International Women's Day Conference





...left until the WLA's International Women's Day Conference 2024


The Conscious Leader

Leading in a Tech-Driven Age

In the rapidly evolving world of AI and tech, what does the future hold for leadership?

We are at a threshold in humanity, when for the first time we may have things more intelligent than we are. As leaders, it’s time to explore the crossroads between inner wisdom, compassion and awareness with the impact of an artificially intelligent world.

Conscious leadership is about tuning into the power within, to stay centered and grounded, raising personal awareness and living with values such as integrity, care and insight.

How do we merge the two?

During this one day conference, we will explore:

The world of AI and the future of technology
What does it mean to be a conscious leader?
Stories of how others have maintained resilience in difficult times
Tools and techniques for connecting to our inner guidance system
Younger people’s perspective on technology and the future of work
Why it's essential for women to step up, speak up, and inspire new workplace cultures

Take a look at last year's IWD Conference...


Become a Speaker!

We are currently sourcing trainers for our IWD 2024 Conference to deliver 1 of 4 potential masterclasses during the event. The list of session topics are highlighted below. All sessions must be practical and offer up insight / inspiration for delegates.

Male allies as change makers
Conscious leadership
Positive performance psychology
Understanding women's health
Executive presence
Feminine leadership
Imposter syndrome & breaking the negative self talk cycle
Habit breaking and productivity

Would you like to speak about one of these themes at our conference?
If you would like to apply to be a speaker at this year's IWD Conference, simply fill out the application form linked below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Headline Sponsor of the 2024
International Women's Day Conference

A little bit about Sir Robert McAlpine…

◆ A family-owned construction and infrastructure company, they have been proudly building Britain’s future heritage since 1869.

◆ They design, develop, build and preserve some of the country’s most iconic buildings.

◆ The values at the heart of their operations include a commitment to the highest standards of safety, quality, engineering excellence, sustainability, and a steadfast focus on the needs and aspirations of their clients.

◆ SRM champions equality and welcomes a diversity of talent to its inclusive family culture.

◆ Working in partnership with clients, they aim to make a positive impact on the communities and the environment in which they operate, as they construct a better world for future generations.

We'd like to thank our wonderful headline sponsor for our event, Sir Robert McAlpine, for their generous and ongoing support, both of the WLA and for their commitment to and advocacy of female leadership and progression.

Secure your table!

Extend an invitation to 10 of your colleagues to join you on this special sell out event and celebrate the amazing women in your organisation.

Limited tables left, book your spot today! 


Become a Sponsor!

Take a look at some of our sponsorship opportunities available for IWD 2024.

Who are you putting in the spotlight?

Shining a light on leaders who go above and beyond, we invite you to celebrate our annual SHINE Awards. There are six award categories. The winners will be announced at the end of the conference.


Opening Line Up

Welcome & Introduction


Find out more about Sandra

Sandra Pinnington is a speaker, certified Executive and Systemic Team Coach and founder of the WLA (Women Leaders Association). 

Her expertise is in bringing the heart back into the workplace and inspiring leaders to find their courage, passion and calling and so inspire others to do the same.

Keynote Speaker


Find out more about Christoph

Christoph combines wide-ranging experience in digital and transformation as academic researcher and transformation executive. 

The lecturing and research is focused on digital transformation, governance, artificial intelligence, and digital deviance. 

Christoph held various executive roles as Chief Technology and Information Officer and led digital transformation efforts across industries.​

Keynote Speaker


Find out more about Laura

Laura joined Hitachi Energy in July 2022 as CEO in the UK and Ireland. She has more than 20 years’ senior level experience in the development and commercialisation of large-scale renewable and infrastructure projects throughout the UK and Europe. Before joining Hitachi Energy, she spent 10 years with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE).

Originally hailing from The Netherlands, Laura holds a BSc. in Town and Country planning from Utrecht University. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, Laura relocated to Scotland where later she completed a Masters’ degree in Economic Development at Glasgow University. In 2018, Laura took part in the Executive Women Leadership programme at the Edinburgh University Business School. Laura is currently a board member of Renewable UK.

Laura’s primary motivation is to make the world a better place for everyone to live and work in, through collaborative and system thinking which together enable the creation of sustainable communities and the delivery of clean affordable power for all. Laura is passionate about advancing women and other underrepresented groups in the renewables sector.

Laura lives with her husband and three sons near Stirling. She enjoys hiking in the Scottish hills and gardening to switch off at the weekend.

Women in Tech Panel


Find out more about Alexandra

As the Group Vice President Partner Organization EMEA at Splunk, I lead the sales and partner strategy for the region, leveraging my 20+ years of experience in global sales leadership, business management, and business relations. I am responsible for helping organisations across EMEA take advantage of Splunk’s unified security and observability solutions, which enable them to adapt and innovate as the world evolves. 

I am passionate about building high-performing teams, solving problems, influencing outcomes, and translating strategy to execution. I enjoy and invite challenges and I am experienced in leading and driving change, developing key talent, and transforming various go to markets. I also mentor female colleagues and support the ‘Women for Leadership’ campaign, as I believe in creating a more diverse and inclusive culture in the technology industry. I am proud to be part of Splunk's Partnerverse programme, which is strongly committed to driving Splunk's and its partners' success.


Find out more about Charlotte

Charlotte joined StepChange Debt Charity in 2023 as Chief Digital Officer, accountable for all of Digital & Change Services across the group.

She is accountable for delivering the Digital Strategy and longer term digital transformation for the group as well as the IT operations and support services.

Charlotte has over 25 years’ experience working in Technology and change roles, working in multiple sectors, including 10+ years in the retail sector. She is passionate about supporting future talent through coaching and mentoring and led the Women in Technology programme at Asda.

Charlotte still lives in the North East with her family, and has recently volunteered to be a mentor for The Girls Network, whose mission is to inspire and empower girls from the least advantaged communities.


Find out more about Mollie

Dr Mollie Ward is a highly accomplished Computational Neuroscientist following a MSc from the University of Oxford in Neuroscience and a PhD from the University of Manchester in Computer Science. 

As the Head of Digital Evolution at UA92, Mollie is instrumental in driving digital transformation initiatives through integration of advanced AI technologies across our digital programmes. 

Her expertise in designing and implementing AI and ML solutions, combined with her strong analytical and problem-solving skills, are crucial in developing the UA92’s AI strategies.

Fire Side Chat


Find out more about Sandra

Sandra Pinnington is a speaker, certified Executive and Systemic Team Coach and founder of the WLA (Women Leaders Association). 

Her expertise is in bringing the heart back into the workplace and inspiring leaders to find their courage, passion and calling and so inspire others to do the same.


Find out more about Lindsay

Twice-named Editor of the Year and winner of many other major awards, Lindsay Nicholson was for 18 years, editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping which under her leadership became the biggest-selling lifestyle magazine in Britain. 

As Editorial Director of the National Magazine Company, she also edited Cosmopolitan and Esquire. In 2018 she was appointed M.B.E. for services to Journalism and Equal Opportunities and since then has pursued a portfolio career with Board roles in higher and further education, as well as writing and nurturing creative projects. 

She helped the Duchess of Sussex and the Grenfell women produce a book of recipes raising funds for a community kitchen at the Al-Manaar mosque. And she recently collaborated, with Dame Shirley Conran on a series of books aimed at teenagers suffering from Maths Anxiety. 

Lindsay’s latest memoir Perfect Bound is published this summer (2024) and she is currently working on a screenplay set in the world of women’s magazines

Conscious Leadership Debate


Find out more about Grant

Grant Findlay is Executive Managing Director for Buildings at Sir Robert McAlpine, overseeing the
successful delivery of projects within Commercial Offices, Healthcare, Industrial and Major &
Special Projects.

Grant is a chartered engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the engineering and construction industry. He has held project and business leadership positions in consultancy, clients and main contractors. He is passionate about transforming the construction industry to deliver a more sustainable built environment. He has served as a Trustee and Director of the Career Colleges Trust, LCIUK, UKBCSD, and in 2020 he founded the Construction Data Trust, a not-for-profit which aggregates data to transform project delivery. He is also a fervent champion of inclusion to drive greater diversity in construction.


Find out more about Alison

I have been an ordained priest in the Church of England for the last twenty years, about half my working life. Before that I worked for The Boots Company where my greatest claim to fame was never working for Boots the Chemist! I started in Sales and Marketing in the pharmaceutical business before moving to Contract Manufacturing and then to HR in the Group Headquarters.

Becoming a priest came as much of a surprise to me as anyone. My time has been shared between Parish Ministry (being a vicar), being a chaplain to people at work, and working as a Diocesan Officer. I now work as ‘Dean of Smaller Churches’, a role unique in the Church of England.


Find out more about Richard

Richard has worked at a senior level in both Public and Private Sector companies for over 30 years, both in the UK and internationally.

His previous senior roles include Group Commercial Director for the Virgin Group of Companies reporting directly to Sir Richard Branson with specific responsibility for transport; Non-Executive Director of Virgin Atlantic Airways and Co-Chairman of Virgin Rail Group; Chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority; Group Chief Executive of National Express Group Plc; and CEO of Etihad Rail PJSC.

More recently he has held senior positions within the world of Sports administration. In 2019, Richard joined with a group of entrepreneurs to invest in Echelon Health, the UK’s premier provider of Preventative Health screening programmes. 

Richard is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, a Fellow of the Institute of Logistics and Transport and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He holds a BA (Hons) degree in Economics and Economics & Social History from the University of Leicester.

He was made a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2005 for services to the railway industry.



Board Impact: Can Your Business Shape a Better World?

Find out more about Donna

Donna, Founder and Co-CEO of UK for Good and Chair of the Neuromuscular Centre Charity, has extensive experience in family businesses, wealth management, and charity work. 

Believing the old profit-maximising model is unfit for today's world, she founded the B Corp certified UK for Good in 2021. 

Her aim is to help businesses grow sustainably and integrate social and environmental impact. She and her team support businesses on their B Corp journey, aiding those at any stage in their pursuit of becoming a force for good.

Empower Your Tomorrow: Navigating the Future of Work with Inspiring Careers and a Positive Mindset

Find out more about Ian and Sheba

Ian is Chair of the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory, Chair of the NG Bailey Group, Chair of the Energy Futures Laboratory at Imperial College London, and advisor to the President of Hitachi Europe. Ian is also an Ambassador of the Women’s Leaders Association. He has previously held positions on the CoVid Recovery Commission, the Made Smarter Commission and the UK Government’s Advisory Board of Innovate UK (Energy Revolution). Ian is a graduate of Aberdeen University in Engineering Science. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology, a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Sheba is the founder of Darkspark Coaching where Sheba is a Leadership and Performance Coach. Sheba encourages leaders to think differently and push themselves beyond their current capabilities. Sheba is also consultant solicitor with over 15 years of commercial experience in both the private and public sector, advising start-ups on strategy and training leadership teams to adopt a growth mindset. Sheba has held leadership and Board positions and led multi-national teams. Sheba was also awarded a Professorship from the University of Tianjin in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The Young Person’s Voice: Navigating Misconceptions

Find out more about Danny

Danny is the CEO of MID Communications & Founder of the MID Group. He has a strong passion for delivering growth for both people and business with a proven track record of growth results across different businesses and and industry sectors, a big part of the plan is about people, mixed with the DNA (Culture) of the business. Danny is also passionate to work towards a diverse and inclusive work environment where people can bring their whole and actual self to work. being an ambassador for female companions to reach their full potential. He also loves championing young people as they are tomorrows leaders, work force, and potential entrepreneurs!

For his masterclass, Danny will be hosting a panel of students and alumni from UA92, a higher education institution that works with exceptional individuals, organisations, and businesses with the aim of fast-tracking students’ careers and providing top talent to drive tomorrow’s business successes.

Balancing the Byte: How to Stay Grounded in a Tech Driven World

Find out more about TriggerHub

TriggerHub provides the most advanced form of reach for mental health recovery, support and wellbeing for THE WORKPLACE, STUDENTS & THE NEXT GENERATION. We’ve created bibliotherapy to assist people who experience mental health unbalance, and direct them to the wealth of knowledge passed on by those who have been on the same journey. TriggerHub emphatically increases confidence and hope, thus greatly reducing the average time it takes people to start their journey, illuminating a clear trajectory to recovery and beyond.


Charity Spotlight

Inspirational Speaker


Liz, originally from Co. Down Northern Ireland, was the longest serving female crewman on the RAF Chinook Fleet with a 17-year career. She was the youngest and the only female crewman for 4 years, making her story unique.

Her career included 2 deployments to Iraq and 10 to Afghanistan, providing her a personal perspective on war. Post-RAF in 2019, she battled PTSD and attempted suicide in 2020. She sought help from Veterans Mental Health and started writing poetry and an autobiography, "Chinook Crew Chick", which became an Amazon Bestseller in 3 weeks. She shares her experiences from the battlefield and how they shaped her.

Now a mental health ambassador, Liz offers hope for those battling PTSD, showing it can be overcome. She won the Defence Woman of the Year 2023 and was nominated for Woman of the Year 2023.


SHINE Awards 2024

The WLA Shine Awards have been a cornerstone of our annual International Women’s Day Conference since their inception in 2019, when we introduced the inaugural Remarkable Female Leader of the Year Award.

At The WLA, our mission is to empower women leaders to shatter both the internal and external barriers that limit their potential, enabling them to achieve the impact, confidence, and inspiration they seek.

Master of Ceremonies


Mark Simmonds is a management trainer and consultant, operating in the areas of creativity and innovation. He runs a boutique agency, GENIUS YOU, and has worked with a large number of national and international companies including Unilever, O2, Johnson & Johnson, Pernod Ricard, HSBC, GlaxoSmithKline, Philips, Tesco and the Red Cross.

Throughout his life, Mark has struggled with anxiety, and back in 2001, he experienced a nervous breakdown, brought on by work-related stress. This culminated in four months’ sick leave and a failed attempt on his own life. From rock bottom, he rebuilt a life – and career – that worked for him.

Mark had his first book published in 2019 called Breakdown and Repair which covers his own experiences of mental ill health, both as a sufferer and as a carer. In March 2022, he had his second book published. Beat Stress At Work focuses on the workplace and is part story, part self-help book.

Mark now shares what he has learnt through his own journey with others, encouraging people to consider their mental wellbeing alongside their career aspirations. He is a regular contributor to the topic of mental health in the press and has appeared on both local and national media.

Mark is married to Mel and they have three grown-up children - Will, Emily and Jack. They also have two pets, a cat called Maisie and a dog called Peggy, both slightly bonkers!

A huge thank you to our sponsors!

WOW! What an incredible day at the The WLA conference in celebration of International Women’s Day. I was in absolute awe of every speaker and walked away from the day feeling truly inspired!”


Celebrating International Women's Day

Every year International Women's Day is celebrated globally.

Here at The WLA, we mark this occasion with our biggest event of the year. We celebrate equality and bring you live interactive debates and discussions on the issues facing leaders today.

For the last eight years, hundreds of leaders have joined this event to learn what's new, what's different, what's working NOW in the gender diversity and leadership space. Now it's your turn. If you are a leader in business then this is the MUST attend event of 2024.

You will have the opportunity to hear about tested, proven tactics by experts across a range of fields that you will be able to apply to your career. You will also be able to connect and ask questions to leaders from blue chip companies in the UK. Last but not least, it is a great chance to network with people with similar challenges to yours, who have faced the same problems and have overcome them.

This is the biggest annual event by The WLA, fuelled by inspiring speakers across a range of fields. An opportunity not to be missed!

Celebrating 10 Years of the WLA's IWD Conference

“What an inspirational day! Almost overwhelming to feel the energy and positivity in the room. What a safe space and an opportunity to grow!”


Contact Us

Do you want to know more about the WLA IWD Conference? 

Simply email: support@thewla.com and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

“What a truly amazing day. The best conference I’ve ever attended!”


We are looking forward to celebrating our momentous 10th Anniversary with you as we commemorate a decade of achievements, memories, and shared experiences. Join us as we reflect on our journey, celebrate our accomplishments, and look forward to an even brighter future together.

Save the date and stay tuned for more exciting updates and details on this memorable event. 

We can't wait to celebrate this special milestone with you!

© Copyright The Women Leaders Association  |  All rights reserved

BOOK a Call

    By submitting this form you consent to be contacted by the WLA using the details provided.

    Page Created with OptimizePress