WEConnect International Europe Conference 2017

Date & Time: 
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 (All day) to Thursday, October 12, 2017 (All day)

Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS



Please join us for this year’s WEConnect International Europe Conference which is taking place in London on Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th October 2017.

After the success of our first two-day conference in 2016, we’re excited to be hosting another two-day event this year at the Barbican Centre in central London - an iconic London venue and Europe's largest multi-arts and conference venue presenting a diverse range of art, music, theatre, dance, film and creative learning events.

Both days will be jam-packed with talks, presentations and breakout sessions based on the conference theme of inspiration, innovation and insight and everything is focussed on helping women business owners to succeed and corporations to further develop their supplier diversity programmes. Throughout the event, there will be exclusive opportunities to network and connect with both women business owners and representatives from WEConnect International's global corporate members including conference sponsors Intel, Accenture, Bristol-Myers Squibb, IBM, Dell, EY, MetLife, MSD, Dun & Bradstreet, IPG, Monsanto, Pfizer and Thomson Reuters.

The conference will feature a showcase of certified women-owned businesses in the networking area as well as the chance for corporate representatives to participate in pre-arranged one to one matchmaker meetings with certified women-owned businesses.

Booking linkSo, if you’re interested in growing your women-owned business and understanding more about working successfully with multinational corporations or if you work for a multi-national corporation and you would like to find out more about supplier inclusion, this conference is not to be missed!

Mark your calendar, book your place, follow the hashtag #WECIEurope and we’ll look forward to seeing you there!

Our Sponsors

Headline Sponsor

Gold Sponsors
gold sponsors list

Silver Sponsors
silver sponsors list

Bronze Sponsors
bronze sponsors list


Wednesday 11th October 2017

8.30am – Conference Registration Opens

9.15am - Welcome and Introduction - Conference MC, Sonia Bate - Managing Director of EDIT Development, a certified women-owned business

9.30am – Global Update - presented by Elizabeth Vazquez, CEO and Co-Founder, WEConnect International and Maggie Berry, Executive Director for Europe at WEConnect International

9.50am – The Rewarding Power of Faking It - presented by Lara Morgan, Founder of Scentered, a certified women-owned business

Through real-life examples, bold-as-brass true stories and a significant dose of real-life experience, Lara, with no small amount of humility and down-to-earth style, will talk about ways in which you can emphasise, maximise and utilise tools and techniques to go further faster with confidence.

10.30am – Smart Cities – Trends and the Impact to SMEs - Knowledge Workshop - presented by Frank Foerster, Senior Director EMEA Sales, Programmable Solutions Group at Intel
More details coming soon!

11.10am – Coffee and Networking Break

11.40am – Inclusive Leadership – Creating Truly Diverse and Inclusive Cultures - presented by Charlotte Sweeney OBE, Founder and Managing Director, Charlotte Sweeney Associates, a certified women-owned business
The most successful organisations are those with the most diverse and engaged workforces and supply chains. Studies show an 80% improvement in business performance among those with high diversity levels. When people feel included and able to reach their full potential, they are more engaged, more productive and often more creative. However, research also suggests that over 70% of charge programmes fail – is that why creating a more diverse and inclusive culture as so many companies aspire to achieve is so… illusive? During this session you will gain a greater understanding of the key components of leading change and the critical factors to truly benefit from an inclusive cultures via your employee lifecycle, your supply chain and through product development.

12.20pm – Inspiring the Future of Women in Leadership - presented by Lynne Copp, Founder & Managing Director of The Worklife Company, a certified women-owned business

In 2010, The Worklife Company launched a major research project to identify, document and report the key determinants of excellence in female leadership with the objective of developing excellence in women leaders and the model for creating a great organisation that serves both men and women. The results are compelling! During this session, you will learn about great female leadership practice and how it benefits the changing world of work; explore the key determinants that can change organisational culture to benefit all and understand the current workplace and what needs to be dismantled, disrupted and developed for excellence to flourish.

1pm - Networking Lunch
Meet and connect with other women business owners and representatives from WEConnect International’s corporate members


2pm – Certified WBE Discussion Panel and Q&A
This session will offer the audience a chance to hear from four successful women business owners as they share key storied from their entrepreneurial journeys, top tips for business success and how being a certified women-owned business has aided their business growth. Panellists will be representatives from WEConnect International and WBENC certified women-owned businesses including Alison Frith from Artizian, Farida Gibbs from Gibbs Hybrid, Miriam Dervan from mdgroup and Heather Butler from PDT. This session will be moderated by Sonia Bate.
Questions can be submitted in advance when you register online for the conference.

2.50pm – Driving Innovation and Culture When Managing Remote Teams - presented by Tamara Littleton, CEO and Founder of The Social Element, a certified women-owned business.
The Social Element manages social media for the world’s biggest brands and has 350 people all working remotely around the world with only a handful of them going into the physical London office. Managing remote teams has many advantages but also some challenges too. Tamara will share her story of running a company for 15 years that does things very differently with a focus on managing the company culture, staff engagement and driving innovation when everyone works in different time zones and locations.

3.30pm – Coffee and Networking Break

4pm – Winning Big Despite Being Small – Commercial Strategies for Dealing With Large Corporates - Knowledge Workshop - presented by Lynda Petherick, Head of Fashion, Accenture UKI
Lynda will share practical tips on how to differentiate your business. What matters and what doesn’t when responding to RFPs. Surviving the buying process and what to do when you come out the other side. The subtle differences in approach if you are a start-up. Patience is key but so is knowing when to stop…

4.40pm – Nothing Great is Easy - presented by Lisa Lloyd, Ultra Marathon Swimmer
In this session Lisa will take the audience through her journey from enjoying a very active social life in London to being an ultra-marathon swimmer and becoming one of less than 500 women to have swum the English Channel. Lisa will share how when things don't go as planned, you can still reach your goal and she'll also show that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things with the right mindset.

5.10pm - WEConnect International Corporate Members Supporting Female Entrepreneurs – presented by Ingrid Devin, Director, Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network and Nataša Nikolić, EMEIA Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program Lead, EY
In this final slot of the day, we’ll hear from both Dell and EY, WEConnect International corporate members, who will share how they are supporting the growth of women-owned businesses across Europe (and around the world). Through the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN), Dell is connecting female entrepreneurs across the globe with networks, sources of capital, knowledge and technology, giving them the power to do more. The EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women programme is an executive leadership programme that identifies a select group of high-potential women entrepreneurs whose businesses show real potential to scale — and then helps them do it. Both programmes are open to women-owned businesses registered with WEConnect International.

5.25pm - Thank you and Wrap-Up - Conference MC, Sonia Bate - Managing Director of EDIT Development, a certified women-owned business

5.30pm - Evening Networking Drinks Reception
Join us for more outstanding networking and connection building at the end of the day!

7.30pm – Close

7.30pm onwards – An informal dinner (pay your own way) will be organised for international conference delegates and others staying overnight in London.

Please note, Matchmaker Sessions for certified WBEs and corporate members will run concurrently with the main programming on Wednesday 11th October from 11.30am to 1pm and from 2pm to 3.30pm.

This programme may be subject to slight alterations.

Thursday 12th October 2017

8.30am – Conference Registration Opens

9.15am - Welcome and Introduction - Conference MC, Sonia Bate - Managing Director of EDIT Development, a certified women-owned business

9.25am – WEConnect International Corporate Member Discussion Panel and Q&A

Chaired by Megan Stowe from Intel, this session will offer the audience a chance to ask questions about supplier diversity, working successfully with our corporate members, understanding procurement processes and top tips for doing business. Panellists will be representatives from WEConnect International corporate members and conference sponsors including Shirley Creed from Dell, Amanda Spencer from EY, Michael Robinson from IBM, Pauline Gebon from MetLife and Claire Piipponen from MSD.
Questions can be submitted in advance when you register online for the conference.

10.20am – Blockchain Explained – Knowledge Workshop - presented by Rachel Jackson, Program Director - Global Blockchain Development at IBM

Blockchain is the new disruptive technology that is set to change the way that businesses operate today but what is it? This session aims to provide a high-level introduction to the concepts behind Blockchain. It will explore: what Blockchain is; why it is relevant to businesses and how IBM is applying Blockchain.

11am – Coffee and Networking Break

11.30am Taking Your Business to the Next Level - presented by Katherine Corich, Founder and Global CEO at Sysdoc, a certified women-owned business and Associate Fellow, University of Oxford

As a serial entrepreneur and mother of four who invests in and grows successful businesses, Katherine is an inspirational speaker who shares her business story from the heart. She founded Sysdoc 30 years ago and today, it is an award-winning technology and services company engaged in projects around the globe. Katherine will share insights from her business growth journey - the opportunities and the obstacles that she has faced along the way as well as some memorable moments. She will also talk about the challenges shaping future business including the speed of technological change, the future of work and disrupting influences giving a rapid-fire view of how to future-proof your business.  

12pm - Networking Lunch
Meet and connect with other women business owners and representatives from WEConnect International’s corporate members


1pm - Choice of breakout sessions run by certified women-owned businesses (your choice must be made when you register online for the conference):

View all Breakout Sessions.

2pm – We Have A Duty Beyond Our Pockets - presented by Maggie Semple, OBE, FCGI, Founder, Maggie Semple Limited – a certified women-owned business
Maggie will present some thoughts on why values as a basis for business is the new bottom line. She will assert that every business, no matter what its size or in which industry, has a duty beyond its pockets. Today trust and transparency is what customers, communities, employees and stakeholders expect from each other and of themselves and this interaction is made even more explicit through technology. An interactive session with a mix of some home truths, provocative comment and a call to action.

2.40pm – Coffee and Networking Break

3.10pm – The Global War for Talent - presented Kate Donovan, SVP ManpowerGroup Solutions / TAPFIN and Global RPO President
In our fast-changing world of work, digitisation is transforming business models. Finding the right balance of technology, talent and human connections will enable both people and businesses to succeed. In response to these changes, today’s job seekers are unlike any that employers have encountered in history. With unique needs, priorities and unprecedented access to information, organisations - large and small - are continuously searching for ways they can attract and retain the world’s top talent. To understand how to best leverage candidate preferences and perceptions throughout the recruitment process, ManpowerGroup Solutions conducted a global candidate preferences survey – reaching 14,000 candidates globally and over 5,300 candidates in Europe. In this session, Kate will explore what matters most to today’s job seekers with strategies and tactics for your organisation to effectively compete for and retain in-demand talent.

3.40pm – Pop and Policy: Campaigning for Women’s Economic Empowerment presented by Amy Agnew, Europe Director at Global Citizen
How can we mobilise the world’s biggest movement of people, all taking action to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges? How can we as global citizens ensure that governments, institutions and business leaders implement policies that promote women’s empowerment and tackle the legal barriers that prevent women from being economically empowered? Find out how Global Citizen has managed to mobilise millions of people globally, all of whom are determined to end gender discrimination and promote women’s economic empowerment. Find out how you can be part of this movement to empower women all over the world.

4.10pm – Future Aspirations – presented by Maggie Berry, Executive Director for Europe at WEConnect International, Megan Stowe, Chair, WEConnect International in Europe Advisory Council and Gill Thorpe, Chair of the WBE Council

4.30pm - Thank You, Wrap-Up and Close - Conference MC, Sonia Bate - Managing Director of EDIT Development, a certified women-owned business

4.45pm onwards – All conference delegates are welcome to join an informal drinks reception (cash bar) in the Bonfire restaurant and bar on Level 1 of the Barbican Centre

This programme may be subject to slight alterations.

Professional Headshot

Website: theheadshotguy.co.uk
Twitter: @theheadshotguy
Back by popular demand!
Get your headshot taken courtesy of Trudi Watts from The Headshot Guy. Attendees will be able to have their professional headshot taken and, if you like your photo, fully edited and licensed versions can be purchased from £18. We all want to be noticed and be seen at our best to attract new clients and opportunities. As more people find you on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook it pays to have a profile photo which helps you stand out for the right reasons. An up-to-date headshot that reflects confidence and approachability will help people feel more connected with you. It shows you’re serious about your business and your career. You’ll find Trudi, The Headshot Guy (Girl!), in the networking area during the conference.


Find out more about our speakers, panellists, workshop leaders and our MC for the event, Sonia Bate - Managing Director of EDIT Development, a certified women-owned business - Speakers and Presenters


A very big thank you goes to our conference sponsors whose support is vital to this event and the on-going work of WEConnect International in Europe:

Headline sponsor: Intel
Gold Sponsors: Accenture, Bristol-Myers Squibb and IBM
Silver Sponsors: Dell, EY, MetLife and MSD
Bronze Sponsors: Dun & Bradstreet, IPG, Monsanto, Pfizer and Thomson Reuters

Conference Support

And a big thank you goes to the following certified women-owned businesses who we’re working with to deliver the conference:

Brochure printing: FoxPrint - foxprint.co.uk
Name badges: Imprint Plus - imprintplus.com
Mobile app: KTS Events - ktsevents.com
Event logistics and support: mdgroup - mdgroup.com
Logo and brochure design: OrangeDoor - weareorangedoor.com
Video and onsite photography: World Wide Pictures - worldwidepictures.tv

Booking link

Booking Information

Ticket Prices (all prices are exclusive of VAT):

  • WEConnect International or WBENC Certified Women-Owned Businesses – tickets prices range from £110 to £350 and can include matchmaker session and/or showcase stand options
  • WEConnect International Self-Registered Businesses - tickets prices range from £140 to £250
  • WEConnect International Corporate Members – ticket prices range from £160 to £275
  • Other Attendees - tickets prices range from £175 to £325

For full details of ticket options available to you, please go the conference registration page which can be found here:

Ticket Refunds 

100% - if you cancel by Friday 15th September 2017

50% - if you cancel by Friday 22nd September 2017

25% - if you cancel by Monday 2nd October 2017

Tickets cancelled on or after Tuesday 3rd October 2017 will not be refunded but all tickets can be transferred to another person at any point. Please advise the organisers of who will be attending by Friday 6th October 2017. Unfortunately, we cannot refund the Eventbrite ticket processing/booking fee.

Contact WEConnect International

If you have any questions about this event or would like to find out how your firm can get involved, please contact:

Maggie Berry, Executive Director for Europe

Tel: +44 (0)7776 302 906

Email: mberry@weconnectinternational.org

Back to Events page.