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Lewisham Women at the Top

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Lewisham Women at the Top


Published by Lewisham Homes for Lewisham Homes in Housing and also in Communities

Left to right: Heidi Alexander MP, Ophelia Bobori; Sonia Meggie; Gary Green (host); Tessy Ojo; Antonia Burrell; Caryl Longley Left to right: Heidi Alexander MP, Ophelia Bobori; Sonia Meggie; Gary Green (host); Tessy Ojo; Antonia Burrell; Caryl Longley

Heidi Alexander, MP Lewisham East, opened ‘Women at the Top’, a debate organised by Inspirational YOU and funded by the Lewisham Homes community fund on Wednesday 27 November 2013.

Held at the House of Commons, the event attracted around 100 women to hear the panellists debate issues affecting women in the workplace such as female leadership, achieving gender balanced boards and equal pay. The guest speakers included:

• Samantha Johnson, Broadcaster & Sports Reporter at The Sun & News UK
• Tracy Ayling QC
• Tessy Ojo, Chief Executive of The Diana Award
• Gina Miller, philanthropist and co-founder of SCM Private
• Caryl Longley, General Counsel - Deloitte LLP
• Antonia Burrell, creator of luxury skincare brand Antonia Burrell London

Sydenham resident, Ruth Rawlins, who attended said: “This event was very interesting, with lots of tips and well-rounded advice, not just for aspiring businesswomen, but for those of us who are mums too. I found it inspiring to listen to listen about how these women juggle motherhood and a hectic working life. I shall definitely be taking their advice! I’m very glad that I came this evening.”

Ophelia Bobori, Lewisham Homes resident and Board Member, said: “For those women who have a vision for success the event will have only motivated them further. For those women who have a vision in the recesses of their active imagination, yesterday's event has served to encourage them that their dream can BE a reality. The event was truly inspirational; the speakers were driven by challenges, and some injustices, that have driven their careers.”

After the event, Heidi Alexander said: “It was a privilege to take part in the Inspirational YOU evening and to be among so many impressive young women. I was really pleased to be able to host the event in the House of Commons and I hope those who attended found it as useful and encouraging as I did.”

Sonia Meggie, Founder of Inspirational YOU said, “I am so pleased to have been able to hold this event with the support of Lewisham Homes and Heidi Alexander MP.  There are lots of women in Lewisham who want to improve their career prospects or start a business.  Via this event they were able to connect and learn from senior women who can inspire and support them to the next level.”

Inspirational You is one of sixteen local projects that received funding from the Lewisham Homes Community Fund in 2013. As well as the talk, the Inspirational You project has a number of aspects, including: a six-day fashion design course; a six-day mobile app design course; and a workshop aimed at inspiring local residents to become entrepreneurs with talks from local businesses and entrepreneurs.

The Community Fund initiative is part of the Lewisham Homes Residents’ Business Plan, which sees residents identifying their priorities for their homes and communities. For more information about the Residents’ Business Plan go to


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