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Gender diversity celebrated at Cambridge Judge event


By Mike Scialom


Dr Deng YaPing speaking to the audience at the Wo+Mens Leadership Conference on June 9 at Cambridge Judge Business School
Dr Deng YaPing speaking to the audience at the Wo+Mens Leadership Conference on June 9 at Cambridge Judge Business School

Rich exchange of thoughts, ideas, experiences and solutions' at Cambridge Judge Business School

Cambridge Judge Business School, June 9: delegates listen to speakers at the event
Cambridge Judge Business School, June 9: delegates listen to speakers at the event

The annual Wo+Men’s Leadership Conference, organised by the Wo+Men’s Leadership Centre, took place last weekend (June 9).

Cambridge Judge Business School established the Wo+Men’s Leadership Centre as a way “to forge and lead these collaborations and work collectively to learn from each other and make the changes needed to foster a gender-balanced workforce globally”. This year’s event was the fourth: the idea is to encourage you to become part of the debate and share your ideas and research “to help us shape what gender equality really looks like”.

This year’s conference was jointly organised with the China Women’s Development Foundation (CWDF) and the theme was ‘Growing Talent: Fostering Collective Success’. Around 200 people attended the flagship event at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Professor Sucheta Nadkarni, director of the Wo+Men’s Leadership Centre, said: “We were delighted with the rich exchange of thoughts, ideas, experiences and actionable solutions that were fostered in the Wo+Men’s leadership conference. The inspiring keynotes of Dr Deng YaPing (14 times world table tennis champion) and Joanna Natasegara (a multi-award winning film producer), insightful panels of leaders around the world, student initiative and great audience engagement, all created a truly positive experience for the entire day. Our collaboration with China Women’s Development Foundation in jointly organsing conference brought novel perspective on gender diversity in China and hearing from Jing Nan, Vice secretary general about the of CWDF impact on empowering women from all spheres was inspiring. Finally, the exhibition of fashion design and handicrafts provided a window into the rich cultural heritage of traditional and modern China.”

Fashion statements outside the Cambridge Judge Business School looked at the changing dynamics of fashion in China
Fashion statements outside the Cambridge Judge Business School looked at the changing dynamics of fashion in China

“It was really refreshing to hear perspectives from women from different cultures and to understand the reasons why they had set up their businesses and to understand their personal journeys,” said one attendee, marketeer Sue Walden. “The presence of members of the CWDF presented a unique opportunity to hear how the Chinese Authorities help and empower the women in poorer Chinese communities. It was an incredibly impactful and thought-provoking day. My favourite speaker was the the film presenter Joanna Natasegara. It is unusual to have the opportunity to hear from an incredible film producer and ask questions about the difficulties she had experienced and the goals she had achieved. An incredible day!”

Discussions addressed gender equality and evolving workplace dynamics while focusing on how both genders can work together to empower each other to achieve their goals across industries and cultures.

The day comprised a programme of keynote speakers, workshops and panel discussions by outstanding industry leaders and renowned Cambridge academics from an array of sectors as well as myriad networking opportunities.

The event came at a significant time for gender dynamics and workplace practice. Research, reported by the BBC, based on an analysis of hundreds of millions of job ads, has shown that the word “manage” encourages more men than women to apply for the role.

Changing the word to “develop” makes it more female-friendly, said Kieran Snyder, chief executive of Seattle-based Textio, an “augmented writing software” company. A more inclusive vocabulary alienates fewer people, is the theory.

More details about the Wo+Men’s Leadership Centre here.



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