“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” Madeline Albright.
When the MSL team were politely advised to take our seats early, to ensure that we were not (literally) left standing, we knew that the second ‘How She Made It’ event hosted by Mary Keane-Dawson was set to be an unforgettable evening.
As complimentary champagne flowed freely, the luxurious Club at The Ivy was buzzing with stimulating conversation and eager anticipation. And as we were warned, within minutes of getting comfortable, every decadent seat in the house was filled, with a handful of guests even standing on the sidelines so as not to miss a word.
The wonderful Kay Burley once again led proceedings, this time moderating a panel which included Cindy Galllop, founder of Make Love Not Porn; Gail Gallie, CEO of Fallon and previous Head of Marketing for Radio 1; and Amelia Harvey, UK co-founder of The Collective Dairy and ex Director of Sales at Gu.
As a self professed dater of younger men, usually in their 20’s (Cindy openly admits to being in her early 50’s!) we soon became aware that the evening’s panel was set to be open, outrageous, and most certainly interesting. Make Love Not Porn carries the tagline: ‘pro-sex, pro-porn and pro-knowing the difference’ and Cindy herself is a wonderfully inspirational woman who cares deeply about the treatment of professional women in today’s working environment.
Throughout the evening Cindy spoke with passion, and it soon became clear how strongly she felt about the cause and more importantly about women who fail to support it. In her own words she explained that women aren’t a subset anymore, to her “we are the norm” and women out there that refuse to “self promote” are letting the rest of us down.
Cindy’s bold comments were met by rapturous applause from the audience of powerful, educated women who each had their own story to tell when it came to gender politics in the workplace. Gail Gallie, who has held a number of high profile executive positions in her career, eloquently added that in order to progress women need to “be the change”.
As the youngest member of the panel, Amelia Harvey brought a refreshing perspective to the discussion, as she spoke about her struggle of being not just a woman in a high powered world but a young woman at that. As a young junior executive at Gu, Amelia described how, in her opinion, corporate structures have the habit of favouring older, more senior opinions, completely disregarding the ideas of younger members of the team.
The array of thought provoking stories that were shared in just one inspirational hour was truly second to none, and it was an absolute privilege be a part of another ground breaking ‘How She Made It’ event.
I think Kay summed up the evening perfectly when she later tweeted: “Well how inspiring, edgy, [and] honest was that then…”. Kay, it most certainly was and I look forward to the next installment and the opportunity to meet some more phenomenal women.
By Jenna Jones