Celebrating International Women’s Day: colour, capability, and captivating conversation

Women in the Livery (WIL)

The Master’s Consort Sue Nash, Senior Court Assistant Sandra Raine, and Court Assistant Janet Rivers were treated to a thought-provoking evening to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March 2023.

See our biographies at the bottom of the article.

The event themed ‘Women Who Changed The World’  was organised by Goodenough College in collaboration with the Worshipful Company of World Traders.

Master World Trader Michael Shapiro, introduced The Lady Mayoress, Felicity Lyons, who welcomed an audience from across the Livery movement, medicine, academia, NGO’s, and commerce to hear about developments to improve women’s health in the UK and around the world.

The keynote speaker was Chinwe Russell, who presented slides and provided information on the inspiration for her colourful series of paintings ‘20 Historical Women who changed the World’:

Credit: Graham Martin Photography

Chinwe is a Nigerian-born British artist. Her work is inspired by the history, cultures, and traditions of the world. Amongst the moving stories behind her paintings was that of Mary Slessor, a Scottish missionary born in 1848. This unsung hero successfully campaigned for women’s rights in Nigeria, and to stop the practice of infanticide of twins in the Okayong, Nigeria, who were killed as traditional folklore dictated that their mothers had been impregnated by the devil, and it was impossible to tell which child was that of the devil. This story was the inspiration for one of Chinwe’s most powerful paintings entitled ‘Don’t throw away twin babies’, depicting Mary with twins at her breasts.

Credit: Graham Martin Photography

The presentation was followed by a panel discussion where five talented women, selected by the World Traders Company, spent two minutes each describing developments and challenges in their fields. Topics ranged from how public spaces might be designed with the experience and needs of women and the gender diverse in mind, to the work being undertaken to address health inequalities for women and girls, and the help being provided for those who have experienced rape and sexual abuse.

An international panel invited by Goodenough College went on to describe their work and research in a range of senior roles illustrating how women are making a difference. We heard about the multidimensional dynamics of gender barriers in management and how women are being encouraged to find empowerment through sharing their stories with others. Speakers related their experiences of balancing work, life and children and how they had overcome some of the challenges of working in male dominated environments.

The panels expertly answered a range of questions from the audience.

Stimulated by the presentations, the event was a great opportunity for sharing our experiences during the networking sessions. It also provided an occasion for the Worshipful Company of Plumbers delegates to share a ‘big hug’ this year’s theme for International Women’s Day:

L-R: Sandra Raine, Sue Nash, Janet Rivers

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are sharing our short bios about how we became involved with the Worshipful Company of Plumbers:

Sue Nash

Sandra Raine

Janet Rivers

If anything in this article has sparked your interest in the Plumbers Company, see the video we made Why not join us?  and also read about our Women in the Livery team (WIL).

Sandra Raine
Senior Court Assistant