International Business Women's Conference 2014

Past Conferences

Creating a New Economy

Date: 20 June 2014

Women in Business Northern Ireland (WIBNI) hosted the first International Business Women’s Conference to take place on the island of Ireland.

IBWClogo.jpg IBWC 2014 was the result of a vision to create a world class business networking event in Northern Ireland and early indications are that we succeeded on that count. The real success for us all however will be in the months and years ahead where together we have delivered on the yet untapped potential that was so evident at the conference and leave an economic legacy that is long lasting.

IBWC 2014 Highlights include:

  • Hosted over 40 speakers under one roof from N. Ireland, UK, Ireland, Europe, USA, Canada and Dubai.
  • Welcomed 500 delegates attended the conference including business sessions and social programme from across the UK, Ireland, Europe, USA, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Croatia, Indonesia, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Rwanda & Somalia
  • Delivered a conference of international acclaim and showcased Belfast and Northern Ireland as a vibrant, dynamic business and visitor hub
  • Presented a relevant & valuable business programme including 6 Keynote speakers, 12 Masterclass speakers and 25 panel speakers
  • Explored Leadership Learning, Personal Skills Development, Maximising the Potential of Women, Playing our part in Creating a New Economy, The Business Case and Inclusive Solution for Diversity in Business
  • Gained 900 Twitter followers since launching and trended in Belfast on the first day of the conference
  • Connected with international delegates for future project collaboration such as mentoring programmes and sectoral opportunities
  • Made our mark as a Champion for Gender Diversity in Business
  • Hit our 30:30 vision target by securing support from 31 (now 32) of Northern Ireland’s Top 100 companies in committing to improve gender diversity at senior leadership level

Women in Business NI 30/30 Vision attracts support from leading players in NI private sector

Top representatives from Northern Ireland’s private sector, including leading business Moy Park, have pledged their commitment to supporting gender diversity at leadership level by signing up to Women in Business NI’s recently launched ‘30/30 Vision’ initiative.

Women in Business NI unveiled its 30/30 Vision 30 days ahead of its upcoming International Business Women’s Conference (IBWC 2014), with the aim of securing commitment from at least 30 of Northern Ireland’s Top 100 companies by the time the conference opens on 12th May. This target is on track to be met, with 27 companies having signed up to date. (See List below)

In pledging their commitment to Women in Business NI’s 30/30 Vision, companies will be encouraged to consider how they can share best practice and/or develop initiatives to support and promote a more diverse workplace.

Roseann Kelly, Chief Executive, Women in Business NI explains:
“We are hugely encouraged by the swift and positive response from the local private sector to our 30/30 Vision calling for better support for gender diversity at leadership level within the business community.

“Evidence proves that a diverse workforce equates to a more productive workforce and a better bottom line- therefore encouraging diversity is not only the right thing to do, it makes business sense. Currently only 5 of the top 100 companies in Northern Ireland are led by women. Women in Business NI believe that figure should be closer to 30% – our 30/30 Vision and international conference are the first steps in breaking down existing barriers to achieve this.

“By mobilising the private sector in this regard, we believe this initiative will unlock the full potential of our workforce and drive economic growth. Among other core topics, the business case for diversity is one that will feature among our programme at IBWC 2014 and we look forward to a broad spectrum of both the local and global business community joining this all important discussion.”

Moy Park CEO Janet McCollum said, “Diversity is very important for businesses to succeed. When you have a diverse team of people contributing to a business, it leads to better decision making and ultimately better outcomes. We are pleased to support this initiative and Women in Business NI’s drive to encourage diversity at all levels in business to enhance business growth and the Northern Ireland economy.”

IBWC 2014 will bring hundreds of business delegates to Belfast 12th – 15th May for a series of networking sessions, keynote addresses, breakout workshops and panel discussions and is supported by Visit Belfast, Invest Northern Ireland, Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, Department for Employment and Learning, Belfast City Council, Ulster Bank, NYSE Euronext, Queen’s University Belfast, Equality Commission NI, Enterprise Ireland.

Companies signed up to the 30/30 Vision (in Alphabetic Order) include:

Big business for Belfast

The International Business Women’s Conference next week will be a major opportunity to showcase Belfast’s economic potential and has the backing of Belfast City Council as one of its key sponsors.

The first event of its kind on the island of Ireland, IBWC 2014 is set to attract business delegates from home and abroad to Belfast (12-15 May) for a series of workshops, panel discussions, networking and keynote addresses from over 40 international and local business leaders, with the aim of unlocking business potential and driving economic growth.

Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive Designate, Belfast City Council, will be helping lead a panel discussion centred around ‘creating a new economy’ at IBWC 2014 alongside other leaders from within the Northern Ireland public and private sector. City Hall will also play host to a Civic Reception for the conference delegates.

“The International Business Women’s Conference represents a major opportunity to showcase Belfast’s economic potential and highlight the city as a dynamic place to do business,” Ms Wylie said.

“By seeking to unlock the full potential of the NI workforce and creating valuable international connections, IBWC 2014 will mark a valuable step towards growing a sustainable, forward-looking economy.”

Roseann Kelly, Chief Executive of conference hosts Women in Business NI said, “At IBWC 2014 we are set to welcome guests from across Ireland, the UK and other economies including Europe, the USA, Scandinavia and the UAE. Working with partners such as Belfast City Council will allow us to highlight the very best that Belfast has to offer the business tourism market whilst providing a platform for our rich pool of business talent to connect with entrepreneurs from across the globe. Coming so shortly after the Giro d’Italia’s ‘Big Start’, it is a week with great economic potential for Belfast and indeed Northern Ireland PLC.”

IBWC 2014 is also supported by Visit Belfast, Invest Northern Ireland, Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, Department for Employment and Learning, Ulster Bank, NYSE Euronext, Queen’s University Belfast, Equality Commission NI and Enterprise Ireland.

In April 2014, 30 days out from the start of the Conference, Women in Business NI unveiled their 30/30 Vision, an initiative calling upon the Northern Ireland private sector and in particular the Top 100 companies to pledge support for improved gender diversity in business- particularly in senior leadership positions – not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it makes good business sense.

By the opening of IBWC 2014 on 13th May 2014, Women in Business NI hoped to secure the support of at least 30 of Northern Ireland’s Top 100 businesses and indeed were able to exceed that with 31 companies signed up ahead of IBWC 2014 which are listed below:

Women in Business NI intend using this initiative as a platform to move forward and will be encouraging more to join with us on this journey in the weeks and months ahead. It is our hope that by 2017, all of Northern Ireland’s Top 100 companies will have in place strategies and policies which pro-actively focus on creating opportunities for talented women to progress to CEO, Senior Management positions and Boards. In doing so, these pioneering companies will inspire others to do the same. IBWC 2014 is the first step in realising our 30/30 Vision through tapping into the huge amount of untapped business potential in Northern Ireland and bringing to life the true business case for diversity and we look forward to being inspired and supported in our efforts by our international colleagues and friends.

To sign up your own pledge for 30:30, please contact Roseann Kelly, Chief Executive, Women in Business NI Email: roseann@womeninbusinessni.com

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Committed Companies as at 31.05.14
1. AES
2. Allstate NI
3. Andras House
4. ASDA
5. Belfast Harbour Commissioners
6. Belfast International Airport
7. Bombardier
8. Danske Bank
9. First Trust Bank
10. Fujitsu
11. Haldane Shiells
12. Hastings Hotels
13. Liberty IT
14. Michelin
15. Moy Park
16. NIE
17. Progressive Building Society
18. PwC
19. SDC Trailers Ltd
20. Terex
21. Tesco
22. Thales
23. Translink
24. Ulster Bank
25. UTV
26. Viridian
27. Wrightbus
28. Capita Managed
29. Randox
30. Tayto
31. Bank of Ireland
32. Gilbert Ash

Conference App Set to ‘Spark’ Delegate Connections

International Business Women’s Conference, Belfast to feature innovative new event app for first time on island of Ireland.

Next week’s International Business Women’s Conference, IBWC 2014, taking place in Belfast (13-14 May), will feature an innovative new app which will allow delegates to connect online, network, interact with keynote speakers and join discussions live throughout the event.

The ‘EventSpark’ app will help facilitate business connections both prior to and during the business event, which will bring delegates from across the globe to Belfast. The app will allow delegates to view conference programme sessions and speaker details, participate in live discussion and provide live commentary and feedback during the conference programme.

IBWC 2014 will be the first event on the island of Ireland to feature the app developed by the University College London born tech ‘spin off’ company ‘EventSpark.’ The company has been producing the app since late last year and has trialed it successfully at events at University College of London, Imperial College and King’s College, London. The company was also a winner of the UCL Advances Award in 2012.

Roseann Kelly, Chief Executive, Women in Business NI said,

“Our conference app will take the IBWC experience to the next level. Two of our core themes at the conference are the power of networking and the benefits of technology and this app combines both perfectly. By downloading and using the dedicated app, delegates will not only have access to increased networking opportunities, but will also be able to provide real time feedback and easily participate in discussion and provide feedback online.

With hundreds of delegates coming to Belfast for IBWC 2014, this app will allow for digital connections to take place before the conference even opens, the economic benefits of which will be felt long after it closes.”

All delegates will be sent a link to download the event app upon registration.

IBWC 2014 is supported by Visit Belfast, Invest Northern Ireland, Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, Department for Employment and Learning, Belfast City Council, Ulster Bank, NYSE Euronext, Queen’s University Belfast, Equality Commission NI, Enterprise Ireland.

DEL supports IBWC 2014

The Department for Employment and Learning has lent its support to the upcoming International Business Women’s Conference taking place in Belfast 12-15th May in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall, hosted by Women in Business NI.

The first event of its kind to be held locally, the conference is set to bring together delegates and speakers from across the globe with the aim of unlocking individual and business potential, inspiring leadership and ultimately driving economic growth.

Speaking about DEL’s support of ‘IBWC 2014: Creating a New Economy’, Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry said: “The conference theme of “Creating A New Economy” will provide a very timely forum to share and learn with international peers on topics such as diversity, business growth, leadership and entrepreneurship. My Department plays a critical role in the development of the skills required for our economy. There is no doubt that our economy is changing and companies and individuals here know that there are many new business opportunities within reach locally but also globally.

“We need to invest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills, collectively known as STEM, and management and leadership skills. We need to encourage much higher participation rates in STEM areas, across the board generally and from women in particular, with three males employed to every one female at present. I want to ensure that we capitalise upon the opportunities in the highly skilled jobs of the future, through encouraging maximum participation from both genders.”

Global business leaders arrive in Belfast for second day of International Business Women’s Conference

Women in Business NI welcomes groups of global delegates from the UAE, Croatia, Indonesia, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Rwanda and Somalia for second day of International conference.


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Pictured at the International Business Women’s Conference IBWC 2014 are (l-r): Kate Marshall, Chair, Women in Business NI; Fazia Al Sayed, Dubai Business Women’s Council; Minister for Employment and Learning Stephen Farry MLA; Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Investment Arlene Foster MLA; Raja Al Gurg, Dubai Business Women’s Council; Roseann Kelly, Chief Executive, Women in Business NI

The first International Business Women’s Conference on the island of Ireland, IBWC 2014, continues into its second day (Wednesday 14th May) in Belfast and today welcomed two further groups of international delegates to its audience.

The event, hosted by Women in Business NI, today welcomed a delegation of entrepreneurs from the UAE as part of a UK business mission supported by the UK Trade & Investment, Invest Northern Ireland and the UAE-UK Business Council, with the aim of creating meaningful business connections. Furthermore, a group of influential women executives from post-conflict and ongoing peace building regions joined IBWC 2014 as part of the Bank of America and Vital Voices Global Ambassador Programme.

Belfast is one of only three UK cities chosen to play host to the UAE mission, alongside London and Manchester. Nadine Halabi of Dubai Business Women Council addressed IBWC 2014 delegates at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall today and highlighted the steps the UAE has made with regards to empowering women in business.

The Bank of America and Vital Voices Global Ambassador programme is a week-long mentorship event, which has this year been brought to Belfast specifically to coincide with IBWC 2014. A group of global mentors and mentees will discuss the importance of women business leaders in a recovering global economy, and the ways that men and women can work together to harness their full potential and create growth and opportunity for all.

Today’s IBWC 2014 programme featured keynote addresses and panel discussions featuring influential business people including Stephanie Akkaoui-Hughes, Founder of AKKA Architects & Action Lab; Anna-Lise Kjaer, Danish futures expert; Shaa Wasmund, Founder & CEO of Smarta.com and Board Member of Treat Ticket and Helena Morrissey CBE, founder of the Thirty Percent Club.

Minister for Department of Enterprise, Trade & Investment Arlene Foster MLA and Minister for Employment and Learning Stephen Farry helped open today’s IBWC 2014 proceedings.

Kate Marshall, Chair of IBWC 2014 hosts Women in Business NI said, “Following a very successful first day at IBWC 2014, we were delighted to welcome two further groups of influential international business women to our group of delegates today. Reaching out and connecting with key business people from across the globe opens minds and opportunities – and ultimately drives economic growth.”

IBWC 2014 is culminating with a Gala Dinner at Titanic Belfast on Wednesday evening.

IBWC 2014 is supported by Visit Belfast, Invest Northern Ireland, Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, Department for Employment and Learning, Belfast City Council, Ulster Bank, NYSE Euronext, Queen’s University Belfast, Equality Commission NI, Enterprise Ireland.

Global business leaders arrive in Belfast for second day of IBWC



Women in Business NI welcomes groups of global delegates from the UAE, Croatia, Indonesia, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Rwanda and Somalia for second day of International conference

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Pictured: Kate Marshall, Chair of WIB NI; Faiza Al Sayed, Dubai Business Women’s Council; Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry MLA; Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster MLA, Raja Al Gurg, Dubai Business Women’s Council and Roseann Kelly, Chief Executive of WIB NI

The first International Business Women’s Conference on the island of Ireland, IBWC 2014, continues into its second day in Belfast and today welcomed two further groups of international delegates to its audience.

The event, hosted by Women in Business NI, today welcomed a delegation of entrepreneurs from the UAE as part of a UK business mission supported by the UK Trade & Investment, Invest Northern Ireland and the UAE-UK Business Council, with the aim of creating meaningful business connections. Furthermore, a group of influential women executives from post-conflict and ongoing peacebuilding regions joined IBWC 2014 as part of the Bank of America and Vital Voices Global Ambassador Programme.

Belfast is one of only three UK cities chosen to play host to the UAE mission, alongside London and Manchester. Nadine Halabi of Dubai Business Women Council addressed IBWC 2014 delegates at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall today and highlighted the steps the UAE has made with regards to empowering women in business.

The Bank of America and Vital Voices Global Ambassador programme is a week-long mentorship event, which has this year been brought to Belfast specifically to coincide with IBWC 2014. A group of global mentors and mentees discuss the importance of women business leaders in a recovering global economy, and the ways that men and women can work together to harness their full potential and create growth and opportunity for all. Today’s IBWC 2014 programme featured keynote addresses and panel discussions featuring influential business people including Stephanie Akkaoui-Hughes, Founder of AKKA Architects & Action Lab; Anna-Lise Kjaer, Danish futures expert; Shaa Wasmund, Founder & CEO of SMarta.com and Board Member of Treat Ticket and Helena Morrissey CBE, founder of the Thirty Percent Club.

Enterprise, Trade & Investment Minister Arlene Foster MLA and Minister for Employment and Learning Stephen Farry helped open today’s IBWC 2014 proceedings.

Kate Marshall, Chair of IBWC 2014 hosts Women in Business NI said, “Following a very successful first day at IBWC 2014, we were delighted to welcome two further groups of influential international business women to our group of delegates today. Reaching out and connecting with key business people from across the globe opens minds and opportunities – and ultimately drives economic growth.”

IBWC 2014 is culminating with a Gala Dinner at Titanic Belfast on Wednesday evening.

IBWC 2014 is supported by Visit Belfast, Invest Northern Ireland, Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, Department for Employment and Learning, Belfast City Council, Ulster Bank, NYSE Euronext, Queen’s University Belfast, Equality Commission NI, Enterprise Ireland.

Conference to showcase NI on global stage

Foster highlights importance of upcoming International Business Women’s Conference to put Northern Ireland economy in global spotlight

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Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster has shown her support for the upcoming International Business Women’s Conference being hosted by Women in Business NI (IBWC 2014: Creating a New Economy, 12th – 15th May, Waterfront Hall, Belfast).

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has highlighted the importance of the conference in showcasing the growth being experienced in the Northern Ireland economy and the talented pool of female entrepreneurs helping drive it.

Arlene Foster said: “The International Business Women’s Conference is a unique event that will bring together a wide range of professionals from all over the world. Not only will the conference provide delegates with a chance to learn from industry experts and gain valuable advice, but it will also provide an opportunity to hear from inspiring and thought-provoking business leaders.

“Local businesses will be able to share experiences with counterparts from a wide variety of different countries, and develop a better understanding of how best to maximise their talent and make the most of business opportunities.

“The conference will also provide an important platform to showcase Northern Ireland as a place to do business as delegates will hear examples of successful inward investment.”

IBWC 2014 will bring delegates from across the UK, Republic of Ireland and the globe to Belfast to hear from international keynote speakers, to network, to participate in breakout workshops and to form business connections with the aim of maximising individual potential and driving economic growth.

IBWC 2014 is supported by Visit Belfast, Invest Northern Ireland, Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, Department for Employment and Learning, Belfast City Council, Ulster Bank, NYSE Euronext, Queen’s University Belfast, Equality Commission NI, Enterprise Ireland.

IBWC 2014 to leave ‘lasting economic legacy’

First International Business Women’s Conference on island of Ireland inspires global mentorship programme and positions gender diversity high on the private sector agenda.

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The first International Business Women’s Conference to take place on the island of Ireland, which brought over 500 delegates to Belfast (12th- 15th May 2014), will leave a ‘lasting economic legacy’ according to organisers Women in Business NI.

IBWC 2014: ‘Creating a New Economy’ brought the issue of gender diversity in business to the fore within the private sector and will see the creation of a global business mentoring programme for local business women, led by Women in Business NI. IBWC 2014, which was attended by delegates from across the UK, Ireland, Europe, USA, UAE, Croatia, Indonesia, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Rwanda and Somalia, was centred around ‘creating a new economy’ – a diverse and sustainable economy which celebrates empowerment, encourages cooperation between both genders in business and focuses on maximising the full potential of the talent pool.

“IBWC 2014 allowed over 500 inspiring and inspirational business leaders from across the globe to connect in a very positive forum and share experiences, business knowledge and insights,” said Roseann Kelly, Chief Executive, Women in Business NI.

“The connections made at IBWC 2014 will undoubtedly go on to develop into business relationships. We have already had feedback from delegates who plan to connect again to discuss collaborative projects and partnerships and several individuals and companies have joined our membership this week. As such, Women in Business NI are planning to lead a global mentorship programme, whereby we will help our members maximise international connections and seek out potential mentors and mentees of mutual benefit, to further drive economic growth and value for our growing membership.” said Roseann.

IBWC 2014 also marked the first step in an initiative spearheaded by Women in Business NI to drive gender diversity up the agenda within the Northern Ireland private sector. Women in Business NI’s ‘30/30 Vision’ stemmed from the fact that only 5% of Northern Ireland’s Top 100 companies are led by females. Women in Business NI laid a challenge to those businesses to sign up to its 30/30 Vision through pledging to support gender diversity in their respective businesses. By the time IBWC opened, 31 of the top 100 companies had already signed up to the commitment.

“By putting the spotlight on the power of diversity in business and the huge untapped economic resource that females in business represent, we hope that IBWC will create a shift in mind set among the private sector which recognizes that to truly maximise our full economic potential, we must encourage the most talented individuals, both male and female,” said Roseann Kelly.

IBWC 2014 drew support from both the private and public sector as well as government bodies. The conference event was attended by Enterprise, Trade & Investment Minister Arlene Foster MLA, Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry MLA, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers MP and Dr Malcolm McKibbin Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

Speaking at the closing of IBWC 2014 Chair of Women in Business NI Kate Marshall said, “Women in Business NI is a small but ambitious organisation and IBWC 2014 was the result of a vision to create a world class business networking event in Northern Ireland. IBWC 2014 demonstrated the power of connecting and highlighted the huge pool of talented and inspiring women in business locally and worldwide. We will now focus on ensuring that the economic legacy of our conference is long lasting.”

IBWC 2014 was supported by Visit Belfast, Invest Northern Ireland, Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, Department for Employment and Learning, Belfast City Council, Ulster Bank, NYSE Euronext, Queen’s University Belfast, Equality Commission NI, Enterprise Ireland.

Over 250 Business Women show support for #BringBackourGirls at IBWC 2014

Over 250 businesswomen, gathered for the International Business Women’s Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland, have shown their support for the #Bring Back our Girls campaign.

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The group sent out a photo via Twitter holding a banner in support of the social media campaign, aimed at helping find more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls. The conference, hosted by Northern Ireland based network Women in Business NI, has brought hundreds of delegates from across the globe to Belfast for three days under the theme of ‘creating a new economy’.

‘Delivering Workplace Gender Diversity – An Economic Imperative for NI Economy’

Women in Business NI welcomes over 500 delegates to first International Business Women’s Conference.

The first International Business Women’s Conference to take place on the island of Ireland opened this morning (Tuesday, 13th May) at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall.  IBWC 2014: Creating a New Economy, hosted by Women in Business NI, has brought over 500 local and international delegates from across the island of Ireland, UK, Europe, USA, Canada and UAE to Belfast for three days of networking, inspirational keynote addresses, topical debate and business workshops aimed at unlocking potential, forging international connections and driving economic growth.

A core theme of Day 1 was the ‘Business Case for improved Gender Diversity’ with attendees hearing from an expert panel that increasing gender diversity in the workplace, especially in senior decision making positions, can deliver better productivity and business performance and therefore should be considered an economic imperative for both the Northern Ireland and global economies. The debate featured panellists such as: Maurizio Mosca, European Institute for Gender Equality; Mairead Lavery, Bombardier Aerospace; Dr Anita Sands, Symantec; Dr Ruth Sealy, Cranfield University and Danish futures expert Anna Lise Kjaer.

Today’s conference programme also featured keynote addresses from Entrepreneur in Residence with Dell INC and US media personality Ingrid Vanderveldt; Carla Busazi, Editor in Chief, Huffington Post UK; Julie Meyer, entrepreneur, investor and MD, Ariadne Capital and Ann Francke, CEO, Chartered Management Institute UK.
 
A series of panel discussions also took place today, with delegates participating live in the discussion via an interactive app. One debate centred around Northern Ireland’s economic potential, led by influential members of the private and public sector such as Ellvena Graham, Head of Ulster Bank Northern Ireland; Anne Clydesdale, Director of William J Clinton Leadership Institute, Queen’s University Belfast, John McMullan, Bryson House Charitable Group, and Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive Designate, Belfast City Council.

Junior Minister Jonathan Bell MLA and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann MLA, Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, showed their support for the event by delivering opening addresses to the global audience alongside Kate Marshall, Chair, Women in Business NI and Maxine Mawhinney of BBC News, conference chair.

IBWC 2014 also represents the first major step in an initiative driving gender diversity in Northern Ireland businesses by Women in Business NI, who recently unveiled its 30/30 Vision. Aimed at mobilising the private sector into promoting diversity in the workplace and to realise the economic benefits of doing so, Women in Business NI’ 30/30 Vision stemmed from the fact that only 5% of Northern Ireland’s Top 100 companies are led by females, whilst it believes that figure should be closer to 30%. Last month, Women in Business NI challenged the ‘Top 100’ to sign up to its 30/30 Vision through pledging to support gender diversity in their respective businesses. At today’s conference opening, Women in Business NI announced that 31 of these leading companies have already done so within the past 30 days.

Speaking at the opening of IBWC 2014, Roseann Kelly, Chief Executive, Women in Business NI said, “We are extremely proud to have today opened our first International Business Women’s Conference and to have welcomed such a large number of delegates from across the globe to Belfast.

“It was the vision of Women in Business NI to create a world class business event that would inspire, empower and unlock individual potential, with the aim of creating better leaders, better connections and ultimately better business.   I am certain that the relationships formed and inspiration felt through IBWC 2014 will have an economic ripple effect felt far beyond the next three days. Our hope is that IBWC 2014 will help create a new, diverse, sustainable and vibrant economy here and further afield – one that is built around inclusivity, innovation and opportunity for all.”

 IBWC 2014 continues in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on Wednesday 14th May and will culminate with a Gala Dinner at Titanic Belfast on Wednesday evening, followed by a networking walk through Stormont Estate on Thursday.

Tomorrow’s conference programme (Wednesday) will feature masterclasses, keynote addresses and debates involving business leaders such as Nadine Halabi of Dubai Business Women’s Council, Kathleen Mitchell, VP for Europe of Stella & Dot; Helena Morrissey CBE, founder of the Thirty Percent Club.

IBWC 2014 is supported by Visit Belfast, Invest Northern Ireland, Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, Department for Employment and Learning, Belfast City Council, Ulster Bank, NYSE Euronext, Queen’s University Belfast, Equality Commission NI, Enterprise Ireland.