistics. This is just

Fi Bendall, TFSN Global

provides a great opportunity to open new conversations and business / trading relationships with this great continent. Innovation, money and to reinstate our imports and collaboration with this huge emerging continent is an opportunity waiting to happen. Theresa May recognised this as part of her earlier BREXIT strategy and its time we looked at our commonwealth relationships and the richness that Africa affords to Britain, with Britain taking these trading relationships as seriously as they did with Europe. I mentored a number of female entrepreneurs from the South Pacific, a region that is desperately poor. The women of places like Fiji are not sitting back, as a result of technology and investment, they are also slowly changing their

an emerging

world. Countries we have ignored

market that

we should embrace post-Brexit as

should be ig-

it is not just a western world

nored at your


connected woman • • 25

Jim Jordan (The Alpha Group), Sonia Brown MBE (NBWN) and Samantha Hargreave (ICEAW Thames Valley)


Networking Don’t let fear hold you back from succeeding in your business and career. Achieving the unimaginable!

26 • Connected Woman; A New Kind of Business Conversation


Don’t underestimate the value of networking. It is a valuable and effective marketing tool that can enrich and accelerate your career or

business. Networking is about the people you meet and the opportunities you create with them. For the purpose of this post, we will focus on how building a strategic networking strategy based on the industry-specific conferences or the general entrepreneur events that you attend can help you succeed.


Your networking strategy should be detailed and focused based on meeting the right professional contacts who can

help to elevate your brand and business. Whenever you attend an online or offline event, research guests and come prepared. If you're able to find the names of speakers and fellow attendees, you need to do some research so you have a basis for those introductory conversations.


Take time to think through why you're attending, who you want to meet and what you'd like to achieve, it will pay off in the

long run. Remember, in its most simplistic form,


networking events are aimed at business owners looking at increasing prospects and referrals. But ensure that you go in without a strict agenda. Otherwise you will be making connections with the wrong people or you’re approaching the right people the wrong way! This is critical because you will not be able to build meaningful relationships.

Remember, strategic networks should be built on both lateral and vertical relationships. In the long run, they will support your goals as your business or career develops.

It is important to develop new competencies, perspectives and insights and not depend on your old, well honed skills and networks when you are looking to progress. This is the perfect time to invest in a coach, sponsor or more importantly a MasterMind Group. interesting tip: Use your hobbies to meet other professional leaders outside of your traditional networks, events and conferences. It’s a great way


of building your outside inside contacts based on Creating the right level of

your common interests, expertise and knowledge

professional and business


contacts will provide you with

Finally, it’s all about reprogramming your mindset

the support, feedback, insight,

and investing enough time and effort in your long

resources and information that will help you to succeed going forward.

term aspirations for networking strategically. You will be surprised how much it pays off.

Operational networks will help you to achieve your goals and objectives. Whether these include staff members, suppliers, direct reports or managers; this list should be diverse as well as vast. Examine where you may have blind spots and work on these challenges and resolve in a timely manner.

connected woman • 27

Success can be intoxicating but always remember to plan for the SuperPower Speaking Team down times. - Farzan Baduel

connected woman • 28

KINDNESS Unleashing her potential! Farzana Baduel is the founder and CEO of Curzon PR. She set up Curzon PR in 2009, having previously served as Vice Chair of Business Relations for the UK Conservative Party.

Today Curzon PR is a well respected, globally focused public relations and marketing communications consultancy specialising in strategy at the nexus of developed and growth markets

Farzana is the resident public relations expert and ambassador for the Oxford Foundry, the University of Oxford’s entrepreneurship centre, where she delivers masterclasses in PR and mentors female entrepreneurs.

Farzana admits that although she has experienced good fortune, it is still important to take systematic, purposeful control of your business.

She is a Chartered PR practitioner and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing who regularly lectures around the world on PR and women leadership and contributes on media including BBC, Forbes, the Financial Times and Al-Jazeera. She has also written for publications such as The Guardian and PR Week.

“During the challenging times, it’s important to focus on what you want and not what you fear. You learn more when you fail, it makes you stronger!” Farzana shared with the audience. “When we accept total responsibility for our lives it means that we don’t make excuses when things go wrong. You learn it’s not personal, its business.” Respect is very important to Farzana.

Farzana is clear. Enterprise provides women freedom from a narrow world created by cultural norms and community pressure, especially when you come from a traditional BAME background. Most women are unconsciously and psychosocially subdued by their family, media and community to conform to a certain lifestyle which is often very restrictive. She dropped out of University at 20 to set up her first business focusing on tax refunds. At 30 she moved from tax to PR by setting up her second business in Public Relations and communications.

29 • Connected Woman; A New Kind of Business Conversation

Within a few months of running the tax refund business, she was gifted her competitor's 10-year-old business as she was terminally ill and wanted to help another woman in business and expected nothing in return. “The kindness of strangers can transform lives which is why it’s important to pay forward kindness” continued Farzane. “Be the kindness you want to see!”

Farzana Baduel Curzon PR

About Curzon PR In an increasingly globalised world with an ever evolving communications landscape, we

Curzon PR aim to be the strategic consultancy of choice for governments, corporations and cultural institutions.

exist to strategically navigate our

For further information visit: https://

clients; helping them build strong

relationships to influence and change behaviours.

“Critical thinking is a valuable resource for PR professionals as it makes us think sensibly, rationally and emphatically.”

connected woman • • 30

The voice for women in business

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T o eDIT A n om I ze

Profile for Sistatalk

The Connected Woman Business Magazine (July 2019)  

The Connected Woman: A New Kind of Business Conversation The NBWN, Saϊd Business School (Oxford University) and the Institute of Chartered...

The Connected Woman Business Magazine (July 2019)  

The Connected Woman: A New Kind of Business Conversation The NBWN, Saϊd Business School (Oxford University) and the Institute of Chartered...