2018, one hundred years on from when women received the vote, has seen significant change in women’s rights around the world. With Saudi Arabia lifting it’s driving ban, Ireland voting in favour of legalising abortion and the gender pay gap deadline bringing the issue to the forefront of many companies, more people than ever are discussing, and demanding, change. Many people are standing up and sharing their stories, with the viral ‘Time’s up’ and ‘#metoo’ campaigns giving a platform to voices that have hitherto been silenced and ignored. 2018 is giving women a time and a place for their voices to be heard.
Whilst there is no denying that there is still some way to go, I think it is important to take opportunities to celebrate how far we have come. Here at JLA we work with a great number of fantastic female keynote speakers who each have extraordinary wisdom and experiences we can all learn from. So to celebrate these women and their voices I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you a few of the best keynote speakers who we love working with, and giving platform to.
Martha Lane Fox started her career as the co-founder of the revolutionary site lastminute.com at a time when women were few and far between in the world of technology. Since then she has gone on to co-found several other organisations, including her digital charity Doteveryone, and work alongside Prime Ministers as the UK’s Digital Champion. As a keynote speaker she talks about digital understanding, possibility and responsibility. One thing she highlights is how the tech sector, as a relatively young (and supposedly progressive) industry, has simply copied older monolithic structures – a report last year showed that there is a 3:1 ratio of men to women in over half of digital businesses. Recent feedback has been nothing short of outstanding – audiences love how she weaves her personal journey with a fresh approach to the digital story, sharing applicable advice and amusing stories along the way.
Named as ‘Business Entrepreneur of the Year’ and in Management Today’s ’35 Women Under 35’ list, Priya Lakhani is an engaging and inspirational keynote speaker. After the success of her food business Masala Masala (that grew into a social enterprise, providing free meals and vaccinations to those in need) she now leads CenturyTech, a company using the latest technology to study how we learn in order to enhance education and improve its accessibility. She talks passionately about a wide range of topics from her entrepreneurial experiences, technology and innovation, to the importance of diversity and culture within organisations. Sharing her story and dedication to making change for the better, she shows any audience that you can – and maybe with her advice and motivating words, you will.
Named one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK by Women’s Hour and among The Times’ ‘100 Makers of the 21st Century’ list, Shami Chakrabrti served, for over a decade, as the Director of Liberty, Britain’s leading advocacy group which campaigns to protect civil liberties and promote human rights. Shami developed the organisation into a respected force of justice, changing the culture and ethos, leading high-profile campaigns and taking on government, the media and public opinion in defence of rights and liberties. In a world where “nasty women” are taking charge and speaking out, Shami, who was once labeled ‘the most dangerous women in the world’ by the Sun, is a great keynote speaker to book to hear about leadership, diversity and social responsibility.
Eliza Manningham-Buller is a keynote speaker who is the epitome of great leadership. Not only can you hear about her experience of management as Head of MI5 in the wake of 9/11 but you can feel it in the way she captivates the room. She offers forthright but fair advice on how leaders need to be responsible, truthful and open to criticism…and humour – an element she heeds the upmost importance to. Now the Chair of the Wellcome Trust, a powerful medical research platform, she talks about managing change under pressure and remaining confident throughout periods of difficulty – something I think we could all do with hearing at the moment.
If you are looking for an honest and funny keynote speaker to discuss current affairs Lyse Doucet should be at the top of your list. The BBC’s Chief International Correspondent, Lyse is known for covering events across the globe, including her daring reports from Syria. Whether she is talking about her reporting and journalism (for which she has won many international awards) or sharing her informed knowledge about the geopolitical climate, the focus is on the human elements in the stories, the hope that can be seen in dark times and the importance of optimism. As well as a keynote speaker, Lyse is a brilliant moderator who listens to both the speaker and the audience to ensure her questions are thought provoking, insightful and get to the bottom of what we really want to know!
These are just a few of the amazing speakers we work with here at JLA so if you want to hear about others, or know more about the speakers featured, get in touch with us here.