WEConnect International Europe Conference 2016

Date & Time: 
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 (All day) to Thursday, November 17, 2016 (All day)

IBM, 76/78 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PZ


To view our photo gallery for this event, click here and to view the photos on Facebook, click here.

Thank you to everyone who attended the WEConnect International Europe Conference and European Supplier Diversity Forum 2016 on the 16th and 17th November 2016. We’ve received some great feedback about the day including:

“I've thoroughly enjoyed today. I've been able to connect with some smart and wonderful women, and the presentations were incredibly informative. Petra Wetzel was particularly inspiring in her honesty, humour and willingness to share. Thank you so much for all the hard work you and your team have put into making this happen.”

“What a fantastic conference this year, some of the speakers were amazing and an inspiration to us all. The connections I have made and what I have learnt continues to be really helpful and positive!”

“I would just like to say how much I enjoyed the past two days. I thought the event went extremely well and I know I speak on behalf of all of our team who attended when I say that they really enjoyed the both days too. Some of the speakers were amazing and very inspirational."

Slides from the auditorium presentations and breakout sessions are available below:

Angela Bates, IBM
Nick Bramley, World Wide Pictures
Helen Jamieson, Jaluch
Ross Mandiwall, IBM
Charlie Stockford and Joe Jones, Sustainit
Helen Walbey, Federation of Small Businesses
Justin Lambert, Roche
Maytal Perpinyal, Intel

Breakout Sessions:
How to Select for Success - Claire Edmunds, Clarify
Authentic and Intuitive Leadership: Harnessing Right Brain Attributes - Kath Ludlow, Legend Engage
The Triple Bottom Line: Bridging the Gap Between Blue-sky Thinking and Workplace Change Implementation - Mo Gillespie, MovePlan Group
Your Leadership Story - Jenny Garrett, Reflexion Associates

The conference brochure can be found here.

Our Sponsors
Our thanks go to our host and sponsors without whose support we wouldn’t have been able to hold the event:

IBM logo
Gold Sponsors
accenture logo intel logo Monsanto logo
Silver Sponsors
Dell logo Dun & Bradstreet.jpg EY logo JohnsonJohnson_0.jpg MSD_0.png
Bronze Sponsors
BristolMyersSquibb_0.jpg CocaCola220.jpg pfizer_rgb_pos_1.png

Finally, if you’re hosting an event, we would be happy to recommend the women-owned businesses we worked with:
Brochure design and printing: Joanna Harwood, Sentio - sentio-pm.co.uk
Name badges: Suzanne Colville-Ross, Imprint Plus - imprintplus.com
Conference video and onsite photography: Karen Hayes, World Wide Pictures - worldwidepictures.tv
Event Support: Miriam Dervan and the team at mdgroup - mdgroup.com/
Conference mobile app: Liz Axten, KTS Events - ktsevents.com/

WEConnect International Europe Conference and European Supplier Diversity Forum 2016

This year’s event is taking place over two days – the first day, Wednesday 16th November, is aimed at all majority-owned women’s businesses, our corporate members and others interested in supplier diversity. The second day, Thursday 17th November, is for existing and prospective corporate members as well as our certified women-owned businesses. Read on for more information!

Conference Mobile App

For this first time this year, we have a conference app to help you get more from the event including connecting with other attendees before, during and after the conference – more information can be found here: WEConnect Conference Mobile App

WEConnect International Europe Conference 2016 – 16th November 2016

Please join us for a daylong event jam-packed with talks, presentations and breakout sessions that are 100% focussed on helping women business owners to succeed and achieve. Throughout the day, there will also be unique opportunities to network and connect with both other women business owners and representatives from WEConnect International's global corporate members including conference sponsors Accenture, Intel, Monsanto, Dell, Dun & Bradstreet, EY, Johnson & Johnson, MSD, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Coca Cola and Pfizer and our hosts IBM. So if you’re interested in growing your women-owned business and understanding more about working successfully with multinational corporations or if you would like to find out more about supplier inclusion, this conference is not to be missed. Mark your calendar – we’ll look forward to seeing you there!


8.30am – Conference Registration Opens

9.15am - Welcome and Introduction - Maggie Berry, Executive Director, WEConnect International in Europe and Andrea Fimian, EMEA Supplier Diversity Program Manager, IBM

9.30am – Knowledge Workshop presented by Angela Bates, Business Development Leader, Developer and Startup Ecosystems, IBM UK and Ireland
Agile innovation methods have revolutionised the software development world for many years. Now agile methodologies — which involve new values, principles and practices - are spreading across a broad range of industries and functions including marketing. Hear why adopting an agile approach can offer game-changing potential to launch organisations into a new phase of marketing excellence.

10.15am – Selling to the Public Sector - presented by Emma Jones MBE, Founder, Enterprise Nation and SME Representative for the Crown Commercial Service.
In this talk, Emma will cover why now is an ideal time to sell to government and how to make successful sales.

10.45am – Coffee and Networking Break

11.15am – Top Tips to Develop Effective, Collaborative Corporate Relationships & Secure the Contract – presented by Nick Bramley of World Wide Pictures, a certified women-owned business
One of the biggest challenges small businesses face is in getting the balance right between the will and desire to target corporate clients (and the riches that their contracts could deliver) and the need to follow what can appear to be challenging engagement protocols that vary from one corporate environment to another. Many simply give up, frustrated and upset, whilst some persist, whatever the barriers. Does either really work or deliver the results needed? This session, hosted by Nick Bramley who is an acknowledged business development and sales expert with significant SME and corporate experience, will concentrate on sharing a host of top practical tips to help you to better manage and deliver results from the corporate opportunities that WEConnect International is so adept at creating. From your initial strategy through to your engagement tactics, from making an impact in the short time available to managing a follow up pipeline – this session will help you to think, act and work in a way that your corporate prospects will react positively too – keeping you ahead of the curve and the competition. 

12pm – Keynote Speaker - Petra Wetzel, Founder and Managing Director, WEST

“Never interrupt someone doing what you said could not be done”

This Amelia Earhart quote adorns the business card of Petra Wetzel, founder and Managing Director of WEST Brewery in Glasgow. Perfectly apt for someone who has continually confounded expectations, growing her business from a self-contained German style beer hall and brewery on Glasgow Green into a successful distribution operation with over 1,000 venues in the UK now stocking WEST beers. She didn’t let a lack of beer experience hold her back – despite having never even drunk a full pint of lager before opening WEST, Petra has quickly risen through the ranks of the industry, with WEST receiving awards for both the beer it produces and the service it delivers. The WEST beer brand continues to grow with international shipments as far afield as Hong Kong and Russia and, closer to home, Petra received an Honorary Doctorate for her contributions to Scottish Enterprise from the University of Glasgow in 2015 - which she cites as her career highlight. Petra will share her story of business success and her support of other women-owned businesses through WEST Women, her £100,000 investment fund designed to help female food and drinks operators. As WEST flourishes, Petra continues to take on new projects that would make Amelia Earhart proud.

1pm - Networking Lunch
Meet and connect with other women business owners and representatives from WEConnect International’s corporate members

2pm – WEConnect International Corporate Member Discussion Panel and Q&A.
Chaired by Mark Baxa from Monsanto, this session will offer the audience a chance to ask questions about supplier diversity, working successfully with our corporate members, understanding procurement processes and top tips for doing business. Panellists will be representatives from WEConnect International corporate members including Peter Zerp from Accenture, Bingul Akaroglu from EY, Andrea Fimian from IBM and Megan Stowe from Intel.
Questions can be submitted in advance when you register online for the conference.

2.45pm - Choice of breakout sessions run by certified women-owned businesses (your choice must be made when you register online for the conference):

View all Breakout Sessions.

3.45pm – Coffee and Networking Break

4.30pm – Introducing our WEConnect International Partners across Europe
WEConnect International in Europe will share an overview of our plans for expansion into more countries and we will introduce our certification partners from the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland - Maggie Berry, Executive Director, WEConnect International in Europe and Greta Schettler, Vice President, WEConnect International.

5pm – Joanna Chin, experienced entrepreneur and business mentor

Joanna will share the story of how the health advertising agency founded on her dining room table went on to become the most awarded in the world. She will highlight some of the pivotal moments of her entrepreneurial journey and offer key takeaways based on her 25-years of leading a high-performing team.

5.30pm – Leveraging the Value that Women Bring to Business and Society – presented by Helen Jamieson, Managing Director, Jaluch, a certified women-owned business

In this closing session, Helen will look at the opportunities available to us in leveraging the value that women bring to both business and society. She will discuss the value women bring and how that often differs from the value that men bring. She will ask whether modern business is truly sustainable without tapping into the value of women. The focus will then turn to why the value of women is often not realised, considering issues around gender intelligence, role models, clarity of vision, strategy and, of course, what women really want. 

5.50pm - Thank you and Wrap-Up

6pm - Networking Drinks Reception
Join us for more informal networking and connection building at the end of the day!

7.30pm – Close

Please note this programme may be subject to slight alterations.

Free Professional Headshot


Website: www.theheadshotguy.co.uk
Twitter: @theheadshotguy

Courtesy of Suzi Mitchell from The Headshot Guy, during the conference, attendees will be able to have a free professional headshot taken. We all want to be noticed and be seen at our best to attract new clients and opportunities. As more people find you on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook it pays to have a profile photo which helps you stand out for the right reasons. An up-to-date headshot that reflects confidence and approachability will help people feel more connected with you. It shows you’re serious about your business and your career. You’ll find Suzi, The Headshot Guy (Girl!) in the networking area during the conference.

WEConnect International European Supplier Diversity Forum – 17th November 2016

A responsible business is an inclusive business. Working with minority suppliers can be challenging but the value to corporations of having an agile, diverse and innovative supply chain cannot be underestimated. Today corporations must demonstrate diversity and inclusion within their CSR and sustainability programmes and they can further support supplier inclusion by participating in the first WEConnect International European Supplier Diversity Forum. Attendees will gain useful supplier diversity insights to share with internal procurement teams and information to engage first tier supply partners. Hear lessons learned from some of the world’s leading corporations and meet some of our amazing WEConnect International certified women-owned businesses. This event will feature a showcase of certified women-owned businesses in the networking area as well as the chance for corporates to participate in pre-arranged one to one matchmaker meetings with certified business.


9.30am – Event Registration and Refreshments

10am - Welcome and Introduction - Maggie Berry, Executive Director, WEConnect International in Europe and Andrea Fimian, EMEA Supplier Diversity Program Manager, IBM

10.15am – Diversifying the Supply Chain in a Global Organisation - Ross Mandiwall, UKI Procurement Manager, IBM

This session focuses on IBM's successful supplier diversity programme. It shows how the programme is set up including management commitment. Topics also include the impact the supplier diversity programme has on the company and what IBM buy from diverse businesses. In addition, Ross will share some success stories with diverse owned businesses.

10.45am - Helene Reardon-Bond OBE, Deputy Director - Gender Equality Policy, Government Equalities Office
Helene will speak about the government’s action to increase women starting up in business, further work to close the Gender Pay Gap which stands at 19.2% and about increasing the number of women on FTSE boards.

11.15am – Data Gazing - Secrets to Measuring your Supplier Diversity - Charlie Stockford, CEO and Joe Jones, Principal Sustainability Consultant, SustainIt
This interactive session presented by SustainIt, a self-registered women-owned business, will show how easy it can be to gather CSR supply chain data, store it and interpret it. Charlie and Joe will share expertise around challenging corporate ways of thinking; they will reveal what other companies are doing outside of the room and they will explore how corporate procurement teams can measure and manage their supplier diversity - it’s fundamental to the future of responsible business.

11.45am – Tom Lersten, Director of the Global Entrepreneurship Program, US Department of State

Supporting women entrepreneurs is a White House priority and Tom will address the State Department’s unique role in this arena. He will provide an overview of why the United States Government views the growing number of women-owned small businesses worldwide as a key contributor to stability and prosperity, at both the community and global levels. In addition, he will speak to the importance of public-private partnerships and talk about specific State Department programmes designed to assist female entrepreneurs.

12.15pm - Showcase and matchmaker sessions

1pm - Networking Lunch
Meet and connect with representatives from WEConnect International’s corporate members and their certified women-owned businesses including those participating in the showcase

2pm – Helen Walbey, National Policy Chair for Health and Diversity at Federation of Small Businesses and Managing Director, Recycle Scooters Limited
Helen will discuss the finding of FSB’s report Women in Enterprise: The Untapped Potential, which includes both qualitative and quantitative research with women business owners. She will focus on the experiences of women business owners looking to grow their business through procurement and how the government and larger businesses can support this through diversify their own supply chains.

2.30pm - Justin Lambert, Head of Procurement, Roche and Board Director of WEConnect Europe will share his personal journey of setting up a supplier diversity programme in the UK and Europe from scratch and taking his colleagues on that journey with him.

3pm - Maytal Perpinyal, Commodity Manager, Regional Strategic Sourcing, Intel
In this session, Maytal will provide an overview of Intel’s Tier II Supplier Diversity programme, its design, implementation and the challenges of rolling it out globally. She will discuss the importance of a Tier II strategy in creating a robust supplier diversity and inclusion programme, how it develops awareness throughout the supply chain and directly impacts diverse-owned businesses by creating more opportunities to work with corporations.

3.30pm – Showcase, matchmaker sessions and coffee break

4.15pm – Panel Discussion Q&A
Chaired by Shirley Cooper, this session will offer the audience a chance to hear from experienced procurement professionals sharing their experiences and opinions about supplier diversity. Panellists include:

  • Baroness Lorely Burt – author of The Burt Report: Inclusive Support for Women in Enterprise
  • Shirley Cooper - Chairman Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Fellows
  • Dr Sue Hurrell - Special Projects Manager in Value Wales, Welsh Government
  • Peter Smith, Managing Director at Spend Matters UK/Europe
  • Gill Thorpe, Managing Director, The Sourcing Team, a certified women-owned business

5.15pm - Thank you and Wrap-Up
Megan Stowe, EMEA Strategic Sourcing Director, Intel and Chair of the WEConnect International in Europe Advisory Council

5.30pm - Networking Drinks Reception

6.30pm – Close

Please note this programme may be subject to slight alterations.


Find out more about our speakers - Speakers and Presenters


A very big thank you goes to our 2016 conference sponsors which include:

Host: IBM
Gold Sponsor: Accenture, Intel and Monsanto
Silver Sponsors: Dell, Dun & Bradstreet, EY, Johnson & Johnson and MSD
Bronze Sponsors: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Coca Cola and Pfizer

We couldn’t host this event without their on-going support!

Booking Information

Booking link
Ticket Prices (all prices are inclusive of VAT):

  • WEConnect International in Europe Certified Women-Owned Businesses – ticket prices range from £65 to £245
  • WEConnect International Certified Women-Owned Businesses (from outside of Europe – this includes WBENC certified businesses) – tickets prices range from £80 to £205
  • WEConnect International Corporate Members – ticket prices range from £90 to £215
  • Non-Corporate Members and Public Sector – ticket prices range from £100 to £225
  • WEConnect International Self-Registered Businesses - £160 to attend on the 16th November only
  • All Other Attendees - £180 to attend on the 16th November only

For full details of ticket options available to you, please go the conference registration page which can be found here:

Ticket Refunds 

100% - if you cancel by Friday 21st October 2016

50% - if you cancel by Friday 28th October 2016

25% - if you cancel by Friday 4th November 2016

Tickets cancelled on or after Saturday 5th November 2016 will not be refunded but all tickets can be transferred to another person at any point. Please advise the organisers of who will be attending by Friday 11th November 2016. Unfortunately, we cannot refund the Eventbrite ticket processing/booking fee.

Contact WEConnect International

If you have any questions about this event or would like to find out how your firm can get involved, please contact:

Maggie Berry, Executive Director for Europe

Tel: +44 (0)7776 302 906

Email: mberry@weconnectinternational.org

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