Aurora Women's Network

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According to the Aurora website:

We concentrate on shattering the impenetratable glass ceiling of organisational culture and in addressing barriers to women-owned businesses. We are a network of over 16,000 corporate and entrepreneurial women, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, HSBC and Globix. It's aim is the economic advancement of women through business and career.

The website also discloses that Aurora is sponsored by BT and that 'Aurora was founded by Australian entrepreneur, Glenda Stone. Glenda has more than seven years experience in working to advance the economic status of women. Having co-founded a number of businesswomen’s networks in Australia, Glenda launched the Aurora Women's Network (formerly the Busygirl Network) on International Women’s Day (8 March 2000) and grew membership to over 2,500 in the first 6 months. Having secured significant interest from blue chip sponsors, the Aurora monthly forums regularly see large numbers of corporate and entrepreneurial women


Advisory Board

Chair, Advisory Board: Glenda Stone M.Ed, B.Ed, Dip. Teach

Glenda founded Aurora (formerly Busygirl) in March 2000 following extensive experience with gender and economics as assistant executive director of the Women's Unit in Queensland Treasury. Previously Glenda worked in London in international investment and trade for Government before managing an e-business agency. Glenda began her career in the education and training sector in lecturing and national policy development. Glenda is 2002 European Women of Achievement Awards. The Network was the 2001 Sunday Times "Best Site" for women entrepreneurs. Glenda is a regular public speaker and spokeswoman to the press on the advancement of women.

Member, Innovation & Strategy: Ed Smith, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Ed is the PwC Board member driving the development of the strategy for, and leading on the modernisation of, the UK firm. His role encompasses board level responsibilities for strategy, PwC’s people, knowledge management, e-business and addressing the factors (culture and process) to create a more innovative organisation. He is also a key member of global teams driving these strategic developments for PwC across the world, and a member of the Global Executive for the Assurance and Business Advisory practice. He works with two major clients, Corus Group and EMAP plc, is a director of European Business Forum, a leading speaker on work life and diversity outside the firm and a member of the leadership teams of Opportunity Now and the Employers for Work/ Life Balance.

Member, Legal & Regulatory: Denise Kingsmill CBE, deputy chairman, Competition Commission

Denise was born in New Zealand and grew up in New South Wales, Australia. After reading Economics and Anthropology at Cambridge she worked in marketing with ICI and the International Wool Secretariat before sitting her Bar and solicitors' examinations. Denise's legal career has specialised in Industrial Relations, Employment Law and Corporate Governance. She is a Non-executive director of Telewest Communications Plc and of Manpower UK Plc and has recently been appointed as non-executive director to the Home Office Group Executive Board. Denise is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales, Cardiff, and Honorary Doctor of Laws of Brunel University and a Trustee of the Design Museum. She recently headed the Independent Review of Women's Pay and Employment reporting to the Secretary of State of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Member, Finance: Sherry Coutu

Sherry founded interactive investor international plc. She founded the company’s operations in Europe, Asia and South Africa, led it through the angel round of investment, two rounds of venture capital, one strategic investment round and a successful IPO on the London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq markets in February 2000. Having led the company for the first four years as CEO she then served as Non-executive chairman over the time of the public flotation up to the sale of the company to AMP in August 2001. Prior to this, Sherry co-founded ISI Emerging Markets, a database company that provides emerging market securities information research to fund managers and Analysts. This company had operations in 22 countries and 350 employees when it was sold to Euromoney PLC in 1998. Sherry teaches part time at the London Business School and also serves as a Non-executive Director to the National Archives (PRO), Jarvis PLC, Student UK, and RM PLC, the market lead supplier of software and computer services to schools and colleges in the UK. Sherry has an MBA from Harvard Business School, a MSc (with distinction) from the London School of Economics and a BA Honours from the University of British Columbia in Canada. Ms Coutu has also been a consultant with Andersen Consulting, and Coopers & Lybrand.

Member, Brand & Reputation: Sally Williams

Sally is managing director of Countrywide Porter Novelli, one of the big 5 PR firms in the UK. Sally started her career in journalism with the Daily Mail and was the head of the Post Office’s communications department for several years and was a member of the Opportunity 2000 government task force that encouraged senior management to increase the number of women in business. Sally joined Countrywide Porter Novelli as a director in 1994 and was promoted to head of business-to-business group in 1996, followed by her appointment to the board of Countrywide Porter Novelli in 1999 and her appointment to Managing Director for Strategic Business Development in 2000. Her role encompasses developing the company’s business strategy and driving growth. s a member of the IOD and listed in Debrett’s, Sally is highly regarded and her counsel is regularly sought after by senior executives on a corporate level. Currently she advises clients such as PwC, Guinness, UDV and the FT group on how to maximise their brands within the (international) economic context.

Member, Industry Relationships: David Lewis

David Lewis is HSBC Bank's Community and Diversity Manager, a role that includes responsibilities for managing many of the bank's sponsorships and partnerships in the education sector and with customer networking organisations. Currently a member of the bank's UK Marketing team, David has over 15 years practical experience in branch and business banking, and has undertaken a wide range of relationship management and lending roles in London and the South East.

Member, Corporate Diversity: Yvonne Thompson

Yvonne is founder and president of the European Federation of Black Women Business Owners and managing director of ASAP Communications Ltd. Yvonne is also the Director of Public Relations and Marketing for Choice FM, a member of the Women's Committee for the Commission for Racial Equality, vice president of the Small Business Bureau and deputy chair of `Women into Business' since 1998. Yvonne was on the Ethnic Minority Task Force for Business Links London from 1996-1997. and won the Voice Newspaper Business Person of the Year 1998 award. She has been a Board member of Britain in Europe since 1999 and has been on the Advisory Boards of Central London Partnership, Business Link for London, and the Government Information Unit. Yvonne is currently studying an MBA at Greenwich University.

Member, Gender Studies: Dr Sam Hardy

Sam has a Phd on 'Performance Management and Organisational Control in the Public Sector'. She co-authored 'Working Minds' and has produced research for the Public Services Productivity Panel, Health and Development Agency and the Mental Health Foundation. Her most recent paper, Small Step or Giant Leap looks at women's experience of work, the labour market and gendered organisations, assessing progress towards gender equality.

Member, Mentoring & Management: Valerie Holt

Valerie (ex Managing Director, PSINet UK) has an extremely impressive career history in a number of technology companies and an extensive public profile. Professional mentor to Busygirl's founder, Valerie is now an Interim Manager working in business recovery for technology firms. Valerie Holt has a Master of Administration degree in Natural Sciences with management studies in Economics and Education from Trinity College in Dublin. Valerie has worked at the University of Zambia. In 1989, Valerie joined hi-tech company Acorn, then joined BT following a number of consultancy assignments, then headed PSINet U.K. Limited. Valerie helped build Unipalm Pipex and was active in the Cambridge hi-tech community where she undertook a number of company reorganisations and management projects. Before joining the tech sector Valerie managed corporate and financial teams at Burson-Marsteller Public Relations in London advising U.K. and European corporations on acquisitions and US

Member, Youth & Globilisation: Gretchen Effgen

Before coming to London Business School, Gretchen worked as an International Trade and Foreign Policy Advisor to the People's Republic of China and Hong Kong. In this capacity, Gretchen acted as the liaison between the US and Chinese governments during the critical time of securing permanent normal trade relations for China, paving the way for the accession to the World Trade Organisation. At London Business School, Gretchen has joined the Women In Business Executive Team and will chair the annual Women in Business Conference on 18 October 2002.