• Reflective Women's Voices

    BBC 100 Women audience interaction, engagement and debate on women policy areas.

  • Women in the EU panel debate

    Collective women engagement influencing public policy with female politicians, discussing Women & Equality in London.

  • International Women's Day

    David Cameron (PM) presenting in No.10 Downing Street

  • APPWG 'Women In Parliament'

    Conservative MPs Louise Mensch and Angie Bray at Women In The Media panel debate

  • CWO AGM

    CWO fundraiser, annual AGM debating women and business, managing finance and risks as entrepreneurs.

  • Women in the media debate

    Women in Parliament debating women & the role of media at Westminster, key note speakers journalists & MPs.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Posted by Parveen Hassan
| 00:30
Conservative voices were present at the BBC100Women Season 2015. CWH contributed at the BBC Media Cafe, London studios. A carefully selected group of versatile women leading in business, academia, and social enterprises collectively debated what constitutes a woman becoming a leader? Furthermore, the specific qualities do women need to overcome the masculinity of their male counterparts making it in the corporate sector and boardrooms. 

 A polite, tamed crowd waited for their turn to be asked and responded on their views. I also attentively captured the 100Women tweets on social media during the debate. Conservative Women's Hub were delighted to be connected to the BBC 100Women global debates, within the room, women from Europe, including the Norwegian British Chamber of Commerce gave their individual experiences, and the behaviours adapted to make it with many of these women.
The brains behind the campaign was Fiona Crack, 100 Women Editor, at the BBC World Service. This years topical themes covers if women are under pressure to conform? The BBC's ambition, to bring a series of debates together from around the world to discuss what it means to be a 'good girl' or an 'ideal woman' in different regions and cultures, broadly succeeded. During the debate, I listened into women from schools, India and Pakistan and watched the short video clips of the women actively engaging. As expected the learning came briefly towards the end of the leadership debate, on a positive note, mentoring, networking and building a base of connections to assist women in their career ladders and entrepreneurial journeys.

The global debate was far more reaching than expected from a studio cafe. The key points were: messaging, advice, support and guidance. Many women went into the mentality of playing the victim, the lack of success, and the problems. None can be addressed on air. Disappointingly women never seem to call it good problems, or resolving solutions. There was a sense of frustration of the lack ability to recognise and embrace the successful achievements to date, and the female voices who listened in.
Nicky Morgan, Minister for Women and Equalities has championed the UK Governments perspective in addressing inequality and how women now make up 25% of FTSE 100 boards, extended free childcare, flexible working and modernised parental leave so more women and men can balance family and working life where they choose to do so. 

Allyson Zimmermann, Executive Director Catalyst Europe AG, explained her rationale why women find it difficult," women are not at the top of the house, they are not in leadership roles, unconscious bias comes up, if you think leader, an automatic setting comes up you think leader, you think male." 

BBC Fiona Crack, set out the vision, which can be deemed a success. Each 100 Women season, Fiona attempts to be bold and try new initiatives with 100 Women. Let's not shy away from what the 100 Women season is becoming, an evolving women empowerment development programme.  On the 1st December, women at least had the opportunity to further network, collate business contacts, and listen in, sharing their life time experiences. It was another opportunity to revisit their personal barriers and challenges they overcame to becoming a leader in their own right. Next time, we have to agree a set of actions and assist the young women in the room, will it then be truly a successful meaningful debate with a clear set of action.