With International Women's Day (IWD) just around the corner, our minds have been focused not only on the inspirational women that IWD celebrate, but those women who might have hit a low point and have had their confidence knocked.
I personally know how hard it can be to regain your confidence and that is why I have chosen to support the charity Smart Works. Their ethos in helping women get back into work sits so well with us. From 1st March to 8th March, we will be supporting them, kicking off with an event on 5th March to celebrate IWD. We will also be donating a percentage of our Dahlia sales towards the charity from this coming Friday.
Smart Works is a UK based charity that provides high-quality interview clothes, styling advice and interview training to women in need. Smart Works gives women the confidence, the self-belief and the practical tools they require to succeed at interview and start a new chapter of their life.
Our event will be held in association with Cornerstone Asset Management, and I will be joined by a group of fantastic women who will be talking about how they have carved out their careers, sometimes against the odds. We will be holding a panel discussion and guests will be able to enjoy canapes and fizz, whilst networking and browsing products from sustainable and women led Scottish brands. I am delighted to introduce you to our panel below, where you can read their bios to find out more about them prior to the event.
If you would like to attend the event, held in Cornerstone Asset Management Offices, 10th Floor, 19 Canning St, Edinburgh on 5th March 5.45pm-8pm, then please drop us an email at email@example.com
Jen Paice – Managing Director Cornerstone Asset Management.
Jen joined Cornerstone Asset Management as Managing Director to support the growth of the business. Before joining Cornerstone, she was MD of HRC Recruitment and before that was SafeDeposits Scotland’s first CEO, and successfully led SafeDeposits to be the country’s leading tenancy deposit scheme, winning IoD Director of the Year, Third Sector.
Jen originally started out as a Physiotherapy graduate. After university, she moved to Oxford in 2000 as a Sales Graduate for Snowdrop Systems, a growing entrepreneurial technology business based in Oxford. After 7 years, she moved to New York as Vice President of Scottish Development International’s financial services team. This position was focused on promoting and growing Scotland’s Financial Services sector. On her return, she went to work with RBS and was promoted to Chair of the RBS Lombard CSR Board and Director of Origination within Lombard Asset Finance. As a huge supporter of Scotland’s Third Sector, she is proud to be Chairperson of One Parent Families Scotland, the leading charity in Scotland working with single parent families. As a single parent, it is important to her to give something back.
Caroline Donaldson - Kynesis
Caroline is one of the founding Directors of Kynesis a coaching for excellence company founded in 1997. Caroline's background combines over 25 years of consultancy with senior line management experience in Operations, Sales, Human Resources, and Retail in blue chip companies. Having worked with well over 100 UK-based client companies across most sectors, carrying out a variety of projects within organisations ranging from FTSE listed companies to SME's and Charities, Caroline's experience is both diverse and varied. Her coaching sessions for women in business are particularly relevant as they encourage women to have confidence to brand themselves to meet the challenges of a modern working environment.
Gillian Crawford - Lily Blanche
Following a career as a national newspaper journalist and commentator in Scotland and London, Gillian founded two award-winning ecommerce brands lilyblanche.com and tartantwist.com She is chair of the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAWE) Scotland and an ambassador for Women’s Enterprise Scotland. She recently helped found a new Institute of Ecommerce for Scotland where she is a director. Gillian writes a weekly column for the Sunday Times and often chairs events for the Times and The Sunday Times.
Suzie Gillespie - Moo Hair
Suzie had wanted to be a hairdresser from a very early age but back then, hairdressing was not always seen as a good career choice. As she was quite academic, her parents persuaded her that university would be a better option. She ended up studying business studies with tourism degree and, after graduating, worked in travel, hotels and as a wedding planner. She found she still had the passion for hair, and decided to do a fast track course in London in 2007. Following this, she then set up her own salon on Edinburgh’s Rose Street, which has now been running for over 13 years.
Suzie had always been keen to recycle and reduce waste and energy, so four years ago she decided to adopt this in the salon and create an eco-salon. She changed her product ranges to natural, paraben and sulphate-free products, but they weren’t easy to source and it was frustrating for her and the business. She was bringing ethical products over from Australia, which wasn’t great for their carbon footprint. Suzie knew that if she was feeling this way, other salon owners would feel the same. This is when she realised that there was a gap in the market. Working with her daughter Olivia, the girls spent two years working with a lab, specialising in natural ingredients and renewable sources to create our own haircare range, then Moo hair was born. Their products are ethically sourced from sustainable sources, all products are vegan, cruelty-free and palm oil free.
Amanda Jones – Dentons
Amanda is a partner based in the Edinburgh office and took on the role of Global Women's Advancement Director in October 2018. She had previously been a partner specializing in employment and discrimination law for more than 20 years and has been accredited as a specialist by the Law Society of Scotland in both areas for many years.
In her current role, Amanda is responsible for increasing the number of women in partnership and senior leadership positions within the Firm on a regional and global basis. She works closely with the Global Chief Talent Office and Global Client Development partner.
Amanda also has a number of external roles. She has been a non-executive director of Hibernian Football Club Limited for many years and chairs the Women and Girls in Sports Advisory Board to the Scottish government.
Catherine Burnet - KPMG
Catherine is the Regional Chair for KPMG in Scotland. She has worked primarily in the assurance function of the firm - providing external and internal audit services but is also client lead partner for a number of clients – leading KPMG’s non audit work to these clients. In her current role as Regional Chair Catherine has responsibility for ensuring KPMG delivers for all clients in Scotland – from family business to listed companies, oil and gas to food and drink - and building and developing our team of over 1,200 to facilitate support for clients and the Scottish economy. Catherine is Deputy President at ICAS and is a member of the Financial Services Advisory Board to Scottish Government.