Events archive 2010-2011


Sapphire Partners are passionate about promoting the contribution of women to leadership roles, in business as well as politics.

16th November 2011

Baroness Jenkin of Kennington & Brooks Newmark MP
A Fundraising event
with guest speakers

The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport
Margot James MP


City Women’s Network - Board Readiness Programme -
Roadmap to the Board: The Realities & Practicalities
21 June 2011
Linklaters LLP,  One Silk Street, London,  EC2Y 8HQ

What do companies really look for when appointing non-executives? What should women be doing to get themselves ready for these opportunities? What resources are available to help you?

Both Kate Grussing and Jacey Graham are longtime CWN members, who from their respective but aligned professional viewpoints can provide very practical advice: 

Kate is the founder and Managing Director of Sapphire Partners, a highly successful boutique search firm, which specialises in placing women in executive and non-exec roles. Kate has built a reputation for excellence and creativity in putting together all-women shortlists and has first hand knowledge of what companies look for in board appointments. Unlike many other headhunters, Sapphire prides itself on its commitment to promoting senior female talent but also balancing the realities of board roles. Kate's work advising companies and women executives has been highlighted in five books and she is a regular commentator in the media.

Jacey is co-founder and a Director of Brook Graham Limited, a global Diversity & Inclusion consultancy firm. Much of Jacey’s work is focused on developing female talent pipelines in multi-national companies for top level positions. Jacey is a co-founder and advisor to the FTSE 100 Cross Company Mentoring Programme which develops women for boards, author of two books on this topic (A Woman’s Place is in the Boardroom and the Roadmap) and a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield’s International Centre for the Development of Women Leaders; she co-authored this year’s Female FTSE Report which focused on the appointments process for NED positions.

London Business School
Women in Business

Women in Business Conference
London Business School
5 March 2011

This is a terrific opportunity to attend the Women in Business Conference on March 5 at LBS.  This year’s theme is ‘Closing Gaps: The Next Stage in Women’s Leadership’.  Leaders across industries will be talking about their path to leadership and the unique ways women can contribute to business in a rapidly changing environment. 

Click here for more information.
Click here for the WIB Conference flyer.

London Business School
Sapphire Partners

Event at LBS for Returners

Sapphire Partners was delighted to partner with LBS and iRelaunch to convene this pioneering and successful Return to Work Conference on 2 November 2010.

This conference, aimed at professionals who have had a career break and now want to return to work, was hosted by London Business School and sponsored by American Express, Bloomberg, Deutsche Bank, Barclays Wealth and UBS.

The event was attended by over 120 high calibre professionals and included an interesting mix of panels and workshops. It was also an opportunity to network and meet enlightened employers and other professionals facing similar challenges.  Kate Grussing moderated the panel of employer participants, while the keynote speaker was Duncan Neilson, Vice President of Recruitment for EMEA and Asia Pacific at American Express.  It was the tenth significant event Sapphire has been involved with supporting high potential career returners.

Board Impact - Leveraging Diversity

12-13 October 2010

The International Board Impact Conference brought together chairmen, board members, executives, investors, CEOs, and researchers to discuss and learn from the experiences of Norwegian corporate boards. (Norwegian listed companies have more than 40% representation of female board members)

The conference provided a forum to assess the real-life impact of board diversity since the quota law was first proposed in 2002 as well as discussed the journey forward in Norway and the rest of the world.

Click here for find out more

Dress for Success

Tuesday, 5 October at Harvey Nichols

Sapphire is passionate about supporting Dress for Success, a charity which promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by giving them confidence through coaching and ‘recycled’ business clothes.

A private shopping evening was held on Tuesday, 5 October at Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge in aid of Dress for Success during which the store donated 10% of sales to  the charity.  Do come and enjoy exclusive offers, tempting raffle prizes, networking, champagne and canapés.

Charles Russell

Thursday 9 September 2010

The Equality Act 2010 is being hailed as one of the most significant pieces of equality legislation for a generation with the majority of its provisions due to come into force on 1 October 2010.  In conjunction with the Act, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced a comprehensive Employment Statutory Code of Practice on equality.

This seminar focused on what the Equality Act and the new Statutory Code mean in practical terms for employers.  Partners of Charles Russell and Sapphire founder Kate Grussing, covered highlights from the business case.

This seminar will:

  • Providing an overview of trends and awards in the tribunals
  • Giving an understanding of the Equality Act in context
  • Offering an overview of the new Statutory Code and the practical measures needed to ensure compliance
The Law Society
Sapphire Partners

Career Crossroads Workshop - Planning Your Next Chapter
30 June  2010

Sapphire Partners lead a third Law Society Career Crossroads workshop, aimed at senior lawyers contemplating a career transition within or outside of the profession.


How Women Mean Business

How Women Mean Business
Avivah Wittenberg-Cox
17 June 2010

The extraordinary business opportunity and asset that women executives represent was perfectly illustrated by looking around the impressive room.  We were thrilled by the strong turnout and high level of energy and engagement from Sapphire’s clients. 

Back in 2008, Sapphire hosted a book launch for Avivah and Alison Maitland for their first book, Why Women Mean Business.  So what has happened since then?  Today, there is a much greater understanding of the historic shift and economic opportunity afforded by the rise of women in the talent pipeline as well as a majority of consumers. As most business leaders now know, having gender balanced teams leads to superior business performance. But that is easier said than done.  How Women Mean Business is essential reading for any business leader or company wanting to attract, retain and promote the best talent or to drive business growth with the economic clout of women worldwide.


LSE:  Department of Economics public lecture
The Career-Family Conundrum - Professor Claudia Goldin

The talk concerned the challenges that face highly-educated young men and women who wish to have families while pursuing careers such as those in business, medicine, law, and academia. The long history of the career and family quest among college graduate women is explored, and relationships between demands in the labour market for workplace flexibility and the response by occupations, firms, and institutions are addressed.

Claudia Goldin is the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard.


City Women's Network
20 April  2010

Kate Grussing took part in an evening of lively discussion and debate, with two other recipients of the prestigious 2009 TIAW World of Difference 100 Awards. Mei Sim Lai was awarded her OBE for services to Equal Opportunities, while Roswyn Hakesley-Brown, CBE, is the Chair of the Patients Association, and former President of the Royal College of Nursing. 

The Law Society
Sapphire Partners

Career Crossroads Workshop - Planning Your Next Chapter
25 March  2010

Sapphire Partners took part in a  second Law Society Career Crossroads workshop, aimed at senior lawyers contemplating a career transition within or outside of the profession.

Women's Leadership Group
Withers LLP

A Woman’s Place is in the House?
Women in Politics: the Next General Election
Wednesday, 27 January 2010

It was standing room only last Wednesday, the second time that Sapphire Partners, The Prince’s Trust Women’s Leadership Group and Withers had come together to organise a thought-provoking event on the position of women in the workplace. The speakers and panel were, regardless of party politics, inspirational and compelling, with Maria Eagle representing the Labour Party, Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrats and Theresa May the Conservative Party. All agreed that the issue of women in politics still presents an ongoing challenge. It is important that women’s participation in politics is a core part of the focus of all parties, as just like in the private sector, women are needed in all forums of decision-making and at all levels of parliament. Key issues debated concerned the controversy around all-women short-lists and the need to select and evaluate candidates based on specific competencies. Reasons why women are underrepresented in parliament, and what measures can be taken to improve the situation, were also discussed.

For more further reading, please click here.

Women on the Wharf

Women on the Wharf: What keeps the CEO Awake at Night?
Monday, 25 January 2010

Sapphire Partners worked closely with 10 leading Canary Wharf firms for an inaugural event on 25 January 2010 which brought together 200+ women to discuss issues that keep the CEO awake at night.

This ‘by invitation only’ event, which was hugely successful, was created by a group of senior women of these major firms on the Wharf in order to showcase the views of their high performing female employees and the contribution they make to their businesses.  An eminent panel debated the issues facing CEOs and women business leaders.  The panellists were Noreen Doyle, Amelia Fawcett, CBE, Dame Judith Mayhew Jones, DBE and Ken Olisa. 

The firms behind the Women on the Wharf were: Barclays Capital, Barclays Wealth, Citi, Clifford Chance, Credit Suisse, HSBC, KPMG, Morgan Stanley, State Street and Thomson Reuters.