8th March 2022 

"Chasing dreams, driving your ambition and achieving endless possibilities."

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The Empower Conference is the Leeds Women in Leadership Society's annual conference that celebrates International Women's Day. 


The conference aims to break down the invisible barriers that prevent equitable workplace distributions and show that anyone can be a leader by bringing together students, the community and speakers from all backgrounds to emphasise the importance of diversity in the workplace. 


In the past, the event has attracted over 300 attendees who participated in panel discussions, workshops and insight presentations. Leaders from sectors, including but not limited to business, finance, law and public services, came together to inspire students and others in their careers. 


This year, we will also be on focusing on the healthy relationship between welfare and wellbeing in the workplace through finding our inner peace.


Join us on a journey to becoming visionary, strong and great leaders by booking tickets now. 

New For This Year's  Conference

At the Empower Conference 2022, we will not only have panel discussions and talks from leading industry professionals but also activities to empower our attendees through movement and meditation. This will include dance classes and mindfulness yoga. We recognise the need for students and others to care for their physical and mental health, alongside their studies and career pursuits, so that they can chase dreams, drive their ambition and achieve endless possibilities. Don't forget to bring your dancing shoes! 

Companies Attending The Conference
Among the many companies attending the conference will be the WILS sponsors: EY, Deutsche Bank, Clyde & Co, Bank of America, Accenture and Mars Wrigley. We are very excited to announce that Amazon, Reed Smith, Dentons and Charlton Morris will also be attending. Stay tuned for more! 


"Chasing dreams, driving your ambition and achieving endless possibilities."


11.30PM - 12.30PM

11.30PM - 12.30PM

3PM - 4PM

3PM - 4PM

Conference Seating

Pyramid Theatre

Events from 10am to 11pm

Keynote Speaker (Sarah Hex) Speech


Leadership Coach Talk: Feminine power and leadership

Changing Industries: You are enough

#LeadinLeeds: Resilience within activism

Women in Literature Event

Entrepreneurship Panel Discussion & Q+A

Evening Sponsor Networking

Social & Celebration

10AM - 11PM

3PM - 4PM

4.15PM -

8PM - 9PM

6PM - 7PM

11.30PM -

1.30PM -

9PM - 11PM

Yoga Mats


Events from 10am to 11pm

Learning your behavioural style in the workplace: a workshop with EY


Enhancing Employability Session = what is the best way to enhance female employability?

Mindfulness Yoga

Burnout: Bouncing back & strategies for managing stress, workload & resilience

Speed Mating

Sister to Sister Open Conversation Session

Leadership for a sustainable future talk: leading the movement

Dance Class

11.30PM -

1.30PM -

2.45pm -

4.15pm -

5.30pm - 6pm

6pm -

7pm - 7.30pm

8pm - 9pm



Sarah Hex

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Jo Oogarah

Jo is a specialist women’s Career Empowerment Coach and consultant. She's also a qualified lawyer and qualified career coach (PGDip Careers Guidance, Reading University), of 16 years, having worked for many years at the University of Law and latterly as a self-employed coach.

Jo is also a certified women’s coach with One of Many, an organisation specialising in developing female leaders and helping them thrive in all areas of their lives. 

She is passionate about keeping women supported and thriving in their chosen careers. Her focus is on enabling talented professional women flourish and develop their full potential through the work that they do. 

She believes that women who have worked so hard to carve out meaningful careers should continue to receive the support they need to stay there and progress to the level they are capable of.

She believes that women who have worked so hard to carve out meaningful careers should continue to receive the support they need to stay there and progress to the level they are capable of.


Conference Event: Feminine power and leadership

Professor Anne Tallontire

Anne is a Professor of Sustainability and Business in the School of Earth and Environment’s Sustainability Research Institute and play an institutional role at the University of Leeds as the Pro-Dean for Student Education in the Faculty of Environment.

As a researcher, Anne has examined supply chain relationships and impacts, especially on workers and small farmers, sustainability standards, such as fair trade, including from a gender perspective. More recently she has been interested in how partnerships are developed between institutions to promote sustainable development.

At Leeds, she's been leading our work on student welcome and induction, partnership and will shortly be starting a Fellowship on Sustainable Curriculum.

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Conference Event: Leadership for a Sustainable Future: Leading the Movement

Charlotte Lunn

Charlotte is a published poet and bookseller living with chronic illness. After completing her creative writing degree, she became the events co-ordinator at Scarthin Books and co-hosts Rebel Riot Poetry, online.

She is a guest poetry facilitator with Derbyshire Writing School and also offers editing and mentoring services.

Charlotte’s debut poetry collection ‘Metamorphosis’ was published in May 2021 with Verve Poetry Press and she is currently working on her second.


Conference Event: Women in Literature 

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Abi Carew

Abi (Abibatu) is a women's empowerment enthusiast and Career and Lifestyle content creator on Youtube and Tiktok. Her platform is used to inspire and mentor budding young professionals wanting to enter the world of Banking and Finance. Through sharing her personal and professional hardships and how she overcame them.

Chairing and Founding the Women in Finance society at the University of Leicester and securing thousands of pounds worth of sponsorship from a Big 4 accountancy firm, KPMG, Abi developed a hub for like-minded women to come together and pursue their dream careers. A recent Business and Economics graduate, Abi is now working at one of the world’s largest Asset Management firms, Vanguard. Ever since Abi graduated, she has helped hundreds of undergraduates attain internships and graduate roles. A strong figurehead for those who despite facing difficulties, can overcome them and thrive.

Conference Event: Changing Industries: You Are Enough

Tanya Marwaha

Tanya is a university student who decided to pioneer youth mental health awareness during the pandemic from her bedroom. From a young age, Tanya struggled with her mental health as a result of developing long-term health conditions. Navigating mental health support as a young female in the South Asian community was a challenge due to the stigma and superstitions attached to mental health. In March 2021, despite receiving no funding or formal support, Tanya set up a youth-led non-profit organisation Championing Youth Minds. Championing Youth Minds has been providing free online resources, workshops and a safe space to over 400 young people across the UK and internationally. This summer Tanya launched a free 10 week virtual workshop program, open to all young people to both attend and host, to educate about mental wellbeing strategies. Championing Youth Minds aims to bridge the gaps in our education system surrounding mental health education and shine a light on the topics that affect us young people today.

Conference Event: Burnout: Bouncing Back & Strategies for Managing Stress, Workload & Resilience

Viktorija Juhart

Viktorija has designed and instructed mindful yoga and yin-yoga classes since 2017 in Munich, Germany. Her goal is to create a safe environment in which students develop their body and mind awareness. She provides students with knowledge of human anatomy, neurophysiology and the impact of different postures and breathing techniques on the body and mind.

Since 2019, she has worked at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich, instructing mindfulness and meditation programs for university staff and chemistry students.

She says: "Influenced by my teachers, environment and science, I teach in a way that provokes old thinking patterns, inviting the student to experience their body and mind. I enjoy creating the space where participants can feel authentic, valuable and connected. My goal is to have the students leaving each class refreshed and renewed."

Conference Event: Mindfulness Yoga

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Kadijah Ibrahim

Khadijah was born in Leeds of Jamaican parentage and educated at the University of Leeds. She is a literary activist, theatre maker and published writer, who combines’ inter-disciplinary art forms to re-imagine poetry as performance theatre. Hailed as one of Yorkshire’s most prolific poet by the BBC, her work appears in university journals and poetry anthologies on BBC radio 3 and BBC radio 4.  Her collection 'Another Crossing' was published by Peepal Tree Press 2014. In 2010 she was writer in residence for El Gouna writes, Egypt.  In 2017 and 2019 she was shortlisted for the Jerwood Compton poetry Fellowship. In 2018 she was shortlisted for the Sue Rider ‘Yorkshire Woman of the Year’ for her contribution to the arts. She is the founder of Leeds Young Authors, and executive producer of the award-winning documentary ‘We Are Poets’. In 2017 she was creative associate for the production Ode to Leeds at the Leeds Playhouse. Khadijah is an associate artist with the Geraldine Connor foundation ‘GCF’ and co-coordinator for inscribe readers writer’s development program for Peepal Tree Press.


Conference Event: Women in Literature

Dr Pablo Carames-Mendez

Pablo is a Post Doctoral Research Fellow in the School of Chemistry. While undertaking his PhD studies, his ‘stress-relieve’ was teaching dance classes and sweating it all out. He had the opportunity to evolve as an instructor coach for Les Mills at The Edge.

On a personal note he says ‘Since I was a child I’ve always loved to see people happy, I would come up with funny ideas, participate or lead fitness events, anything to make people forget what they are going through and just have fun and exercise at the same time - it’s all about those endorphins!

Pablo joined his current team from the Wright group at Leeds University where he was researching methods to map the redox proteome and before that from the McGowan group at Leeds where he was awarded a PhD researching the identification of ruthenium complexes as medicinal therapeutic agents.


Conference Event: Dance Class

Sophie Sparham

Sophie Sparham is a poet and writer from Derby. She has written commissions for BBC Radio 4, The V&A and The People's History Museum. She co-hosts the night Word Wise which won best spoken word night at the 2019 Saboteur Awards. Her latest collection 'The Man Who Ate 50,000 Weetabix' came out in April via Verve Poetry Press.


Sophie's work has been published in Orbis, Under the Radar and The Morning Star. Her poem Sunrise Over Aldi won third place in the 2020 Charles Causley International Poetry Competition.


Conference Event: Women in Literature

Plus many more still to be announced!

Women Holding Hands


 To be announced

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