Women Leaders 2019

6th June 2019, 10.30am-4pm, QEII Centre, London

On 6th June 2019, over 160 senior women business leaders and entrepreneurs from the private, public, education and third sectors will be gathering in London. This by-invitation event is aiming to inspire more women leaders to get involved in the work of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

The event will include a variety of dynamic speakers, panel discussions and Q&A sessions.  Please check back to this page as we update it with details of speakers, participants and the full event programme.


In July 2018 the Government published Strengthened Local Enterprise Partnerships, setting out the role and responsibilities of Local Enterprise Partnerships in driving local growth and productivity. As part of that review, government said 1/3 of every LEP Board will be women by 2020, and 1/2 of every LEP Board by 2023. Many LEPs have already met or exceeded this, whilst others are working on action plans to improve gender diversity on their boards.

The LEP Network is hosting the event to help LEPs achieve the LEP Review ambition of diversity by first bringing together a large group of women leaders - some of whom are successfully engaged in improving gender diversity within their organisations, and others who are leaders in their field and interested in working closer with LEPs as they shape their Local Industrial Strategy. This LEP Network event will:

  • showcase existing women in leadership positions and the challenges and barriers they face;
  • inspire women leaders to get involved with LEPs;
  • promote the impact that LEPs have had.

This event is by invitation only but there will be a limited number of tickets available to purchase.  Please email for more information.  Please email if you are interested in sponsoring, advertising or exhibiting.


Click here for more information.  Click here to download the Building Small Business Britain report.


Leader Views


Why more women should consider applying for LEP board positions.
Sara Uzzell became a private sector board member for Dorset LEP in July 2016. She speaks about the benefits of non-executive positions and calls for more women to consider applying for LEP board positions.  Read more...


Without greater female representation on boards, we are losing out.
Dr Philippa Roles is a non-executive director of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP and a Partner at Field Seymour Parkes LLP. Women leaders not only provide an important source of talent but also a critically different perspective.  Read more...


What it's like to be a LEP Chair.
Dr Ann Limb CBE DL, outgoing Chair of South East Midlands LEP, talks about the opportunities and benefits of being a LEP Chair.  Watch...  

Ann also speaks out for strengthening women in leadership positions and on LEP boards in particular. Read more...


News and opinions


Improving gender balance in FTSE leadership
The Hampton-Alexander Review is an independent review body which builds on the excellent work of the Davies Review to increase the number of women on FTSE 350 boards. We are committed to achieving the 33% target for women on boards and in leadership teams of FTSE 350 companies by 2020. The goal and inherent benefits for British business are within reach. However, success requires robust action from all stakeholders and every FTSE 350 company to play their part.  Read more...

The 30% Club campaign was set up by Dame Helena Morrissey in 2010 with the aim of achieving a minimum of 30% female representation on FTSE 100 boards.  The 30% Club believes that companies with a good balance of men and women in senior roles have better insights into their customers and market opportunities, make better decisions, and perform better financially. Read more...

International Women's Day, 8th March 2019
Right now is a great and important time in history to do everything possible to help forge a more gender-balanced world. Women have come a long way, yet there's still more to be achieved. Read more...


Women start-up founders missing out on billions in funding
For every £1 of venture capital investment, less than 1p goes to all-women led teams, a new report finds. The research, commissioned by government, will inform ongoing work to tackle this issue and boost the economy. The UK VC & Female Founders report found that for every £1 of venture capital (VC) investment in the UK, all-women founder teams get less than 1p. By comparison, all-male founder teams get 89p and mixed-gender teams get the remaining 10p.


We are delighted to have Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses as our partner for this event.  For more information about the 10,000 Small Businesses programme click here or email.


We have a range of sponsorship opportunities for organisations which are active in the gender parity, diversity and inclusion landscape and would be happy to discuss bespoke packages.  Please get in touch to see how you can align your CSR with our event - we would welcome the opportunity to discuss how you can raise your profile with this distinguished group of guests.


Click here for more information and to register your interest to attend.


If you think you have what it takes to lead and shape the economic growth ambitions of your local area, click here to find out more about current vacancies on LEP Boards.


Follow us on twitter and use the hashtag to get the conversation started.


Cumbria LEP has just recruited three of the county's top women business leaders to help drive economic growth and productivity across Cumbria. 


A big welcome to Lindsey Rix who has just been appointed Deputy Chair of the New Anglia LEP Board. 


Greater Lincolnshire LEP boosted its board with four new recruits in January, two of them local women buisness leaders.


LEP Chairs Christine Gaskell CBE DL and Dr Ann Limb CBE DL met with the Prime Minister at the PM Council of LEP Chairs in June 2018 and January 2019.

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