Natasha Franks reviews the Lumsden Club’s Winning Women Conference, held Monday 29 February at Parliament Hall.
Considering that St Andrews has a noticeable female majority, it is somewhat disappointing that women are frequently underrepresented in a social scene crowded with all-male organisations. The Lumsden Club, founded in 2001, seeks to support women through fundraising events and networking opportunities, raising money for international charities and providing opportunities for local students.
In its inaugural year, the Winning Women Conference boasted an impressive lineup of speakers. Lotta Malm-Hallqvist, the panel moderator and President Global CGO at Cheil Worldwide, set a high precedent with her description of founding her first company at the age of seventeen. The ensuing speakers matched her ambition with their own life stories: Marisa Drew, Co-Head of Investment Banking EMEA & Global Co-Head of Global Markets Solutions Group at Credit Suisse; Suzi Woolfson, Head of Private Business Worldwide at PwC; Katie Murray, Director of Finance at RBS; and Chanelle McCoy, Director of Medical Business at Chanelle Medical.
Each self-made woman had her own tale of gradually moving through the business world, climbing the career ladder while she raised children or navigated through years of sexist precedent. The goal of the conference, to motivate the predominantly female guests, was accomplished by the charismatic panel, who then engaged in an open floor discussion with the crowd in the wake of their individual speeches.
As enjoyable as the Secret Garden Party or nights at Ma Bells are, the Winning Women Conference did an excellent job of reminding us of the Lumsden Club’s central purpose. Well-attended and well-received, the conference appears to be a new addition to the lineup of annual Lumsden events. Next year’s WWC will surely be another must-attend evening for any woman even remotely interested in the business world.