Our Leadership Stories
IWF UK is privileged to have as members remarkable women who have influenced or are influencing our communities, organisations and families. Some of their leadership stories are well known, others are less so, but each has something to share as role models for each other and for younger generations.
In October 2017, we launched the IWF UK Legacy Project, developed by the Storytelling Committee, which aims to capture the stories of as many members as possible, whether on video, audio or in writing. The new website act as a repository for voicing and honouring the accumulated wisdom of our members' lives.
The project is already under way, with a special video of IWF UK founders in conversation, and a new series of the Leadership Stories of our members. These stories provide many gems of wisdom. We will publish one of them each month on the website, creating a rich library of experience.
Leadership Stories: Professor Laura Serrant OBE
Marking the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush to Britain
Leadership Stories: Sue Whalley is a pathbreaker who encourages other women to follow in her footsteps by creating ecosystems of support
As the first female leader in very senior roles, Sue realised the importance of networks and relationships. Equally applicable in her home life, she and her husband have each progressed their careers and successfully raised 4 children. They are a source of inspiration to her and keep her in touch with younger generations in the workforce.
Leadership Stories: Margarete McGrath, a STEM role model, inspires upcoming female talent
Navigating personal and family challenges, Margarete values mental and physical well-being. She has incorporated her learning into her grounded and inclusive leadership style. As Global Strategic Propositions Lead at Dell Technologies, she builds partnerships that propel innovation, impact the quality of our lives and societal change.
Leadership Stories: Sarah Boddey embraces difference to empower her teams to create better solutions
Always curious and having a sense of justice and stewardship, Sarah Boddey has risen to the role of Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at a global bank. Sarah also plays her part in the criminal justice system as a Magistrate and participates actively in our Racial Equity Special Interest Group.
Leadership stories: Yetunde Hofmann stands up and is counted on to empower black women
Having overcome a life-threatening health challenge and drawing strength from her faith, Yetunde Hofmann has gone from leading from the front, charging ahead, holding the energy of the team to leading from behind. She founded Solaris, a global executive leadership development programme, to empower black women and help organisations on inclusion.
Leadership Stories: Jenny Winch thrives on change and variety
From starting up her own language business to senior roles in multinational corporations, the public and charitable sectors, Jenny has demonstrated an ability to be creative, flexible and engaging in her leadership. Her career trajectory is the epitome of a portfolio career.
Leadership Stories: Diane Caddle - an authentic leader and pathbreaker
Role modelling continuous improvement, Dianne Caddle started out as a social researcher and single mum to become one of the most senior black woman in the Ministry of Justice. She sponsors and mentors others to believe in themselves and their capabilities.
Leadership Stories: Elisabeth Stheeman - a role model of embracing diversity and inclusion
Starting out in a career in banking, Elisabeth received dismissive comments. This propelled her to prove her naysayers wrong and to achieve success in senior roles as well as bring up a family of four boys. She embraces diversity and inclusion in her professional and personal spheres which enhance her ability to lead and engage.
Leadership Stories: Beatrice Devillon-Cohen champions teams
Leading by example and championing her teams, Beatrice not only survived the disruption of relocation and the global financial crisis, she and her teams bonded and thrived. She was recognised as one of the 100 Women to Watch in 2020 by Cranfield University.
Leadership Stories: Nicolina Andall aims higher and higher
A highly energetic lawyer, public speaker, mentor, member of public advisory committees and panels, Nicolina continually finds ways to lift others as she climbs. Through her leadership she draws on the wisdom of a diverse range of perspectives and empowers others. Her mission is to have an impact on society for the good.
Leadership Stories: Liz Marsh found her golden thread.
Entrepreneur Liz Marsh is able to see opportunities where others see problems and had the courage to be unconstrained by their expectations. This has propelled her to create a highly successful floral design business serving prestigious clients.
Leadership Stories: Allyson Stewart-Allen – international marketing and inter-cultural expert
A self-starter who recognised that climbing the corporate ladder wouldn’t bring out her best, Allyson Stewart-Allen embarked on her own campaign to lead and influence. She is a successful author, commentator and entrepreneur. She has lived and worked internationally assisting and advising hundreds of world-class organisations and business leaders.
Leadership Stories: Suzanne Todd
Suzanne Todd heads the Withers Worldwide Family and Trust, Estate and Inheritance Dispute teams in London. She is one of the most highly respected international family lawyers of her generation. She has received many awards and accolades and is rated highly by legal and industry directories. Suzanne is Company Secretary on the IWF UK Board.
Leadership Stories: Judy Piatkus – a self-made entrepreneur and founder of Conscious Café
Judy Piatkus has been a member of IWF UK for more than thirty years. Her business memoir, Ahead of Her Time: How a One-Woman Startup Became a Global Publishing Brand will be published in Spring 2021. She completed her MA in Creative Leadership as a mature student and she founded Conscious Café to bring people together in thoughtful conversations.
Leadership Stories: Susan Young: embracing the power of business and creativity
Susan Young chaired IWF UK from 2012 to 2014. She is an American entrepreneur who settled in London three decades ago. Susan initiated “PORTRAYED”, 30 portraits of past IWF UK Chairs for the 25th Anniversary. In 2009 she pivoted from senior executive roles to help build City Academy, one of London’s leading performance and creative arts companies.
Leadership Stories: Sylvana Caloni - inveterate connector and champion of resilience
Sylvana Caloni, a member of the IWF UK Board, shares her thoughts from the perspective of a former senior executive in finance as well as a leadership coach. She speaks about the importance of developing networks and has a shining story about the power of resilience.
Leadership Stories: Alison Maitland a “feisty feminist” and acclaimed author
Alison Maitland, Vice Chair of IWF UK, is an author, speaker and coach. She gained her global perspective on work and organisations as a journalist at the Financial Times and has co-authored three books on women and business, the future of work and inclusion. Alison shares her views on “collective” leadership and the importance of agile working.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Judith Donovan CBE
Judith Donovan CBE, is a pragmatic leader who cares for and champions the causes of her communities. Having started in advertising and direct marketing, she has been a successful entrepreneur and holds many non executive roles. Judith has received several awards and honours for bringing people together to solve problems and create opportunities.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Dr Neslyn Watson-Druée CBE
Dr Neslyn Watson-Druée CBE arrived in the UK at 19 years of age from Jamaica with 5 Ordinary Levels. From her initial training as a nurse, she overcame the obstacles of prejudice and discrimination as a young black woman to become a Senior Leader within the National Health Service. She has received 25 Awards acknowledging her impact on society.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Jeanette Cowley
Jeanette Cowley is a CEDR accredited mediator, a negotiator, team and executive coach who also researches how senior leaders sustain momentum for the long-term. She helps people reflect and resolve complex issues.
Leadership Stories: Tamara Box on how to be a SASSY woman
Tamara Box is the Managing Partner, Europe & Middle East at Reed Smith. She is a recognised authority in the area of securitisation and a champion of gender equality. She is a founding member of the 30% Club and Chair of Cancer Research UK's Women of Influence initiative. Tamara has received numerous awards for her expertise and support of women.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Jeannette Lichner
Jeannette Lichner, current IWF UK Treasurer, is a seasoned financial services executive. She shares her experiences of working in the US and UK. She has developed a portfolio career spanning consulting, advising and coaching. Jeannette is also a champion of young people and has written a book to build their financial capability.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Julie Goldstein
Celebrating our 30th anniversary this month, we feature the Leadership Story of our current Chair, Julie Goldstein. A businesswoman, entrepreneur and financial executive, Julie has led companies through significant change and is committed to advancing women’s impact globally. She talks about enjoying the journey and the importance of giving back.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Carol Bagnald
Carol Bagnald had an unusual education path. She was one of the first female bank managers at Midland Bank (later HSBC), where she spent four decades. She is an Honorary Fellow of Brunel University, a Non-Executive Director and an entrepreneur. Carol co-founded Black on Silver to build brand, strategy and commercial footprint for business clients.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Elaine Aarons
Elaine Aarons, Senior Equity Partner at Withers LLP, is a trailblazer and industry influencer. She recounts how she was at the forefront of a new legal specialty, became a Partner whilst working a four-day week and has been recognised for her contribution to diversity. She also served on the IWF-UK Board and co-founded One Loud Voice.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Dr Sawsan Khuri
Scientist and communicator Sawsan Khuri is the subject of this month’s Leadership Story. Sawsan started out gaining a PhD in biological sciences. She then moved into the computational sciences and progressed to leadership roles at the University of Miami. She shares her resilience and reinvention as she has relocated several times across the globe.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Sally Doganis
Sally Doganis shares her Leadership Story, giving us an insight into ‘the world of television', often dealing with a number of crises at any one time. In learning to prioritise and delegate, Sally was able to inspire new teams to win significant awards within one year.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Pam Garside
This month Pam Garside shares her Leadership Story, giving us insights into the challenges of working internationally and the courage required to ‘move on’ when facing a ‘wrong decision. She shares the inspiration she has found in teaching and mentoring young people in the Health Sector.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Edna Kissmann
This month social entrepreneur Edna Kissmann, founder of The Wonder of Me, a new application and education package to challenge children’s obesity, reflects on how she rose from a junior at Burson-Marsteller in New York to become an expert authority on healthcare communications, and a trusted counsellor of CEOs and other leaders around the world.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Christine Brown-Quinn
In this month’s Leadership story we hear from Christine Brown-Quinn, who rose to the ranks of Managing Director in International Finance. Christine is also the author of Step Aside Superwoman: Career and Family is for Any Woman. She draws on her own challenges and successes to provide practical and insightful advice.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Jan Morgan
In the latest of our Leadership Stories, we feature our member Jan Morgan, a multi-talented entrepreneur and former Chair of IWF London (2001 to 2005). Her varied accomplishments include founding charities and her own business, and designing gardens. Jan writes about being brave in the face of adversity, in particular significant health problems.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Lynne Berry
In this month's Leadership Story we feature Lynne Berry, OBE, Chair of Breast Cancer Now and recipient of the 2017 Daniel Phelan Award for Outstanding Achievement for her remarkable contribution to the charitable sector. Lynne emphasises the need to build trust and a common purpose to create sustainable change.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Marty Wikstrom
In this month's Leadership Story, we feature Marty Wikstrom, a top brand and retail executive with over 30 years’ experience. She was the first woman to lead Harrods and her current board roles include Fortnum & Mason, Cath Kidston and Farrow & Ball. Marty writes about managing family life and how listening leads to more considered decisions.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Barbara Hosking
Our next ‘Leadership Story’ is a film of Barbara Hosking CBE, one of the founders of IWF UK. She has recently published her autobiography 'Exceeding My Brief: Memoirs of a Disobedient Civil Servant' to great acclaim and will be speaking at a special IWF UK event on 31 May about her career and achievements.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Elizabeth Sidwell
This month's Leadership Story is by Dr Elizabeth Sidwell CBE, an educational strategist and consultant. A former Schools Commissioner for England, Liz’s goal has been to raise standards, tackle underperformance and champion the growth of Academies. Liz writes about the importance of handing the next generation an organisation that can flourish.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Penny Egan
The sixth of our Leadership Stories is by Penny Egan CBE, Executive Director of the US-UK Fulbright Commission, and former head of the RSA, where she was the first woman to have led the organisation. Penny describes her collaborative style, her life's biggest challenge, and the importance of being yourself.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Mary Baker
The fifth of our ‘Leadership Stories’ is a special film of Mary Baker, one of the founders of IWF UK. Her achievements include: Chair of the London Tourist Board and Tourism For All Campaign, Non-Executive Director of Thames Television, Avon, Barclays, MFI, Camelot, President of Women in Management and a member of the Women’s National Commission.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Sonia Brown
In the fourth of our 'Leadership Stories' series, we feature professional engineer, Sonia Brown who owns and operates Graphite Engineering, a leading firm in the Bahamas.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Lise Taylor
In the third of our 'Leadership Stories' series, we feature civil engineer Lise Taylor. Lise leads the development of water, ground and environment services into transport markets for high-profile schemes such as the A303 at Stonehenge, HS2, and Crossrail for the engineering company, Atkins. She took part in the IWF Fellows Program in 2006.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Pinky Lilani
In the second of our 'Leadership Stories' series, we feature entrepreneur Pinky Lilani CBE DL, founder and chair of several award programmes recognising women’s leadership.
IWF UK Leadership Stories: Alice Maynard
Today we launch a series of IWF UK Leadership Stories, a key pillar of our new Legacy Project to capture and share our members' accumulated wisdom and experience. The first story features Alice Maynard CBE, an experienced non-executive director in the non-profit sector and former Chair of Scope, a £100m turnover charity serving disabled people.