Forthcoming Event

International Women's Day 2021

Monday 08/03/2021

Event Time: 14:00 - 15:30

Event Theme: Business Women In Surrey

Price: Member Rate: £20.00 +VAT | Non Member Rate: £30.00 +VAT |

Event Location:


International Women's Day 2021
International Women's Day is celebrated annually on 8 March. This day gives an opportunity to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. IWD aims to highlight the importance of creating conditions for the elimination of discrimination against women and for their full and equal participation in social development. Usually we would host a lunch, with a panel of fabulous speakers. This year things are a little different, but we aim to bring you a wonderful virtual event.

Everyone is welcome to attend this event to celebrate not only this year’s theme, but also celebrate the fabulous women of lockdown. We will be having a wonderful range of speakers speaking about their experiences of gender equality in the education sector, and what more can be done.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Gender Equality in Education’.
A challenged world is an alert world.
Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. We can choose to challenge and call out gender stereotypes, discrimination and bias. We choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can create an inclusive and more gender-equal world. From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to change.
Afternoon Tea
To make this event extra special, we will be having a virtual afternoon, with a box of treats delivered directly to you on the day of the event, including scones, cream and jam, courtesy of Elizabeth's Home Cooking. Elizabeth's Home Cooking is a bespoke caterers, bringing people together through the love of food. If you would like a box delivered, please include your address when booking, or email

14:00: Event starts and introductions
14:10: Event sponsor invited to speak
14:15: Our first speaker: Yejide Akiode, CEO of Eduspace Limited
14:30: Our Second speaker: Erika Brodnock, Founder of Karisma Kidz
14:45: Split into break-out rooms for networking
15:00: Our third speaker: Raj Kumari-Byford, Director of The Food Share and 1TCA
15:15: Frances Rutter, CEO of Nescot College
15:30: Q&A Session
16:00: Close
Proudly sponsored by Surrey Business School

At Surrey Business School, we encourage our students to be entrepreneurial and innovative, providing opportunities to engage with real-world business problems both in our programmes and in our Professional Training placements. And, thanks to our location in one of the UK’s most dynamic regional economies, we make extensive use of guest speakers from business and industry.

Surrey Business School is home to exceptional academics, many of whom have considerable direct business experience and whose own internationally excellent research is embedded into our programmes. Staff publish their research in the top business journals, including the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Management, and the Academy of Management Journal. They also contribute expert comment through the national press and media, and work with some of the world’s most innovative companies to improve business performance.

Our Speakers

Yejide Akiode
Yejide Akiode is an education enthusiast, a personal development advocate and a huge supporter of social mobility. She currently serves as the CEO and Chief Cheerleader of I-excel Consulting – an education consulting outfit based in Nigeria, established in 2010 and Eduspace Limited based in the UK. Her areas of expertise are in Business Development, International Student Recruitment, Education Consulting & Advisory Services, Youth Training Programme design and delivery.

Besides Yejide's wealth of experience in running the entire operations in her companies, she holds an MBA degree (with a Distinction) from Surrey Business School, University of Surrey. Yejide is also highly achievement-oriented in both her professional and personal live as she has authored several social mobility enhancing books for school-age pupils, some of which are used by primary and secondary schools in Lagos, Nigeria as part of their extra-curriculum textbooks. She has also won several awards acknowledging her work in raising future leaders.

Erika Brodnock
Erika Brodnock is an award-winning entrepreneur (including Female Entrepreneur of the Year and Intel's Global Business Challenge), philanthropist, life coach, Research Fellow at King's College London, and PhD candidate at The London School of Economics. Through her work at the intersection of technology, wellbeing and product development, Erika has built products and services in the ed-tech, parenting, and how financial markets that disrupts and spearhead a path out of outdated systems.

Educated at top UK institutions, Erika is an entrepreneurial and driven MBA with 12 years coaching, wellbeing and inclusion experience, currently researching how artificial intelligence can be used as a force for good in democratising access to venture funding for diverse entrepreneurs. Her passion has always been to contribute positively to the growth and success of individuals, organisations and society Erika is Sky News' resident parenting expert, founder of software companies Karisma Kidz and Kami' a Co-Founder at Extend Ventures CIC, a Non-Executive Director of The Good Play Guide, and advisor to several start-ups.

Raj Kumari-Byford
Born in the West Midlands to first generation parents from Punjab, India, Raj was the first female in the family to be educated at a tertiary level. Raj built a career in Financial Services for 18 years before embarking on having a family. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Raj has recently adopted her baby daughter from Ethiopia and had been given the all clear from Breast Cancer. With the onset of the pandemic, Raj's response was to help 20 local vulnerable families and within 2 weeks, her passion and efforts contributed to the provision of over one million meals across the UK, Ethiopia, Venezuela, Kenya and India.

Working with various charities on food issues it became evident that some did not have sustainable income streams. Being a creative thinker and given the pandemic situation, Raj decided to help charities to supplement income whilst providing food and protective solutions. She went to set up a collaboration with British Manufacturers to produce the UK's first zero waste protective face coverings made from ethically sourced recycled plastic changed with the latest textile technology HeiQ Viroblock proven effective against the virus. All profits are being used to help charities across the UK and 4 international charities. Raj set up a community company called 1TcA, One Thought Changes All, and is now a brand partner with HeiQ which has developed the HeiQ Viroblock Textile Technology. 1TcA is run by Raj and Mrs Satwinder Kalsi. During 2021, 1TcA is donating 20,000 face coverings to frontline workers delivering food, care and services to the vulnerable in our communities.