International Conference 2022: The Path to Economic Equality

Join us for our 2-day conference focussing on the economic empowerment of women vital for recovery from Covid and achieving gender equality in the economy, work and business.


The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021 calculates the time to close the global gender gap has increased by a generation, up from 99.5 years to 135.6 years. The Covid pandemic has meant many women will not return to the jobs they once held. Sectors such as retail, health, beauty and hospitality employing high proportions of women and containing many women-led businesses, have been hit hard. Tackling gender equality and addressing the structural inequalities constraining the economic opportunities for women and girls is a crucial mission for all of society.


We all benefit from a more inclusive and equitable economy

We’ll bring together thought leaders representing civil society, the private sector, public sector, academia, business leaders, civic leaders, and entrepreneurs. The conference will connect those across the globe striving for a gender balanced economy. It will create an environment for delegates to learn, motivate, inspire, and support each other through work that keeps up the momentum for change.




Your opportunity to learn, be inspired and engage with thought leaders

This is an opportunity to engage with women leading the global agenda, plus hear from those breaking down barriers and overcoming challenges to achieve outstanding success in their careers. Participants will have the chance to build new relationships with those who have a shared interest in advancing women’s business ownership and success.


The international dimension of the conference and the thought leadership powered by the expertise of delegates, will put attendees at the forefront of the women in business agenda. Ensuring the very latest projects, thinking and best practice are available to inform future strategies and actions as we rebuild economies.


Speakers and Panel Members:

  • Lord Jack McConnell, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the UN Global Goals Keynote presentation - Sustainable Development Goals

  • Dr. Gillian Marcelle, CEO Resilience Capital Ventures LLC Keynote presentation - Finance

  • Mark Sterritt, British Business Bank, Director, UK Network (Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales) Finance Panel

  • Dr Isabella Moore CBE, CEO Olderpreneur Alliance Cultural expectations and intersectionality impact Panel

  • Yvette Hopkins, Global Scot Keynote presentation - Leadership Leadership Panel

  • Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE, Founder:President: Wintrade Global Women In Business Network. Leadership Panel

  • Dr. Suzanne Doyle-Morris, gender balance expert and author Leadership Panel

  • Mel MacIntyre, Founder Mel MacIntyre Coaching, Executive Coach and Business Mentor Wellbeing Panel

  • Poonam Gupta OBE, CEO of PG Paper Wellbeing Panel

  • Michelle Thomson, MSP Wellbeing Panel

  • Gillian Martin, MSP Net Zero and Sustainability Panel

Full agenda and speaker list will be published soon


Join in, ask questions and provide input to the key areas of discussion

There will be opportunity to ask questions, and take part in breakout workshops sessions on key topics.


The conference will have an overall purpose to identify clear goals and steps, to action real change in 2022 and beyond. The ambition will be to end the conference with agreed practical steps that sponsors, participants and delegates can take forward. International scope and diversity will deliver varied thought and perspectives, and generate impactful and innovative solutions.


Presentations, panel discussions and breakout sessions will cover these key topics:

• Health and wellbeing

• Cultural expectations, family, international differences, and intersectionality

• Finance

• Leadership

• Digital and Technology, and Education

• Environment



Date: 22 and 23 February 2022, 10am to 3pm (GMT)

Venue: Online (limited number attending in-person at RBS Gogarburn, Edinburgh)

Free to attend


Here are a few of the incredible outcomes achieved by previous conference sponsors and delegates.

  • Royal Bank of Scotland have initiated the Dream Bigger programme aimed at inspiring young girls to start a business and supporting progress on SDG-5

  • ABRDN have launched a talent proposition where colleagues can self-nominate onto programmes which includes development at early and mid-career stages. Ambitious, progressive HR policies have been developed including Parent Leave which extends beyond the statutory framework and industry norms and a new Smarter Working policy to help manage work-life balance.

  • The University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School, is working with a small business owner in Uganda to support a girls empowerment programme in schools

  • WES and First Sentier have piloted an innovative business to business skills alliance programme to support growing women-owned businesses

  • The case for a Women’s Business Centre was outlined in the 2021 WES Manifesto and the Scottish Government has committed to a £50m investment

  • Conference delegates collaborated on a pilot scheme supported by Scottish Government to support women’s entrepreneurship and business creation in rural areas

  • Conference delegates collaborated to design, build and launch the digital women’s business centre

Looking forward to seeing what can be achieved by participants in our next conference!



Opportunities at our 2022 conference

The format of the two-day conference offers a variety of speaking and engagement opportunities to build awareness of your organisation’s support for women in business. With the ongoing challenges of the pandemic and the focus on activity to rebuild better and the heightened impacts on women’s economic equality from the pandemic we anticipate a high level of interest from national and international media.

Please contact bronwen@wescotland.co.uk to discuss sponsorship and speaking opportunities.


Thank you to our sponsors:










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