Hear from inspirational speakers and expect interactive debate and Q&A sessions to ensure your voice is heard. Lunch is included with plenty of opportunity to network with other business leaders.
Rachel Nolan | Chief Superintendent - Operational Policing | Essex Police
Rachel has worked for Essex Police for 19 years and in September 2016 became their first female divisional commander for specialist operational policing. She has varied responsibilities, including dogs, firearms, drones, marine, roads policing, resource management, operational planning, public order, firearms licencing and Stansted Airport. As a firearms commander and the force’s only female public order commander, Rachel has led the policing of protests, festivals and more unusual events such as Tour de France and covert firearms deployments. In doing so she has dealt with a variety of challenges from alpha males to portaloos.
With a background in community policing, Rachel strives to maintain credibility and integrity as a senior leader and endeavours to bring a fresh and transparent approach to management. She is the force lead for the operational response to terrorism, supports the force Women’s Leadership and Development Forum and is passionate about mentoring and developing colleagues.
Karen Thornber | HR Strategist | Chadwicks
Karen specialises in organisational design and strategic HR. People are key to business success and business growth and transition. Karen has extensive HR experience of start-up businesses, merges and divestments.
Ensuring that the right HR processes, policies and culture are in place for successful growth and potential due diligence is paramount. Karen is able to assess and assist your business to create a robust and credible HR offering.
With experience of working for both large corporates and smaller enterprises across a variety of sectors she brings a commercial and pragmatic attitude combined with a practical hands on approach.
Karen has worked for Deloitte and as an HR Director and member of the launch teams for both Virgin Mobile and Virgin Money, she has extensive experience working with brand-led businesses.
Dr. Zara Nanu | CEO | Gapsquare
Zara has established Gapsquare to link science, technology and diversity expertise to close the gender pay gap. Zara holds a PhD from the University of the West of England and an MA in International Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California. For the past 15 years Zara has been working on the proliferation women’s economic rights, working for Dress for Success Worldwide in New York, Catholic Relief Services in Moldova, and Young Women’s Trust in the UK. With Gapsquare, Zara’s vision is to use data science smarts to the challenges of the workplace gender pay gap, foster equality and diversity in the workforce and use disruptive technology to skip at least a century of pay inequality.
Francesca de Lacey | Managing Director| JMS Group Ltd
Following her first graduate role as an Advertising Agency Executive in Covent Garden, London, Francesca moved back to the East of England to take up the position of Administration Assistant with JMS Group working solely on radio productions. 13 years on Francesca has worked her way up the company, developing skills in all the other aspects of the business, especially television advertising. In 2015 she achieved the position of Managing Director. JMS produces National and local TV & Radio commercials and video content for businesses, entirely in-house from their TV studios just outside Norwich. In addition to her MD duties Francesca also leads the majority of the face to face pitches with agencies and clients and is a regular net-worker in the East of England region.
Dr Sabrina Robinson | Head of Health and Wellbeing | Hertfordshire Mind Network
Sabrina is a Chartered Psychologist registered with the British Psychological Society and a Health Psychologist /Practitioner Psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. Sabrina’s current role is Head of Health and Wellbeing for Hertfordshire Mind Network, a mental health service provider supporting in excess of 5,000 people across the county each year. Sabrina is passionate about managing mental health and wellbeing in the workplace and has conducted research in the field of work-life balance and health including writing an article for the BPS Division of Occupational Psychology Work-Life Balance Working Group titled “Getting a life”- The Work-Home Interface, Health Behaviours and Wellbeing in Professional Women”.
Alison Charles | Stress Management and Productivity Expert | Diva on a Harley
Alison started her career in the British Army in the Intelligence Corp - a high stress high reward environment. Moving from military into corporate, her experience is borne from a 30 year career predominantly in providing large scale global solutions for Learning and Development, HR and Finance. A passionate career woman, she pushed herself hard and had high personal standards. When, what felt like insurmountable personal tragedy struck in 2011, there was no coping capacity left and a lack of coping strategies led to a nervous breakdown. She had to rebuild from the ground up. She researched, studied and grew as an individual. Now she is passionate about helping both individuals and companies build resilience and embrace change. Also key is having the right programmes in place to help reduce staff absenteeism. She says “I am stronger than I was before; I know how to ensure it never happens again”.
Lottie Fletcher | Associate Solicitor | Birketts LLP
Lottie is an associate in the corporate and banking department of busy regional firm Birketts LLP and is based in their Norwich office. Birketts have offices in Norwich, Ipswich, Chelmsford and Cambridge.
Lottie acts for a wide range of clients in relation to mergers and acquisitions, debt finance, equity investments, corporate governance and non-contentious solutions for shareholders.
Lottie has a particular interest in family-owned businesses and regularly advises in relation to shareholder queries including where a shareholder has died or there is a family fall out (and sometimes both!). This work includes working closely with accounts and private client and property colleagues to find solutions where the company's constitutional documents do not cover these situations and also advising shareholders in respect of such constitutional documents before these issues arise.
Lottie is also a committee member of Norwich Business Women’s Network and Birketts’ dedicated family-owned business team.
Hayley Smith | Director | Boxed Out PR
Hayley Smith is founder and director of Boxed Out PR, specialists in lifestyle PR. Hayley, who founded Boxed Out PR at the age of 24. is a TEDx speaker who was listed last year in Elle UK’s 23 under 30 female entrepreneurs and also listed as a Glamour Magazine’s Alpha Woman. Hayley has been featured in and written for several publications including The Guardian, The Telegraph, Bustle, PR Week, The Pool and Debrief. Hayley is passionate about storytelling, believing that successful leaders need to tell their stories with passion to inspire others to achieve their dreams.
Jacqui Simpson | Director | Bilberry Bloom
Jacqui has first-hand experience of working under considerable pressure, stress and burn-out and has experienced the long-term effects that this can have on health. As a founder of many businesses, one of which ranked 18th fastest growing technology company in the Times ARM Tech Track 100 in 2001, she understands the personal drive needed to succeed from initial start-up through to the many challenges facing a growing business. Capitalising on her experience she now manages her own enthusiasm, drive and ambition in a way that is not detrimental to her or others’ long-term performance or health. Jacqui, strongly believes that prevention is better than cure and that if we are to maintain resilience and well-being in our daily lives we must also create for ourselves a healthy work/life balance. Jacqui’s latest business venture helps companies and individuals rediscover the health benefits of ‘switching-off’ and digital detoxing from our technical devices. This allows reflection on daily routines to build better dialogue and communication about healthy working practices that underpin more sustainable and productive ways of working.
Nikki Walker | Managing Director | More2Gain
Nikki is a passionate and experienced board level executive with over 20 years of commercial and general management experience working in many different functions within global organisations.
A pragmatic leader with the ability and expertise to manage change and implement innovative business solutions, develop people and commercialise all aspects of a business.
Nikki left corporate life 5 years ago and today juggles a busy and diverse portfolio career which ranges from helping businesses and enterprises transition to a truly inclusive culture, enabling women to accelerate their careers whatever level and wherever they are in the world, working with SME CEO’s to help them grow their businesses and grow themselves and supporting Working Families, the UK’s leading work-life balance organisation as Trustee and Treasurer.
Alex Skailes | CEO and Director | Centre for Charity Effectiveness, Cass Business School, London
Alex is a Director and Senior Lecturer at Cass Business School and leads the Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness consulting and professional development business. This Cass Centre provides a unique centre of excellence in Europe with a mission to increase the effectiveness and achievement of non-profit, voluntary and community organisations.
Alex has long term experience of leadership, particularly in delivering solutions to the private and non-profit sectors. She believes passionately in the power of cross sector working. She has combined her earlier career spent with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deutsche Bank, with a period of post graduate academic study and now consults and lectures focusing specifically on the non-profit sector.
Alex has a particular interest in charity collaborations and mergers and their financial sustainability. She currently serves on the finance and audit committees of Community Action Suffolk and The Seckford Foundation.
Alex is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, the RSA and the Royal Geographical Society and is a Freeman of the City of London.
Lucy Brine | Area Director - Healthcare & Education | Lloyds Bank
Lucy is a mother of 2, has been in banking for 26 years and is currently an Area Director in Lloyds commercial banking, a historically male environment. Lucy leads a direct team of 10 relationship managers across the East of England. Within her role Lucy is an advocate of Inclusion and Diversity at work and is a supporter of the banks strategy to increase the female senior leadership team. This includes mentoring and running workshops for talented female leaders of the future. Lucy is also involved in community work in Cambridge coordinating the support of digital and financial skills in the community and schools. Lucy believes that valued and motivated colleagues leads to a productive workforce who give the best service to clients. To support this Lucy is also an advocate of flexible and agile working and focusing on well being discussions with colleagues not just performance discussions.
Jane Warden | Director | Jane Warden Corporate Training Consultancy
Jane delivers training and 121 coaching for companies of all sizes and industry. After a corporate career in sales, recruitment, sales management and trouble shooter roles, Jane started up her own business 17 years ago and hasn’t looked back. Assisting businesses to acquire the skills they need or to work on personal development of their people with soft skills, is the main role for her and her two associate trainers. Jane has particular interest in stress management and resilience training and has assisted people re-assign their priorities and balance their work-life scales.
Jity Bajaj | Founder | DiverCity Consulting
Whether you’re working at a small start-up or are part of a large multinational corporation, the benefits of diversity in the workplace are equally compelling in today’s globalized business environment and diversity can take many forms, from culture and nationality to gender, race, sexuality, educational background, and more. Understanding and formulating a relevant strategy to fit your industry can only be beneficial.
Jity Bajaj believes promoting inclusiveness and diversity within your workplace is one of the best ways to adopt an open-minded, global company culture. Not only does this make good business sense, helping your company to better understand colleagues, clients, and customers, it also makes the workplace a more interesting, productive and personally enriching environment for everyone. We should see our differences as strength not as a weakness.
Jity provides diversity and inclusion awareness training to corporates, schools and other institutions across the East of England, ensuring that stereotypes and pre-conceived ideas are challenged. Jity has worked with the Department of Education, the Border and the Police Force, she is a member of the Essex IAG (Independent Advisory Group) and sits on the boards of volunteer and under-represented minority groups.
Alison Shadrack | CEO | Adia PR
Alison Shadrack is the founder and CEO of Adia PR, the boutique PR agency for entrepreneurs. A serial entrepreneur herself, Alison’s combines her +20 years business and PR skills to help clients build brand awareness, manage their reputation, increase brand visibility and secure media coverage. Adia PR’s typical clients are disruptive start-ups, and fast-tracks enterprises. They also work closely with the entrepreneurs of those businesses to build their own personal profiles as thought leaders and experts in their field.
Knowing just how much PR can help small businesses to grow, Alison runs a 12-week online programme sharing all her greatest tips, techniques and tools a business owner will need to do their own PR and launch their own publicity plan.
Before starting her entrepreneurial journey, Alison previously worked for the European Commission in Brussels, Accenture in London and a property firm in New York. She has also launched two successful businesses before starting Adia PR in 2013. Alison received a Highly Commended Award for Director of the Year (Small Business under £10million) at this year’s Institute of Directors Awards (East of England). Alison is married with two young sons and currently lives in Essex.
Rachel Sloane | Freelance Writer
Rachel has been a freelance feature writer for forty years and has worked in broadcasting for almost as long, both in commercial radio and the BBC. An award-winning radio presenter/producer, she is also a very experienced facilitator/compère/chairman having chaired countless public and private sector events. A popular speaker (conferences, lunch clubs, after-dinner, charities, etc.), earlier this year she had the opportunity to lecture on a cruise ship sailing from Tahiti to Australia, via Bora-Bora and New Zealand. With her younger son owning a food production company in Thailand, she is understandably keen on travelling.
Rachel teaches people the secrets of the media and how to successfully promote themselves and their businesses, and runs workshops in presentation skills and public speaking, either one-to-one or in small groups. She is the author of the online training course, How to Handle the Press and Media. Rachel Sloane Partnerships Ltd, created in 2006, brings together all the varied work Rachel undertakes. She is a Fellow of Suffolk New College, an Open University graduate and runs a 100 strong community choir.