The Great British Businesswoman Series is on a mission to provide a platform to recognise, celebrate and support women in business, champion their peers and advocates, and help foster the next generation of female business leaders.

Encompassing an awards programme and forum - both taking place virtually on October 14 - a key theme we will be discussing is career progression.

According to a year-long study released in 2019 by the University of Cambridge, everyday examples of unintentionally gender-biased behaviour in workplace culture are stalling women’s careers. According to two-thirds (64%) of female employees, stereotypical views about female traits, such as building good relationships, attention to detail and strong admin skills leads to them being perceived in their workplaces as good managers rather than good potential leaders. Only 29% of men believe this happens. This may be further exacerbated with male-dominated business environments as existing boards can typically hire in their own image.

Compared to men, women lack an inner circle of contacts, specifically female ones, therefore hindering their progression and networking capabilities in their industry of choice. This Forbes article on how women network differently from men offers advice on what they’re doing wrong. The life coach Caroline Castrillon states “for women to advance professionally, we need to exploit our one true advantage—a strong female support group.” 

Additionally, the UK Government Equalities Office condensed over 100 studies from 2000-2018. It found that “there is a very low gender wage gap on labour market entry. The gap widens gradually but significantly from the late 20s and early 30s, driven by the fact that men’s wages grow rapidly at this point, whereas women’s stagnate.” What can we do to get women’s progression back on track?

The Great British Businesswoman Forum will provide advice and guidance for women looking to increase their confidence in the workplace, whether they are a working mum aspiring for a leadership position, or just starting and looking to develop their skills. Our seasoned speakers will discuss what helped them in their careers, such as finding mentors, learning to negotiate, and networking to increase their chances of success in developing their careers. 

Career Progression: Top Sessions

Breaking the glass-ceiling: Lessons learnt reaching the top - 10:30 - 11:20 BST (+ on-demand)

This panel will look at the challenges faced by women leaders and what advice they would give to those starting in leadership roles. The panel will explore leadership skills, such as how to be assertive without being “bossy”, managing mansplaining, and other hurdles that female leaders must confront.


Sarah Matthew | Founder, The Vibrant Company

Sarah Koppens | Managing Director UK, Birdseye

Samantha Coggins-Thompson | Chief Audit Executive, Computershare

Imposter phenomenon: Building confidence as a woman in business - 11:00 - 11:50 BST (+ on-demand)

This panel will look at why the imposter phenomenon exists in the first place and what role workplace systems play in fostering and exacerbating it in women. The panellists will explore techniques on how to quiet that inner critic to learn to build confidence and self-esteem, know your worth.


Lorna Leeson | Founder, Little Tent

Dr Anne Marie Rattray | Company Founder, The Skills Space Ltd.

Aby Reynolds | Head of Operations, 5app

Knowing your worth: How to negotiate what you deserve - 12:00 - 12:50 BST (+ on-demand) 

This panel will advise on how to negotiate compensation packages, what to ask for and how to negotiate other fringe benefits to make sure they are getting what they are worth. 


Alison Edgar MBE | The Entrepreneur’s Godmother

Sue Ingram | HR Consultant, Facilitator, and Coach

Building your personal brand: How to stand out from the crowd - 15:00 - 15:50 BST (+ on-demand)

This session will give advice and guidance on building a personal brand, from being discoverable online, knowing your professional purpose to develop your network.


Charlene Laidley | Founder, FutureProof

Katrina Collier | Facilitator, Mentor, Speaker


We’re always on the lookout for unique and interesting voices to further this conversation. If you or someone you know has the credentials and passion to join any of the panels at the Forum, please visit the think link HERE.