To mark the event that was International Women’s Day on 8 March 2012, two of the Island’s leading businesses teamed up to host a women’s-themed Question Time debate at The Claremont Hotel.
Following the global theme of ‘Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures’, a panel of five senior figures hailing from a range of industries were asked for their thoughts on a number of different topics put forward by the audience and the debate’s moderator, Manx Radio news journalist John Moss. Held in the Sanderson Suite, the debate was opened by Managing Director of Barclays Private Clients International, Simon Scott, with the panel session beginning at 5:30pm and lasting for approximately one hour – touching on issues such as board quotas, a woman’s definition of fulfilment, family versus career path, what qualities make a successful business woman, unconscious bias and the perception of men being favoured over women in the workplace , modern day female role models and their contributions to society, improving gender diversity and opportunities for women in business as well as the appropriate infrastructure to allow working mothers to balance both their personal and professional priorities.
The panel for the evening included:
Juana Warburton, Development Manager at The Children’s Centre
Kathryn Britten, Chairman of KPMG Forensic
Mike Hennessy, Chief Executive at Chamber of Commerce
Tracey Leahy, Managing Director at MannVend Ltd
Caroline Cornish, Head of Corporate Affairs Private Clients International at Barclays Wealth
With the audience comprising a varied age group from attendees of the Island’s sixth forms to the more experienced representatives of the local business community, a pleasant but lively debate ensued with Director at KPMG, Gregory Jones, closing the debate – with the event rounded off by an enjoyable evening of canapés and drinks for fellow invitees to exchange ideas with the panellist’s members.
Clare Mahood, Audit Manager at KPMG expressed her delight regarding the event: “To see such an eclectic mix of people from all walks of life attend this debate shows that attitudes are changing, with more and more people showing support for gender equality. The feedback from the audience was extremely positive, and I hope that this debate will encourage more women to challenge society’s conventions and use the information garnered from this debate to prepare them for the future. An even bigger success than last year’s event, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all who made this possible, and look forward to seeing more women take up senior roles.”
Nikki Taylor, Chair of Barclays Wealth’s Women’s Internal Network in the Isle of Man, also commented: “On behalf of Barclays Wealth, I’d like to congratulate the organisers on the smooth running of the day’s event. I am extremely grateful to those who took the time to attend the debate, as their input raised a number of fascinating comments – especially the shared view of ‘fulfilment’ being a high priority for many women. If we can come together and create a support network in order to contribute to our younger female generation, then it won’t be long before we can reach a gender balance on boards and committees throughout the world. Again, thank you to our moderator and panellists, and here’s to an even bigger and better debate for 2013.”