Leaders and Daughters

Today is May 8th, 2020 and COVID-19 still keeps us isolated at home. Precisely a year ago, we were invited with my daughter to the “Leaders & Daughters” event in London, organised by Macquarie, one of the global leaders in the investment banking and financial services sector. The actual host of the event was Macquarie Balance EMEA which is a purposedly established unit within this multinational giant in order to support gender networking events apart from its main gender agenda. I was impressed not only with the fact that Macquarie has included a gender balance policy within the house, but also organised an event called “Leaders & Daughters” which was indeed new to me. It had already framed the concept in my mind and made me curious before I put my feet in.

When we arrived at the Macquarie building in London, the other guests had already arrived. In a moment we were chatting with them. I could see that coming from different countries and sectors, every leader had her/his daughter along with her/him. I recognised that more than half of the leaders were male.

The event was organised in collaboration with Women’s Network Forum and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Foundation in the honour of HRH the Countess of Wessex. While we were having dinner, four amazing women entrepreneurs presented their success stories on stage.

The best part of the event was when only the daughters of leaders were given the opportunity to ask questions and speak. The new generation were to ask questions, speak and comment whereas the leaders were to watch and listen.

In the last part of the evening, HRH the Countess of Wessex made it clear in her speech that she is very much dedicated for the cause of having more women in senior positions and promoting diversity in the workplace. She came together with each and every daughter, had a chat and listened to them vwry carefully. Then she had a group photo taken, but only with the daughters!

The male leaders were just telling that they were having such an experience for the first time; attending a business event with their daughters, having a conversation with them regarding gender balance in the work place was something completely new to them. They were also impressed with their questions directed to the women role models. In fact, I was no different than them.

Even though we have a sense of progress and development as a concept and we mention it on different occasions for many times, sometimes we become totally aware of the concept once someone in our inner circle gets involved with it. I think that’s what happened that evening.

Eventually, the leaders who had been supportive about promoting gender balance in the workplace had internalised the concept through their daughters’ identity. In the meanwhile, daughters had the chance to communicate face to face with four amazing women as role models, and made a a way forward to take their steps in to their own future dreams keeping in mind that any dream has got a potential to be realised.

This is what I call “making impact”!


Şafak Müderrisgil

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