International Women’s Day Panel Event

IWD 2021 online panel event – 5 panellists discuss the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis on working women

It has been a challenging year for everyone, but many have argued that the Covid-19 crisis has had a particular impact on working women

The South Westminster BIDs have invited five panellists to discuss the positive and negative impacts of the pandemic, and lockdowns, on working women to mark this year’s International Women’s Day and the 2021 theme #ChoosetoChallenge.

This year, the South Westminster BIDs have partnered with the charity Rosa to help raise funds for the amazing work they do to support women from all backgrounds across the UK. While the event is free to attend, we are asking attendees to support the charity by making a small donation to their JustGiving page

Rosa is a grant making charity that invests, connects, and champions grassroots women’s organisations working to make the UK a fairer, safer place for women and girls.

All attendees to the event will be entered into a raffle to win prizes very kindly donated by some of the BIDs local businesses. Donations to Rosa are not required to be entered into the prize draw but they would be greatly appreciated.

Event Format:

  • Introduction: Ruth Duston, Chief Executive for The Northbank, Victoria and Victoria Westminster BIDs
  • Chair introduction followed by the panel discussion
  • Panel conclusion and opportunity for Q&A

*During the event, live illustrator Katie Chappell will capture the key points discussed

Register to attend the event

Meet the Panel:

Joy Burnford (Chair)

Joy Burnford is the Founder and Director of My Confidence Matters, and an experienced business leader, entrepreneur, and mentor.  She has over 20 years’ experience, working for a number of corporates and start-ups.

In 2017, Joy set up My Confidence Matters to shine a light on the importance of confidence at work. As a curator of confidence, Joy brings together experts to run leadership, coaching and mentoring programmes and aims to put confidence at the heart of every organisation.  She also pioneers research relating to gender balance, leadership, and confidence at work.

As a leading advocate for progressing gender balance in the workplace, Joy is also a speaker, podcast guest and regular contributor at on the subject of women’s leadership and confidence.

Joy is a mum to two wonderfully different children, aged 7 and 11, and so understands the challenges that many of us face daily!

Nicholas Cheffings

Nicholas is Senior Counsel at Hogan Lovells. He led the real estate disputes team in London for many years, and now takes a project leadership role on real estate transactions, sits as an arbitrator and as a legal advisor to surveyor arbitrators and independent experts. He is also an honorary member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

 He has a strong record of championing diversity, inclusion and equality, including as:

  • Chair of PRIME, a company established to improve access to the legal profession for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and of Making the Leap, a London based charity that works to help young people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed in their chosen career.
  • He is also is a trustee of ISLP-UK as well as the CareTech Foundation, a Committee member of Real Estate Balance and on the Women in Law London (WILL) Advisory Group.
  • He was also a member of the Profit-with-Purpose Working Group for the UK National Advisory Board.

Jessica Chivers


Jessica Chivers is a psychologist, author and CEO of The Talent Keeper Specialists. Jessica and her team work with clients such as BlackRock, ITV and the CIPD to support valued and talented employees returning from maternity leave, Shared Parental Leave, maternity, adoption, sick leave and sabbatical.

  • Her book “Mothers Work! How to Get a Grip on Guilt and Make a Smooth Return to Work” has been dubbed ‘THE book employers should be giving all their women returners’ by professor Karen Pine and ‘a rich source of valuable advice’ by Mind Gym CEO, Octavius Black.
  • Jessica is the developer of Comeback Community™ a digital employee experience designed to fulfil their mission of keeping everyone, everywhere feeling confident, connected and cared for when they take extended leave from work.
  • Alongside her day job Jessica served as a District Councillor in St Albans 2015-19 where she was delighted to see a successful BID ballot take place.
  • Her new podcast Comeback Coach is out now – @ComebackcommUK on Twitter and Insta.

Lisa Burger

Lisa Burger took on the role of leading the National Theatre alongside Director Rufus Norris in May 2015 and became joint chief executive in March 2019. Lisa’s interest is in widening audience access and she is currently leading a strategic touring project with the goal of increasing theatregoing and participation nationally.

From 2010 to 2015 Lisa led the highly successful NT Future project, the National’s £80 million redevelopment programme for which the NT was named client of the year by RIBA. She also led the feasibility study which resulted in the NT Live programme of cinema broadcasts. NT Live has now been seen by 6.5milion audiences worldwide. Lisa joined the National Theatre in 2001 as Finance Director and from 2003 worked closely with former executive and artistic directors Nick Starr and Nick Hytner in their Executive team as Chief Operating Officer. As a Director of National Theatre Productions she has also played a key role in the NT’s commercial productions.

Lisa Burger was previously Deputy Managing Director at the National Gallery Company. From 1987 to 1997, she worked at the Royal Opera House and was Finance Director in the period leading up to the closure for the renovation of the Covent Garden site. Lisa is a Trustee of the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith and Chelsea Arts Club.

Jessica Laditan

Jessica Laditan is the Founder and CEO of Pop Up Africa, an Africa Inspired Pop-Up events company. Jessica’s aim of making African brands more available to a broader audience resulted in the development of experiential pop up events such as, ‘Africa at Spitalfield’s,’ which after its launch in 2013 has seen stall holders take their brand from pop up market stalls to the shelves of Tesco and Selfridges. Other events include the ‘African Food and Drink Takeover’ as part of Africa Utopia at the Southbank Centre, which consists of a market full of stalls selling food from across the African continent. Pop Up Africa work to offer support to creative entrepreneurs in the form of highly sought-after space on iconic sites at affordable prices. Adding new dimensions to the space by presenting the best in African &/or African inspired food and retail, to the masses in the most exciting fashion. Pop Up Africa create events aimed at celebrating culture whilst inspiring enterprise.

Prior to forming Pop Up Africa, Jessica’s background is in project management, managing and coordinating a range of youth media initiatives for various youth organisations in partnership with media companies such as Channel 4, BBC, Timeout and ITV.

Jessica is passionate about development in Africa and the growth of its retail and food industries. Jessica is also a mother of three children and has experienced first-hand the recent challenges of balancing homeschooling with her own work.