Sunday at the Global Woman Summit: The Lowdown
If you’re humming the tune of “Unstoppable” by Sia, then there’s a good chance you attended the 2022 Global Woman Summit – back and in person for the first time since 2019. If you’re not, then a quick look at our Insta pages is enough to give you a feel for the ambience of the event and the energy generated from it – bold, triumphant and, you guessed it, unstoppable.
Held in real life at the Millenium Gloucester Hotel in stylish South Kensington, this two-day event is something of a landmark in the Global Woman calendar, bringing together members, speakers and regional directors from around the world. It was a chance to break out of the Zoom fatigue and once again see the collective potential that’s harnessed when aspiring individuals get together under one roof.
Plenary sessions offered a mix of enthusiastic public speaking and informative panels, with the help of audience interaction along the way. Whether it was The Apprentice winner Harpreet Kaur on the rise of young female entrepreneurs, CEO John Lee on digital marketing or DJ Tre Lowe ramping up the volume, there was plenty for delegates to chew over and make the most of.
We were also honoured to have charity members from Prevent Breast Cancer available throughout the event, to reach out to guests and raise awareness about how best to reduce risk. For more information, visit their website at https://www.preventbreastcancer.org.uk
So, to keep you in the loop, here’s the lowdown on what happened on Sunday, courtesy of our journalists on the ground.
Sometimes coffee and croissants simply are not enough – especially on a Sunday. Step in, DJ Tre Lowe and Global Woman’s regional directors for a morning dance routine. To the familiar refrain of Unstoppable, delegates bopped to the beat and drove any remaining vestiges of fatigue out of the conference hall. As everyone took their seats, the final day of this year’s Global Woman Summit finally got underway.
First off, the men’s panel. A regular feature of Global Woman Club meetings that’s held to offer insights into women empowerment from a male perspective, this particular event brought together an artist, a lawyer, a CEO and a doctor to discuss their personal efforts in this field. Amidst attempts at humour and some frank admissions, the men honed in on the “natural spirituality of women” – as one panellist put it – and went on to highlight what men could learn from femininity and the resilience of the 51 percent.
One panel that particularly caught attention was that chaired by Mirela Sula, which discussed “the power of media and the digital world”. Perhaps it was the eye-catching list of speakers: CNN‘s Christina MacFarlane, Emma Sheppard from The Guardian and Sami Zeidan, an Al-Jazeera journalist. Or perhaps it was the acknowledgement that to be in business today, having an effective digital and media strategy is crucial. There’s no one fail-safe route to making a name for yourself in the media, so how did they do it? Mirela opened the conversation by asking just that. Internships, seeking out opportunities, working abroad and even a case of mistaken identity, the stories were stark in their diversity and divergence.
At the height of the conversation, the speakers opined on the merits of various social media platforms and set out a straightforward plan to ensure that you reach out to relevant audiences online. The FT‘s Virginia Stagni picked up on this and emphasised the importance of inclusivity, including the need to avoid alienating younger demographics. Reflecting this demand for adaptability, CNN‘s MacFarlane urged a “360 degree” approach to . At one point, members of the audience were invited to pitch and connect with the assembled journalists, who listened with apparent interest.
It was a hard act to follow but the next and final panel had a touch of showbiz to help along the way. Harpreet Kaur – the 2022 winner of The Apprentice – joined other panellists to draw focus on “the rise of young female entrepreneurs”. This was resoundingly seen as an inspiring development in this, the fourth-wave of women’s empowerment. Solo speakers took over the rest of the schedule. Amongst them were Marie Cosgrove on “building a multimillion dollar company”, Ryan Pinnick on “unleashing your genius”, Micaela Passeri on “mastering emotional intelligence” and Baroness Susan Greenfield who has carried out extensive research on the neuroscience of consciousness. All things considered, there was something for everyone gathered in the hall and you could hardly have left without encountering something new.
By now, minds were turning towards the Gala Dinner later that evening. Cooking was well underway in the kitchen as guests retired to change into their party clothes. Scheduled to end sometime after midnight, the itinerary constituted an event in itself as it promised a fashion show, singers and of course, the 2022 Global Woman Awards. As guests piled in and searched for their seats, the hosts Alketa Vejsiu and Sami Zeidan took hold of the atmosphere. “Normally, you see me being serious on TV. Next time, I’ll being going “Welcome. This is the news. I am – UNSTOPPABLE!!'” As far as the energy in the room was concerned, Sami was right there.
After two hectic days of talks, panels and networking, refreshments could only go so far. It was time for a proper three-course meal and the starters set the tone, just like any good starter should. It was a choice between tomato and basil soup or salmon three-ways – that being salmon fillet, salmon tartare and a salmon fishcake, with garnish. It’s worth pausing here to thank the waiting staff of the Millennium Gloucester Hotel for the impeccable service throughout and the guests’ satisfaction was a testament to this. As plates emptied, the fashion show started up and ended in time for the main course. Once everyone had been adequately fed and watered, Mirela Sula took to the stage to participate in announcing the winners of the Global Woman Awards. You can find the full list of winners here.
As the midnight hour approached, the awards were handed out and the last of the chocolate mousse inhaled. All that was left was for guests to make a note of their memories through the customary selfie at the Global Woman red carpet and bid each other farewell. Already there was talk of next year’s Summit, but for the time being, we were all reminded of what it’s like to attend these kind of events IRL – in real life.