More than 50 guests attended an International Women’s Day event run by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and the community’s main leadership development organisation, Lead.
Centred round the theme of ‘Embrace Equity’, the celebration was held at the newly rebuilt Finchley Reform synagogue for attendees with professional or lay positions within the community.
The opening session, chaired by the JLC’s head of strategic collaboration Michelle Mitchell, focused on embracing equality within the workplace. Attendees heard from Jewish Care chief executive Daniel Carmel-Brown, Nechama Kutner of Lloyds Banking Group and Rona Harvey of PUBLIC who discussed what equity means, why it is important, and the steps they have taken to increase it in their organisations.
The day was packed with insightful conversations, including one chaired by JLC co-chief executive Michelle Janes who hosted Finchley Reform Synagogue Rabbi, Miriam Berger, Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Charley Baginsky, New London Masorti Synagogue’s Rabbi Natasha Mann and Rabbi-in-training Miriam Lorie. They each discussed their faith leadership journeys and how being a woman has influenced and shaped their experience.
Leading public policy analyst Sam Freedman of education charity ARK was in conversation with JLC co-chief executive Claudia Mendoza on what government policy and system changes would make the greatest impact to working women.
Meanwhile, Cevin Owens of Harvard Business School and UJIA chief executive Mandie Winston spoke with the JLC’s Natasha Glass, exploring whether policy changes were needed or if the focus should be on empowering women and having transparent conversation.
Topics on the table included whether a menopause policy was needed and what a family friendly policy would mean in an organisation.
In the final session the JLC’s Cheryl Bodie, alongside representatives from Jewish Women’s Aid and Keshet UK, hosted a session on diversity in action.
One participant said that “it’s definitely the time to shine for women in the working world however there is still lots of work to be done, we have the platform let’s keep using our voices to make a difference and be heard!” Another noted how “it was a meaningful and important event, inspiring to learn from and connect with leaders in our community.”
Michelle Janes, co-chief executive of the JLC, said: “Our International Women’s Day annual event has become a landmark day for many communal organisations to gather and grapple with important issues. We are delighted and proud to bring together so many partners in the community to mark International Women’s Day and to continue working towards greater equity, awareness and understanding within the community.”
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