Last week the JLC and Lead were delighted to partner with member organisation Jewish Women’s Aid and the Alliance of Jewish Women to celebrate International Women’s Day. Over 50 professionals and lay leaders joined us for the JLCs first in-person event since the pandemic, whilst we also held an online offering for those that couldn’t attend in person with people joining from Leeds, Manchester and Scotland.
The day began with networking and was a welcome opportunity for many to re-connect. The participant experience was carefully planned to ensure the in person and online experiences were purposefully constructed and the format was tailored for each group. There were four different sessions on offer, all available in person and online with a combination of community leaders as well as those from external organisations. Speakers included Deloitte’s Global Inclusion Leader Emma Codd, who discussed the pandemic’s impact on working women, citing research Deloitte had recently undertaken with key conclusions shared which organisations can take away and implement to make the workplace a better place for women during these challenging times; and Catherine Lenson, who in her day job is Managing Partner and Chief People Officer at SoftBank Vision Fund but is also a Trustee of JLC member University Jewish Chaplaincy. She was in conversation with JWA CEO, Naomi Dickson and they discussed Catherine’s career and how to better lead with confidence and how best to encourage allies to support their female colleagues.
The other two sessions featured several communal organisations, one session was held on improving inclusivity and diversity within our organisations which featured Dalia Fleming, Executive Director of KeshetUK alongside Lee Zucker who is HR manager at Kisharon and Library manager Neha Dhakar who described her personal experiences of working for a Jewish organisation as a non-Jewish person. The final session featured other JLC members Langdon, World Jewish Relief and Jewish Women’s Aid as they conducted a panel discussion on giving a voice to those not in the room. The panel was joined by a Langdon service user who explained how the offerings provided by Langdon have empowered her to live a more independent life.
Michelle Janes, Co-CEO of the JLC said:
“We were delighted to bring together so many people for International Women’s Day and be able to showcase JLC members and other organisations and the great work they are doing. Attendees were given the opportunity to network and re-connect with people they had not seen physically in over two years. Equally we were proud to continue to offer opportunities to connect online which we know has become vital over the last two years. It is important for us that International Women’s Day is not just a single moment in the year but part of a programme of development and working towards a more inclusive community.”
Some quotes from people that attended included:
“A great way to celebrate IWD 2022. The mix of in-person and hybrid show how the modern approach to running learning events can really work. Thought-provoking sessions and came away very inspired to challenge the bias!”
“This IWD event was a reminder of how far we have come and yet how much work remains. Having speakers with lived experiences deepened the conversations and demonstrated an openness to sharing and listening to those we support and not only include but celebrate.”
“A well planned event with space for learning, discussion and reflection from community members across the country.”
“A brilliantly organised thought provoking day with excellent speakers and sessions.”
“Thank you for arranging such an interesting morning for our community. I found the panel of ladies insightful, easy to listen to and definitely took away some useful tips to try implement in our team. Always inspiring hearing from those devoted to working in our crucial community organisations.”
"Working in a male dominated environment I found these sessions really morale boosting. Short but informative with lots of take home points and strategies shared. Very interesting speakers. A great way to mark IWD."
“Great event by a great organisation doing amazing inclusive work!”