IWF UK is one of the largest and longest established forums of the global IWF organisation. Founded in 1989, it is a unique network of women of achievement across all areas of endeavour, from science and technology to the arts, business, charities, education, government, healthcare and media. Membership is by invitation.
Drawing on our members’ diverse influence and expertise, IWF UK seeks to raise awareness and foster discussion of important subjects such as ethical leadership, board diversity, and the future of work. It supports and furthers women’s equality and leadership in many different areas, but is not a lobbying organisation.
Our forum has many links with next generation leaders, foremost through our close association with the Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) in the UK.
The roll call of members past and present includes many women who have been honoured for their pioneering work. Veteran journalist Katharine Whitehorn CBE was a founder member, along with Baroness Denton, celebrated rally driver and the first woman Minister for Northern Ireland and Barbara Hosking CBE, speechwriter to Prime Minister Harold Wilson, while our first Chairs have included Dame Barbara Mills, the first female Director of Public Prosecutions.
Among our current members are:
- Professor Dame Parveen Kumar DBE, President, Medical Women's Federation
- Helen Pitcher OBE, experienced Board member, Chairman, Board facilitator and Coach
- Elaine Aarons, leading employment lawyer and senior partner, Withers LLP
- Christine Hancock, health charity director and former general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing
- Professor Susan Vinnicombe CBE, international expert on women on boards
- Dame Janet Gaymer, eminent lawyer and former Commissioner for Public Appointments in England & Wales
IWF UK members have access to the members of all forums within the IWF global network, which represents more than 7,000 dynamic women leaders in 33 countries. In addition, we look to promote the international agenda and benefits of the broader membership of IWF through participation in the IWF programme, including two major global conferences each year, one in North America and one elsewhere in the world.