IWD2018: CELEBRATING OUR WOMEN SPEAKERS
AS it's International Women's Day 2018, we're celebrating some of our trailblazing female speakers.
Some highly influential figures in the fight for equality will appear on our Futures Stage in June. Among them is Cherie Blair whose Foundation had helped to empower 140,000 women entrepreneurs in developing economies, helping them to access to skills, technology, networks and financial services through mobile tech, mentoring and business development programmes.
The theme of #IWD2018 is Press for Progress and few can demonstrate the power of persistence better than Saudi photographer and activist Madeha Al Ajroush. For 30 years she spearheaded a campaign that means - by the time we welcome her to the Festival - women in the Kingdom will finally have the right to drive independently.
International Trade Centre executive director Arancha Gonzalez has been another strong voice for women's empowerment via the SheTrades movement. On June 26, she'll tell delegates about the mission to connect a million female entrepreneurs to market, to mark the start of the three-day SheTrades Global summit within the Festival site.
Carolyn Fairbairn is the first woman to lead the business lobby, as director-general of the Confederation of British Industry. She'll give a response to a senior cabinet minister's view of post-Brexit Britain on our opening day, June 12.
Meanwhile, as chief executive of the UK Business Angels Association, Jenny Tooth has championed a greater role for women in investment. UKBAA is supporting the Investor Pitch, a regular feature of the Futures Stage, giving founders the chance to impress a panel of investors.
And we can't forget the Festival's creative director, the outgoing Southbank Centre boss Jude Kelly, who'll be your host on Culture, Sport & Travel Day (June 28). Through the Women of the World movement, she's made it her mission to #PressForProgress.
View more of the fantastic women coming to the Festival at our Speakers page.