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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Series: Inspiring Women: Learning From Other Industries

Hush Brasserie
07 March 2024
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The latest event in our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Series on 7 March marks the worldwide celebration of International Women’s Day.

The event will feature an interactive panel discussion, bringing together inspirational female leaders from across different industries to share their remarkable stories of achievement. 

The DE&I series of events is an integral part of the BVCA’s mission to promote DE&I within our industry and support firms to build inclusive environments in which everyone can thrive. The BVCA promotes the participation of people from all socioeconomic backgrounds and of all ethnicities, genders and sexual orientation in the venture capital and private equity industry. This includes representation in investment and senior roles.

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08:30 - Registration and standing networking breakfast

09:10 - Welcome address from Isobel Clarke, Director of Policy, BVCA

09:15 - Panel discussion with Seema Kennedy OBE and Salma Shah

09:45 - Further refreshments and networking

10:30 - Event close

Date and time

Thursday, 7 March


Hush Brasserie
95-97 High Holborn
London, WC1V 6LF

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Isobel Clarke, Director of Policy, BVCA

Isobel is Director of Policy at the BVCA, with Sarah Adams. Isobel and Sarah have worked as a jobshare partnership since early 2020. They lead the Policy team and their work across tax, legal, regulatory, accounting and sustainability matters, working closely with members and the BVCA committees to progress key technical and strategic policy issues.

Isobel has over 13 years’ experience of working on government policy, mainly at HM Treasury but also at the Ministry of Justice. She has led policy work on business rates, tax devolution and the scrutiny of tax reliefs. She was, with Sarah, deputy director for business tax strategy and then deputy director for open justice and dispute resolution.

Isobel lives in London with her family. She read French and German at the University of Cambridge, spending a year in Berlin. Before joining HM Treasury she was a research and evaluation consultant.

Seema Kennedy OBE

Seema Kennedy was a Government Minister under Theresa May’s Premiership, serving as Immigration Minister and Public Health Minister. Before that she was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister between 2017 and 2019, responsible for relations between MPs and Downing Street during the Brexit negotiations.

While Member of Parliament for South Ribble in Lancashire, Seema co-chaired the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission and was Vice-Chair of the Conservative Middle East Council. Prior to her election to Parliament she worked as a lawyer in the City with involvement on projects including the Emirates Stadium and St Bart’s Hospital before becoming Director of a commercial property business in the North West of England.

Since leaving frontline politics Seema has combined an executive role running a legal advocacy group with non executive positions at the water regulator OFWAT where she chairs the People Committee, and as the Chair of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network. She also sits on the Nominations Committee of St Albans Cathedral and as acting Chair of a family art foundation.Seema is a graduate of Pembroke College, Cambridge and the Sorbonne.

She is married to an Army Officer and has three children and two step children.

Salma Shah, Author and Founder, Mastering Your Power

Salma Shah is an award winning author and the Founder of the game changing Mastering Your Power a certified coach training programme. She is passionate about raising the bar in inclusion, equity, belonging and social mobility.

Her book, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in Coaching, was shortlisted for the business book awards 2023. Salma explores the mindset and driving forces behind powerful inclusive leadership. Where high levels of empathy and emotional intelligence lead to high performance with a focus on psychologically safety, integrity and innovation. An impressive list of teams and corporations that have sought Salma’s expertise including, Co-op Group, John Lewis Partnership, Pearson, Skipton Building Society, Barclays, Infor, British Transport Police, Ernst and Young (Kuwait), Oracle and Reuters. Her approach is an invitation to dig deeper into what it really means to be inclusive and create equitable and diverse organisations.

Salma unlocks the hidden potential for all members of team, sowing the seeds of long lasting confidence, developing healthy resilience, common connection and purpose. In June 2023, she was recognised for her Outstanding Contribution to Coaching and Society by Coaching at Work.

Dress code

Business attire


Complimentary and exclusive to BVCA Members

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