Director, AIM broker

“The best networking event I’ve been to in ages. I really liked the format which made it very easy to network, the venue was great and the wine was fine.”

Bailey Fisher Executive Search was delighted to welcome 90 female business leaders in technology to the House of Lords on 23 June for a Women 4 Technology reception in support of the national children’s charity Dreams Come True, to help fulfil dreams of seriously ill and terminally ill children. The hosting peer was Lord Erroll and the event took place in the River Room, the private room of the Lord Speaker, with the Lord Speaker also in attendance.

The guest speakers were Martina King, CEO of Featurespace, Non-executive Director at Cineworld, Debenhams and Capita Group, Olivia Breen, Paralympic Medallist & Youth Ambassador for Dreams Come True and Sally de la Bedouyare, Chair of the Trustees for Dreams Come True and Chief Executive of the PFRA.

The event was sponsored by EY, Field House Associates and Mills & Reeve.

Ann Fisher, Bailey Fisher says: “It’s an interesting time for technology and the news that the growth of England’s technology sector is outstripping California’s Silicon Valley is testament to the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit in the UK. Members of Women 4 Technology have all played a key role in this growth, yet unfortunately, still remain underrepresented.”

Keynote speaker, Martina King, gave a powerful speech about how women in business and technology are hard-working, mission-focused, creative, and delivery orientated, but feels more needs to be done to encourage girls into science. Martina said: “We are living through a seismic shift in technology; a technological leap that experts say is the greatest since the industrial revolution. But what skills are necessary to thrive in the future? 53 per cent of FTSE 100 companies are run by male, 53 year old accountants, many of whom have STEM degrees. Only 13% of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) jobs are held by women. A skills gap is emerging between male and female and unless we do everything to learn these skills, we will be less likely to see the numbers of women in senior positions increase. If we want our daughters to succeed in business and help shape our future we have to encourage them to take the science path.”

17 Year old Paralympian and Dreams Come True ambassadador, Olivia Breen, gave a moving account of how her Cerebral Palsy has not stopped her winning a bronze medal at the Paralympic Games in 2012 in the 4 x 100m relay, and how her success has inspired her to help make thousands of other terminally ill children’s dreams come true by becoming the youth ambassador for the charity. Olivia heads to the Commonwealth Games next month.

Sally de la Bedoyere, Dreams Come True’s Trustee explained how it takes ambitious dreams to achieve real leadership in business, and how the power of dreams can facilitate real, life-changing events, whether in business, sport or elsewhere. Sally’s own dream is to fulfill not just 200 dreams of terminally and seriously ill children every year, which is Dreams Comes True’s current objective, but to push this up to 1000 a year. Sally went on to inform the room that the charity is seeing an increasing number of Dream requests for innovative new technologies, such as the Tobii PC Eye gaze solution, which enables children with special needs to communicate much more effectively with their eyes, as NHS funding becomes less available. Arguably the ability to communicate is not a dream, but a human right.

About Martina King
Martina is the CEO of Featurespace, a Non-exec director at Cineworld, Debenhams and Capita Group and a Partner in Invoke Capital. Martina’s past roles have seen her as Managing Director for Europe at Yahoo!, where she rebuilt the UK and Ireland business after the ‘dot com’ collapse and subsequently led the rebuilding of Yahoo!’s European division. She’s also been Managing Director of augmented reality company Aurasma, a spin-out from Autonomy. Her previous leadership roles include managing director of Capital Radio.

About Olivia Breen
Olivia is one of the youngest athletes in Team GB and the headlines in 2012 when she competed in London as a T38 athlete in the 100m and 200m sprints, and the first leg of the T35-38 women’s relay team. At the age of 16, to bring home a bronze medal in the 4x100m relay was an incredible achievement. Olivia has Cerebral Palsy and lets nothing stand in the way of her dreams. She’s just qualified for the Commonwealth Games later this year. Olivia can discuss the power of dreams and her experiences as a young athlete. She is also an ambassador to Children’s Charity Dreams Come

About Sally de la Bedoyere
Sally joined the PFRA (Public Fundraising Regulatory Association) in August 2012, moving from the RSPCA, where she spent two years as the charity’s first director of income protection. Prior to this, Sally spent 25 years in newspaper management, media communications and marketing. She held a number of senior positions at Associated Newspapers, including roles as board director for the Mail on Sunday and managing director of the Evening Standard. In 2004, she took over as CEO of RAJAR, the jointly owned BBC and commercial radio body.

About Ann Fisher
Ann is the founder of Bailey Fisher and organiser of the Women 4 Technology event, which has been running since 2008. Ann says: “The number of women in key roles in technology has remained static for the last ten years according to reports. This is despite the news from the first London Technology Week that the growth in England’s technology sector is outstripping California’s Silicon Valley and that London now employs more workers in the financial technology sector than New York or San Francisco.”

About Bailey Fisher Executive Search
Bailey Fisher Executive Search is an independent executive search firm specialising in the technology sector. Founded in 1998, the company operates internationally from offices in Cambridge and London.