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Creating Positive Footprints....

Spring Soirée

At the spring soirée we celebrated 12 great years of Pink Shoe with a lovely reception for Ambassadors and friends. 

To add an extra dimension, our founder Helene announced an exciting new initiative 'MP HERoes' celebrating female business owners throughout the country.

Each MP HERo will be a successful woman business owner with a sustainable growing business who is championed by her local MP. The female founders who become MP HERoes are accessible to other local business owners with the aim of encouraging the growth of female entrepreneurship nationally.

Across all parties, regions and sectors, MP HERoes is a truly inclusive UK-wide initiative. From a high- profile annual event in Parliament to year-round, local and regional activities across the country. The project is growing fast! To find out more, please email hello@pinkshoeclub.com 

EB Roadshow Final Session

A great group of women from across the UK gathered at Westminster to agree the very best ideas from the five national Economic Blueprint roadshow events that have taken place over the past several months.

Expertly chaired by Jill Pay, the roundtable focused on key outputs from each area. A wide-ranging discussion covered Education, Ethics, Procurement, Data, Local Networks, Mentoring, Technology and a Digital Platform.

From the workshop the ideas go forward to the White Paper to be published this summer.

Women in Science Fellowship Reception

The L'Oreal - UNESCO Women in Science UK and Ireland Fellowship Reception celebrating the new 2019 Fellows at the House of Lords was truly inspirational. 

This was the 10th year of the programme which champions women and girls along their own scientific journey, from school engagement to the Fellowship itself. Over 25,000 young people have engaged with the L'Oreal Young Scientist Centre, which is a great achievement.

Meeting some of the amazing young women scientists its clear the programme has huge value and is highly respected, opening doors across the scientific community. 

In partnership with Inspiring the Future, female scientists are invited to go into schools across the country to open the minds of children to the breadth of opportunity in the scientific industry. See: www.inspiringthefuture.org/women-in-science-loreal

Ambassadors' Spring Luncheon

Another lovely occasion with a select group of Pink Shoe Ambassadors when we met for our latest luncheon. The idea behind these is that members get chance to have a proper conversation over an excellent lunch and we were not disappointed!

Rose Review Reception at Coutts

Having been honoured to contribute to the excellent Rose Review into female entrepreneurship published earlier this year, Helene Martin Gee and Jill Pay were delighted to attend a reception at Coutts hosted by Alison Rose. 

Along with the bank's Julie Baker and Yvonne Greeves, many other leaders from the world of business and enterprise were present. 

It was the perfect opportunity to celebrate the Rose Review as well as share the latest thinking and meet fellow contributors.

EB Roadshow Birmingham

It was a real treat to go to Birmingham and the prestigious Council House for the final stop of the EB Roadshow supported by NatWest.

Hosted for the second time by the delightful Heather Waters of NatWest, who warmly welcomed everyone. 

After introductions from Helene Martin Gee we had a update on the exciting progress of the Economic Blueprint from Jill Pay. 

It was great to hear from two top keynote speakers, firstly Craig Tracey MP, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary group for Women & Enterprise who gave us an insight into the work of the APG and the importance Government is placing on female entrepreneurs and SMEs.

Our second keynote speaker was the inspiring Jodi Cook, founder of JC Social Media and co-founder of Clever Tykes. Jodie’s business story was super exciting to hear. Jodie began her business straight from Uni and now has a team of 18 and many major international clients!

Ideas flowed from the roundtables chaired by Deb Blisson, Debbie Assinder, Sarah Cooper Jones, Dipika Mistry and Sue Lawton; these were shared with the panel of Heather Waters, Jodie Cook and Vanda Green.

Asian Women of Achievement

The 20th AWA event at the London Hilton was a glittering occasion and as glamorous as ever. 

We were absolutely delighted to see Anna Sofat as a worthy finalist among many other inspiring women.

Mozart's Women at St John's Smith Square

A group of Pink Shoe Ambassadors was able to enjoy a marvellous concert from the London Mozart Players. Thanks to Sandi Rhys Jones for letting us know about this wonderful event. 

The London Mozart Players and conductor Jane Glover both achieved 70th birthdays this year, so this concert celebrating Mozart's Women created the perfect occasion.
The music from LMP was superb with a great line-up of musicians including award-winning Soprano Jennifer France, and the extraordinary 17-year-old pianist and BBC Young Musician Lauren Zhang.
Between the breath-taking music we enjoyed a speedy supper of delicious sharing platters and fizz in the vaults, which beautifully rounded off the evening.


The second session of the spring BoardAble programme covered board level CVs and applications. 

With expert input from Sarah Anderson CBE and Jill Pay, we then had a session with Sandy Meadows, founder and director of Saxonbury and a Pink Shoe Ambassador. Sandy went through every aspect of tailoring one's CV to NED, board or public appointment roles. Her practical advice and knowledge of recruiting for some very senior roles was extremely valuable. 

We heard from the group about how their sessions with Shadow Principals had progressed and exchanged ideas for future steps for the programme and for each individual. It was great to discover that success has already been achieved for some as they have already taken up new NED positions.

After a packed day we were joined by BoardAble alumnae and Pink Shoe Ambassadors for Aperitivo.

Edinburgh EB Roadshow with RBS

Edinburgh was the latest stop for the Economic Blueprint Roadshow supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland. Given the exciting activity taking place for female enterprise across Scotland we had high hopes and were definitely not disappointed.

The afternoon was opened by founder Helene Martin Gee who gave a quick overview of Pink Shoe and why we celebrate pink - which used to be a colour for boys!

Then the bank's Head of Women in Business, the award-winning Yvonne Greeves inspired us all with her passion for female enterprise and how much the bank is doing in this space.

The keynote was delivered by Chrissy Mackay, founder of BeYonder who energised every one of us and got us out of our seats! 

Jill Pay then gave a clear insight into the extensive work of the Economic Blueprint and the roadshow itself before we were able to open envelopes and get down to the roundtable discussions.

A big thank you to the wonderful Edinburgh delegates who came up with so many excellent ideas for the EB White Paper and especially to our brilliant discussion chairs: Janice Cuningham, Tracy Thomson, Susan Harkins, Emma Miller, Criona Courtney.

Business Breakfast at the Telegraph

NatWest and the Telegraph held a breakfast meeting with many leading women in business to discuss the findings of the Alison Rose Review on Female Entrepreneurship. 

Parliamentary Lecture & Viewing of Jill Pay Portrait

The annual International Women's Day lecture at Parliament marked an historic anniversary on the centenary of Nancy Astor, the first woman to take her seat in Parliament as Dr Jacqui Turner gave a fascinating insight into the life of this remarkable woman.

We were all thrilled to view the two recently acquired photographic portraits for the Parliamentary collection by the highly talented Anita Corbin. 

Former Serjeant at Arms and now Pink Shoe Senate Chairman Jill Pay, and Parliamentary Chaplain Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin.

Prime Minister's IWD Reception

Pink Shoe founder Helene Martin Gee attended a reception hosted by Theresa May at 10 Downing Street to mark International Women's Day. 

Many entrepreneurs and business leaders were present including Julie Baker of NatWest and Alison Rose, who recently completed the Rose Review on female entrepreneurship.

IWD Gala Dinner

Pink Shoe Ambassadors joined Women 2 Win at the Lansdowne Club for a splendid Gala Dinner in celebration of International Women's Day.

BoardAble Spring Cohort

The Spring 2019 BoardAble cohort got off to an excellent start with the first seminar. The group of eight senior women achieved a place on the programme from a very strong field and are an enthusiastic and inspiring group. 

After a challenging afternoon, delegates, programme leaders and session observers were joined by Pink Shoe Ambassadors and BoardAble alumnae for drinks and networking.

EB Roadshow Liverpool

The latest stop of the national EB Roadshow was Liverpool. 

Supported by NatWest we were joined by leading female entrepreneurs and business owners from across the region to share ideas for the EB White Paper we'll publish later this year.

Our founder Helene Martin Gee opened the afternoon and we then heard from local entrepreneur Sara McKee, founder of Evermore, about her innovative business that aims to create centres for elderly people to live in communities that embrace all aspects of life in an holistic and enjoyable way. Sara was refreshingly honest about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Her passion for Evermore and determination to succeed was truly inspiring.

Heather Waters then warmly welcomed delegates on behalf of NatWest and outlined the many innovative activities the bank offers to women in business. Jill Pay then updated us on the progress of the UK Economic Blueprint for Women across the country.

Each group discussed a different topic and the roundtables were chaired by leading business women from the region. 
Better backing for female business – Alison Loveday - Partner, Kennedy’s
Innovation rules! – Angela Moretta – Relationship Director Commercial Banking, NatWest
Securing the talent to scale – Ruth Kirby – Senior Relationship Manager Commercial Banking, NatWest
Business for good is good for business – Jacqueline Winstanley – Founder & CEO, Universal Inclusion
Barriers or opportunities? – Maggie O’Carroll – Chief Executive, the Women’s Organisation.

Each group came up with 3 key ideas for inclusion in the White Paper and we heard initial comments from an expert panel of Heather Waters, Sara McKee and Vanda Green. See the ideas here: EB Roadshow Liverpool Outputs

Afterwork at Expedia with our friends from WIL

Pink Shoe Ambassadors joined members of WIL (European Women in Leadership) at the Angel offices of Expedia for a networking evening.

We began with a fascinating conversation between WIL President Thaima Samman and Ariane Gorin, President of Expedia Partner Solutions and an alumna of the WIL Talent Programme. 

See the report of the event here: 
WIL London Afterwork

Empowering Women through Financial Inclusion

We were delighted to host an event for Shanti Life, a UK based charity created by Pink Shoe founder Ambassador Sheetal Mehta Walsh. Shanti works with women in India to provide micro business loans.

 After a welcome from our host Baroness Jenkin, Helene Martin Gee welcomed guests and introduced Sheetal, who inspired everyone with her passion for the work on Shanti and the difference it is making to the lives of the women. 

Then followed a short film highlighting the work of the charity and a lively discussion chaired by Pablo-Sat Bhambraof BBC Asian Network, along with Sheetal and Helene and excellent panellists Anna Sofat, Founder of Addidi Wealth and Yvonne Greeves, Head of Women in Business at NatWest RBS.