Inspiring speakers

A leading cast of over 30 speakers spanning top fashion & beauty retail, publishing, brands, charities, government and campaigners.

Meaghan Ramsey, Partner, Brunswick Group
Meaghan Ramsey helps businesses and brands to shape their operations and organisations in a way that delivers both positive social change and business growth. She has recently joined the Brunswick Group as a Partner in their Business in Society Practice. With her origins in nutritional science, Meaghan has worked across FMCG, health, as well as food and beverage sectors, and consulted to pharmaceutical, media, agricultural, tech start-ups, charities and non-government organisations. Prior to joining Brunswick, she was the Global Director of the Dove Self-Esteem Project at Unilever in London. In her role she developed global education programs and mass-media campaigns that encouraged the participation of millions of young girls and women around the world to improve individual confidence. Her recent TED talk and speech at the UN’s 59th Commission on the Status of Women helped highlight the importance of this particular work and the urgent need to address it. Meaghan speaks regularly on the role business can, and must play in creating a sustainable, positive future.

Caroline Dinenage, Minister of Women and Equalities, UK  
Caroline was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Gosport in 2010 general election. She was re-elected with an increased majority in 2015. In July 2014, she was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Minister for Women and EqualitiesNicky Morgan. In May 2015, Dinenage was appointed to the dual roles of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice and Minister for Women and Equalities at the Department for Education. In July 2016, Caroline was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women, Equalities and Early Years at the Department for Education.

Nishma Robb, Head of Marketing and Chair of Women, Google
Nishma is the leader of marketing for Google and YouTube’s advertising products in the UK,  connecting the magic of our innovative marketing solutions to businesses. Passionate about the empowerment of women, Nishma is also the Chair of Women@Google in the UK (a group originally founded by Sheryl Sandberg). She is on a mission to create an inclusive culture at Google, and to inspire girls everywhere with opportunities for future careers in technology. Nishma is a passionate leader, a champion for diversity in business, and a regular keynote speaker. She is proud to have been listed in The Hospital Club's prestigious h100 2016 list as one of the top 100 most influential and innovative people in the UK’s creative industry, and is recognised as one of the top 10 women in B2B marketing. However, her greatest achievement is being a mother to her twins (followed closely by an impressive collection of shoes!).


Ed Watson, Global Comms N Brown, Ex-PR Director, Debenhams
Ed is one of the countries leading communication directors, having worked for Asda, George, Debenhams and more recently N Brown. Diversity has been at the centre of what he has done for many years and was one of the first people to ban retouching, introduce size 16 mannequins and use people with disabilities in marketing campaigns to name just a few of the initiatives.



Caryn Franklin, MBE, Fashion Commentator
Former Fashion Editor and Co-editor of i-D Magazine and BBC Broadcaster, Caryn Franklin has explored the politics of image and self-esteem extensively in 35 years of  fashion practice in editorial, commercial, educational and activist positions. She holds a variety of academic fellowships as well as a visiting Professorship for Diversity at Kingston University. She is also Director of Education at Clothes Show Live . Her projects have involved refugees in battle zones, workers in free-trade-zone slums, mental health experts, MP's and Gov. Ministers as well as international design names and the fashion industry’s innovators. She presented prime-time TV for many years throughout the 80s and 90s, has written for magazines, newspapers and produced 4 books, authored TV documentaries and co-created groundbreaking campaigns. Co-chair of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer since 1996 and Co-founder and former Director of the award-winning All Walks Beyond the Catwalk 2009 – 2015, her drive to empower women and men by promoting confidence, knowledge, sustainable body and beauty ideals and scientific findings to support change, continues within her MSc study of Applied Psychology at the London College of Fashion and her new position within i-D Online as editor of ‘Cool Psychology.’

Ben Akers, Creative Director & Founder, Made With +
In over 18 years in the advertising industry he has worked at some of the world’s most famous agencies including Mother, HHCL, BBH and Droga5. In 2011 he joined Republic of Everyone and began to use his evil powers for good.  After 6 years in Sydney he returned back to the UK to Write and Direct a documentary about Slowing Down Fast Fashion presented by Alex James.  He’s won over 50 international awards including Lions and Pencils at all the major award shows. His work includes getting Vanilla Ice to say “Sorry” for Virgin mobile. Setting an (unofficial) tweeting World Record for V Australia. As well as taking a Hot Potato van around Australia, to change Aussies opinion of Asylum Seekers for the ASRC as well as creating the social media campaign #SmearForSmear.  Ben has been named in Australian Creative's "2013 Power Top 20"  started a football charity and is on numerous charity advisory boards.

Fernando Desouches, Global Brand Director, Axe, Unilever
Having started his career as an Economist, Fernando made the switch to Unilever in 1999 where he joined as an Economic Advisor to the Board. He later became the Brand Building Manager on Suave Master brand and then Axe, before leaving Argentina to help lead the Axe/Lynx team in Europe and later in Dove and Dove Men. His latest challenge was to lead the repositioning of the brand and in the launch of "Find Your Magic". Interested in how the world continues to develop, Fernando is optimistic about the future. He feels he has a role to play in shaping society in years to come, and is confident it will become a better place.


Tanya Joseph, Director Business Partnerships, Sport for England
Tanya joined Sport England in January 2012 where as Director of Business Partnerships she is responsible for corporate affairs, commercial relationships and campaigns, including This Girl Can. She has spent her entire professional life in communications, starting her career as a journalist before becoming a press secretary initially to a Cabinet minister and then the Prime Minister, a role she held for over four years.In 2003 she left the Civil Service to join the world of consultancy. Over the years she provided strategic counsel to a wide range of clients including Tesco, Mars, Heinz, the Royal Mint, De Beers and Sir Robert McAlpine.She was recently named as Marketing Week’s Marketer of the Year and as one of AdAge’s Women to Watch. Tanya is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts; vice-chair of the Fawcett Society, a charity campaigning for gender equality in the UK; and a Trustee of the Thomson Foundation, the world’s longest established international media development organisation.

Stacie Shelton, Global Head of Education and Advocacy, the Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP)
Stacie Shelton is the Global Head of Education and Advocacy for the Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP), a programme designed to develop and increase body confidence and self-esteem in young people around the world. She is driven by a desire to help empower the next generation of girls and women to reach their full potential in life. Stacie has more than 17 years of experience in public health research, programme development and project management. She has helped private companies, government agencies and NGOs around the world develop meaningful behaviour change and public education programmes on issues ranging from HIV, mental health, physical activity promotion, and adolescent health. Before joining the Dove Self-Esteem Project in January, Stacie was Global Social Mission Program Manager on the Global Brand team for Unilever’s Lifebuoy soap, helping the brand promote Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Behaviour Change among communities in Asian, African and Latin American markets. She was recently recognised for her work on Lifebuoy with an Behaviour Change Communication award for their work in developing Trachoma prevention campaigns for use in Africa in partnership with Sightsavers and the International Coalition for Trachoma Control (ICTC) from the International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ISNTD).  


Rachel Pashley, Global Board Planning Director, J.Walter Thomson
Rachel has 8 year experience working client side (Reckitts, McVities, Allied Domecq) and over 14 years agency side working across automotive, pharma, FMCG and drinks. Increasingly, she chose to specialise in female insight.  Rachel is the original creator of our global initiative called Female TribesTM. A living breathing global study into thousands of women that looks at their attitudes to everything from religion, race, sex and marriage to careers, ambition and money.  She was also critical in creating Her Story: The Female Revolution. A documentary series which aired on BBC World News that highlights the idea of female capital (the value that women bring to the world as women) and tells the stories of the most influential women on the planet, from Hilary Clinton, Michelle Bachelet, to Geena Davis and Christine Lagarde.  She is a regular commentator on these issues recently appearing on London Live and LBC and writing for The Independent. (Her article on Not Moms was shared over 3,000 times). She is also writing a book, which creates a more progressive narrative on women in contemporary culture.

Kate Hardcastle, Founder 'Positive Image Campaign'
Kate Hardcastle is one of the UK’s leading ‘go-to’ business experts for national TV & media. As seen and heard weekly on BBC, ITV, Sky, Channel 4 & as a guest writer for the Guardian & Virgin, Kate has also led the turn around of British branded businesses, as the Founder of Insight with Passion business transformation.  Kate was made Downing Street – Point of Light winner on International Women’s Day with her dedication to many vital campaigns and charities supporting women - an award that she adds to over 26 National & International awards.  She leads and add insight to projects in the UK and Internationally, and has been the Keynote Speaker as over 200 events including The Business Show, World Congress and Arabian Business Conference alongside Bill Clinton, Sting and many more.  Kate’s business -  Insight with Passion, donates an impressive 20% back to good causes – which has been flagged as a case study by Downing Street. Kate is also a proud ambassador for  Women In Sport and many charities including Diana Awards and is founder of Positive Image Month and The Charity Dreamgirls.

Eloise Smith - Executive Creative Director, Mullen Lowe Profero
Eloise joined MullenLowe Profero in February 2014, on the day the agency was acquired by the Lowe network. She’s a hybrid kind of creative director, with a broad range of experience across ATL, digital and integrated agencies. Previously, she was creative director at Havas Worldwide London, running accounts from Citroen to Kraft to Danone Waters. In 2012, her awards across digital, mobile, experiential, social and film boosted Havas to its most creatively awarded year ever. Previous to Havas, Eloise worked at RKCR/ Y&R, St Luke's, AKQA and Work Club. She believes the best ideas come out of a culture of optimism and collaboration, not fear and closed doors. She’s a big fan of creative misfits, working mothers and natural entrepreneurs. 

Hannah Isichei, Head of Marketing and PR, Curvy Kate
As a curvy girl Hannah had a dream…. to create a lingerie range that she would feel happy and comfortable wearing and one that would make her feel proud of her curves. Hannah studied Fashion Marketing at Nottingham Trent University – two years later she developed her lingerie dreams through her final year project: a range of D to K cup bras and briefs called 'Flirty Gertie'.  After University, Hannah was employed by e-tailer, where in 2009 she helped launch a new D plus lingerie range, after seeing a gap in the market for fashionable, fitted D plus bras. The brand was named Curvy Kate and resulted in an overwhelming reaction from retailers and fans, with D to K cup ranges available in over 34 countries and 700 stores worldwide including Debenhams, John Lewis, Figleaves, Simply Yours and hundreds of prestigious independents across the UK. Curvy Kate is also now socially one of the biggest lingerie brands in the world, recording a following of over 170,000. Key campaigns Hannah has spearheaded include the award-winning Star in a Bra campaign and the launch of new boudoir brand Scantilly, which celebrates diversity through #TheNewSexy campaign.

Alexandra Matine, Senior Strategist, 72andSunny Amsterdam
Alexandra is a senior strategist at 72andSunny Amsterdam. She started her career as an international news reporter in London before joining the world of advertising in Paris where she's from. She first was a luxury brand strategist at Publicis and Isobar later moving to head of new business at independent agency La Chose. She has worked on brands like Cartier, L'Oréal, Pernod-Ricard and Bacardi. In her early years she published a research on prisons and terrorism.  At 72andsunny Amsterdam she works on Google, Smirnoff, Lipton and Bugaboo.

Fern Miller, Chief Marketing Officer, International, Digitas LBi
s Chief Marketing Officer, International at DigitasLBi, Fern has overall responsibility for the agency’s new business, marketing and brand strategy in the UK and internationally. Until December 2015, Fern was Chief Strategy Officer, International at DigitasLBi, leading the agency’s planning discipline across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.In her previous role as planning director at creative agency Karmarama, Miller worked for brands including the BBC, and Unilever. She has extensive experience working on campaigns across the banking, FMCG, charity and retail sectors and has also held senior positions at DLKW, JWT and Delaney Fletcher Bozell.Fern holds a degree in English from the University of Oxford. She knits enthusiastically, draws occasionally and collects theatrical costumes nonsensically.


Kelly Knox, Model & Cofounder, Diversity Not Disability
Kelly Knox is a dedicated, passionate advocate for diversity in fashion with the aim to dismiss society’s preconceptions about disability and to change the beauty ideal. She says: “I would like to see disability normalised in fashion.”  Kelly is Co-founder of ‘Diversity Not Disability’ – a new, exciting campaign which launched at the start of the year.

‘Diversity Not Disability’ is the positive celebration of all body types where uniqueness and individuality are embraced, promoting the equal representation of disability models across all platforms of the media – creating positive body image by the choice of models we see in fashion and beauty campaigns, magazines, billboards and on TV.

Sophie Walker, Leader, Women’s Equality Party
Sophie Walker is the leader of the Women’s Equality Party, a new collaborative force in British politics uniting people of all genders, diverse ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, beliefs and experiences in the shared determination to see women enjoy the same rights and opportunities as men so that all can flourish. She worked as an international news agency journalist for nearly twenty years and is an ambassador for the National Autistic Society, campaigning for better support and understanding of autism, particularly in women and girls. Sophie was elected leader of the Women's Equality Party in July 2015, and in January 2016 was voted to represent the party in the London Mayoral election. She garnered one in twenty of the votes cast for Mayor in London on 5 May.


Jo Swinson, Director, Equal Power Consulting and former Business Minister
Jo Swinson is Director of Equal Power Consulting, working to change organisations so that both women and men can thrive, and is Chair of the charity Maternity Action.  A Minister in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills from 2012 to 2015, Jo introduced shared parental leave, extended the right to request flexible working, and secured government support for transparency on the gender pay gap in large organisations.  Jo is currently writing a book on how we can all tackle inequality of power between men and women in society.

Elizabeth Kesses, Author ‘The Ugly Little Girl’
Elizabeth was raised in Greece, in orange groves and sunny freedom, and then came to the UK to finish education, at a girls school.  Her confidence plummeted - bullied for being 'different', she stepped out of the normal path, and focussed on studies and books.   Elizabeth went to Oxford and from there into the corporate world.  But her childhood experiences had left a lasting imprint, and nurtured her creativity.  After an encounter with 'me' as a teen girl at a random cafe Elizabeth was prompted to write a story which is now being turned into a film.   Elizabeth has gone to write other books and screenplays. She champions self-esteem wherever she can, volunteering in clinics for eating disorders and being ambassadors for the Princess Diana anti-bullying campaign, the government's Be Real Campaign and Dove.

Vanessa Sanyauke, Founder and CEO, Girls Talk London
Vanessa Sanyauke is the Founder and CEO of Girls Talk London and a keynote speaker and presenter based in London. Vanessa is the Host and Creator of Girls Talk, an online panel talk show for millennial women that provides inspiration and tips from leading experts on fashion, beauty, careers, business, health and well-being alongside conversation on trending news. The show to date has been watched by over 150,000 people worldwide and in July 2016 won a competition with the Royal Television Society Futures for short form. Vanessa is a regular speaker and chair on leadership, gender and corporate social responsibility.

Nicola Kemp, Trends Editor, Campaign
Nicola Kemp is the Trends Editor of Campaign magazine where she oversees consumer trends and innovation across the creative industries for Campaign and the global quarterly Campaign IQ.  She started her career as a financial journalist before specialising in technology, social trends and marketing. Her work has appeared across titles including WGSN, M&M Global, Reuters, Bloomberg, The Guardian, The Observer, Marketing magazine and Vision.

Ali Hanan, Founder, Creative Equals
Ali Hanan has worked in adland for more than 15 years at some of London’s top digital agencies, with the world’s biggest global brands. Over the years, she noticed how little the industry – and award panels – have changed in terms of female representation. Our research with recruitment agencies revealed how few women make it to CD level, despite starting out in nearly equal numbers. Her hope is that with more female CDs curating the ads women see, we may create a new type of advertising that inspires female consumers, portraying a strong, positive image of women in the media.


L.A. Ronayne, Creative Director, Havas
With time served at Work Club and AKQA, L.A. Ronayne is now a creative director at Havas London. She has worked with folks like WSPA, Jonny Walker, Heineken, adidas, G.H. Mumm and Rimmel London. She currently heads up creative for Solgar and VO5.In 2013, L.A. became a contributing editor of Riposte, a magazine described by PSFK as an "Intelligent magazine for powerful women that challenges Cosmo's feminine ideal". She was named a winner of the Women Of Tomorrow Awards in 2014; an initiative established by the IPA and Campaign in partnership with Facebook to celebrate the industry’s female leaders to watch. And was selected as one of 15 women for the 2016 Cannes Lions See It Be It programme.  Currently a member of the D&AD Board of Trustees, L.A. has judged the D&AD Professional Awards, the Shots Awards, She Says Young & Awesome and the IAPI Junior Cannes Lions Irish representatives; and she was a 2016 forewoman for D&AD New Blood.

Liam Preston, Public Affairs Manager, YMCA England
As Public Affairs Manager for YMCA, Liam is a spokesperson and Head of the Be Real Campaign for body confidence, as well as the secretariat for both the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Body Image and Youth Affairs.  Liam has a wealth of experience in representing and advocating on issues for young people and was Chair of the British Youth Council from 2010 to 2012. His advocacy work stretches across Europe and recently stepped down as an expert advisor on youth policy at the Council of Europe.

Megan Jayne Crabbe, Body Positive Activist and @bodyposipanda Blogger
As someone who's recovered from anorexia and years of self loathing, Megan uses her experience in battling negative body image to encourage her 290,000 Instagram followers to love themselves as they are, ditch diet culture and reclaim their bodies.


Anna Shillinglaw, Founder, Milk Management
Anna is a former model who founded MiLK management in 2011, The MiLK ethos is that no two models are alike and we tailor our approach to suit each individual. MiLK agents thrive on nurturing, planning careers and forging relationships with models and clients and MiLK’s flair and appetite for finding new talent is now internationally recognised. In 2013 MiLK launched MiLK Artists which already has a dynamic roster of talent. 

Gemma Jones, Associate Director, Space Doctors
Gemma has spent much of her five years at Space Doctors working closely with global beauty brands to challenge the expected and create possibilities rather than prescribing beauty standards.  With a background in literature and cultural theory she’s applied her fascination with popular culture, identity politics and technology to her work across a range of categories and markets.  Gemma also works as a mentor for The Girls Network, a charity that connects girls from less advantaged communities with professional women. This has given her a fresh and motivating perspective on how culture effects young women today.

Grace Flavin, Project Executive, Space Doctors
Grace joined the Space Doctors team in early 2015 after studying Visual Culture at the University of Brighton. Whilst studying, Grace undertook research into the contradicting ideologies of femininity in advertising. Since then, Grace has enjoyed working with many global beauty, cosmetics and health brands by helping them to build recognition and relevancy within a diverse and ever changing cultural context.

Nicky Hutchinson, Co-Director, Not Just Behaviour
Nicky Hutchinson Cert.Ed, B.Ed, Med. is formerly a primary school teacher and counsellor. She now runs an independent education consultancy, Not Just Behaviour working nationally with schools, universities, child professionals and parents on promoting children’s healthy body image and other aspects of children’s behaviour, emotional health and wellbeing. Nicky passionately believes in the importance of promoting children’s body confidence and self- esteem. She is conscious of the many issues that affect our children’s mental health and has a particular interest in how we can build their resilience to the pressures of our modern society. She  advises the government on children’s body image and has received  an all- parliamentary award for her work  in body image education. Nicky's co-authored ‘Body Image in the Primary School’ (Routledge pub. 2011) with over 50 evidence based lesson plans and ideas that are  practical, fun, and easy to follow.  Praised by Ofsted & recommended by the PSHE association. Nicky also wrote ‘Intervening Early’, a book for early years practitioners on young children’s behaviour. She appears regularly in the media speaking about children’s body image and mental health.

Chris Calland, Co-Director, Not Just Behaviour
Chris Calland B.A., P.G.C.E. , M.A. , has worked abroad as an English teacher and as a secondary school teacher - with 20 yrs experience as a specialist behaviour and mental health adviser for Bristol education authority working with schools and families. Now Co-Director at Not Just Behaviour, she works nationally with schools, universities, child professionals and parents on promoting children’s healthy body image and other aspects of children’s behaviour, emotional health and wellbeing. Chris passionately believes in the importance of promoting children’s body confidence and self- esteem. She is conscious of the many issues that affect our children’s mental health and has a particular interest in how we can build their resilience to the pressures of our modern society.  Chris advises the government on children’s body image and has received  an all- parliamentary award for her work  in body image education.Chris believes that all schools should teach body image from an early age. She co- authored ‘Body Image in the Primary School’ (Routledge pub. 2011) with 50 evidence based lesson plans and ideas that are  practical, fun, and easy to follow.  Praised by Ofsted &recommended by the PSHE association. Chris is now working on 2 new books and appears regularly in the media speaking about children’s body image and mental health.

Martin Finn, Managing Director, EdComs
EdComs is the UK’s largest communications and marketing agency specialising in education. They help businesses and other organisations understand how partnerships with education can inform, inspire and engage children, young people and educational communities. Martin is one of the founder members. His background is in programme development and client management. He has managed the development and delivery of programmes and campaigns with numerous clients including GSK, the Department for Education, Dove, E.ON, RBS, the RAF, Google, EDF Energy, Wrigley, and the NSPCC. He has been a key driver in developing and growing the company over the last 21 years, including its expansion into new areas of specialisation such as Consultancy, Marketing and Film. He has frequently represented EdComs on different platforms in the debate about the role of commercial and non-educational organisations in schools. He is a Governor of Dog Kennel Hill Primary School in South London, which all of his four children have attended. He was previously Chair of Governors for six years.    

Dr Amy Slater, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England, Bristol 
Dr Amy Slater is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England, Bristol.  Her research interests lie in the area of body image, specifically body image in adolescents and children.  Her research particularly focuses on the role of the Internet and social networking sites in the body image of adolescent and pre-adolescent girls.  A second stream of research focuses on the premature sexualisation of girls, examining the influence of appearance-focused toys and games on the development of body image and career aspirations of young girls. Amy completed a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Flinders University in South Australia.  She is also a registered psychologist experienced with working with children and adolescents in both community and hospital settings. 

Dr. Beth T.  Bell, Senior lecturer, Developmental Psychology, York St John University 
Dr. Beth T.  Bell is a Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology at York St John University. She completed her DPhil at the University of Sussex in 2011  (Thesis title: Understanding Adolescent Girls’ Vulnerability to The Mass Media’s Negative Impact on Body Image & Restrained Eating) before completing two post-doctoral posts developing interventions for youths at Bangor University and Northumbria University. Her current research examines the role of social media image-sharing practices in body image concerns and health behaviour. She also leads the Healthy Bodies project, which aims to promote positive body image and physical activity among adolescent girls in York schools.

Holli Rubin, Psychotherapist and Body Image Specialist
Holli has had a diverse career beginning with studying psychology at McGill University and working with the transgender population at the Montreal General hospital to then shifting gears as she studied Fashion Buying and Merchandising at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Holli then worked as an assistant and  Buyer at Bergdorf Goodman. Holli's  Desire to marry her interest in Fashion and Psychology led her to New York University where she completed her Masters degree focusing on how  physical appearance and change impact on self esteem.Working on a project call "shop well with you" simultaneously, she crystalised this passion through helping set up a charity for cancer patients to find appropriate clothing to help their specific physical ailments addressing underlying issues of self esteem. This combination of the outer physical and inner emotional worlds comes through in the creative ways Holli continues to work with clients. As an active member of endangered Bodies/ AnyBody UK, spearheaded by Susie Orbach, Holli is deeply involved with education around Body image. These initiatives raise awareness and provide a platform for girls to begin to understand their relationship with their own bodies and to ultimately live comfortably in them. Holli has been involved in helping change policy as part of The APPG on Body Image and is an original member of The Be Real Campaign. In addition, she continues to engage Government in the idea that early intervention is essential in order for body image problems to cease endangering the lives of boys and girls.

Holli regularly consults businesses and major corporations by contributing to staff training and brand development and marketing.