“Alone a woman has power, but collectively women have impact” This was the call to action, delivered by The Ireland Funds GB Director, Katie Jemmett, to guests at the inaugural Women in Business and Philanthropy Lunch at The Waldorf Hilton, London on Wednesday, 1st February 2023.
Over 180 guests came together at this sell out event to celebrate and elevate the inspirational achievements of women in our network- including donors, our Board Directors, and our network of supported organisations, which are led by women or focused on supporting women’s causes. Ireland’s new Ambassador to the UK, Martin Fraser, attended with his wife Deirdre Fraser.
Beginning with a welcome reception in the stunning Palm Court art deco restaurant, the event was opened by Executive Director, Katie Jemmett, welcoming guests and inviting them to consider what they can individually do to make a difference to others. Bridget Walsh, Global Private Equity Leader at headline sponsor EY, and IFGB Board member, spoke to guests about the increase in female entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
Orna NiChionna, Senior Independent Director at Burberry plc, Susan Whelan OBE DL, CEO of Leicester City Football Club, and Jacqueline O’Donovan, MD of O’Donovan Waste, joined a Leadership panel moderated by Reuters journalist Aimee Donnellan. They spoke about their career journeys which, although different, had led them to sit on the panel together; and how important it is to continue to support women into senior positions by creating an environment of opportunity, not only on at board level but also at the executive team level. This led to a discussion on philanthropy and how the ability to give is tied to success, and giving in line with your passion is what creates satisfaction. The panelists were presented with a gift from frkl., founded and owned by Irish entrepreneur and TV personality, Angela Scanlon, as a thank you for their participation in the panel session.
Later, Katie Jemmett spoke about the work of The Ireland Funds and how it supports organisations that are working to empower women and girls to create change in their own lives and in the lives of others.
A video, featuring Daisyhouse Housing Association, was shown to guests to highlight how funding from The Ireland Funds and its donors is helping to change lives.
Guests generously supported a fundraising raffle, and the lucky winners took home stunning prizes from frkl., Jimmy Choo, Sheen Falls Lodge, Ireland’s Blue Book and The Waldorf Hilton, London; helping The Ireland Funds GB to raise funds for organisations working with women and girls.
Following an uplifting performance from soprano Leah Redmond, accompanied by pianist Fraiser Hickland, the afternoon closed with Katie Jemmett thanking everyone for supporting the day, and also extended the offer to all guests to share their ideas on how we can make the lives of girls and women better through the Women in Business and Philanthropy programme.
Sincere thanks to all of our panellists, performers, table hosts, ticket holders and guests who supported us at the event, and, grateful thanks to event sponsors EY and Matheson LLP.