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International Women's Day 2013


On Thursday 7th March, Angela Mortimer and it's specialist divisions held their 5th International Women's Day lunch at the Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square.

Hosted by Angela Mortimer, over 200 senior businesswomen and decision makers attended the event to hear the inspirational words from our guest speakers.

Angela Mortimer discussed how to succeed we have to stay agile on our feet, a trait that is important within Angela Mortimer plc., and is something that each of the speakers can relate to. She then invited each of our guest speakers to discuss times in their lives when they have had to change their directions.

The speakers

  • Felicity Green OBE, Former Director of the Mirror

Introduced by Angela Mortimer as the person who kicked open the door through which other women have begun to form their careers. Felicity was able to be frank in her speech because, at 86 years old, she has outlived most of the people that used to cause her trouble!
Reflecting back on her career with the Mirror Group she said that just ‘got on with the job as best she could and worked very hard’. When she was working, as Fashion Editor and then Director at the Mirror, their readership numbered around five million men and women, a figure that reflects the great amount of influence Felicity had at that time.


She discussed how she looks back over her career, mentioning that she has a visual memory, a trait she finds ‘sometimes very useful, sometimes very disconcerting’. Regaling the audience with some entertaining anecdotes, these included the day she was told by her boss that she was to be made a Director. Following her meeting, though the promotion still had not been formalised, she was given a cheque for authorisation by the Finance Manager for £3 million. Felicity placed this amount in stark contrast to later that week when she was arguing with a photographer over a bill for £70.

A piece of advice Felicity mentioned that she finds most useful is from her former Editor, he said that: ‘If you can’t be brilliant, be reliable’, reliability being an important and sometimes over-looked trait.

  • Meg Lustman, Former MD of Warehouse

Meg Lustman covered the area of personal choices and what she considered to be important in life. She looked back to a time when she and her husband decided to try and start a family, which they initially struggled with. She recalled two moments that made her evaluate her life. Firstly, her father asked if she liked her house. Surprised she replied, ‘yes’, and he pointed out that she had done little to decorate it, add painting and lampshades, and otherwise turn it from a house into a home. Secondly, some friends that were visiting commented on the state of her fridge which, although full, was full of little except champagne and eggs!

These two instances made her realise that though she and her husband were talking about being ready for a family, she hadn’t prepared her home and life for children. She decided to discuss with work that she wished to take a short sabbatical and alter her job so that, upon her return, she would be able to have a better work and life balance.

Towards the end of her speech, Meg mentioned that during her sabbaticals she would be taking part in a tandem skydive on behalf of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and hoped to raise £20,000 for them.

  • Natasha Kaplinsky, TV Broadcaster

Natasha praised the atmosphere of the event, contrasting the attendees at the International Women’s Day lunch with the last time she was in that room at the Marriott Hotel – for the Concrete Bridge Awards.

She discussed the responsibility that she felt in her job to the people she was reporting to and dealt with the subject of combining motherhood and being a celebrity, including the negative experiences she has had dealing with the paparazzi.

Throughout her career she has interviewed many high profile people and celebrities but she said that the people that she finds most interesting to meet are ordinary people with extraordinary stories. She thanked Angela Mortimer plc. for holding the event in support of Save the Children, a charity that she is Ambassador for and is so involved in that, as she commented, they keep joking with her that she should be on the payroll.

  • Ros Taylor, MD of Ros Taylor Group

Professor Ros Taylor gave an extraordinarily entertaining presentation filled with anecdotes about changes she had made in her life. Previously Ros had been very involved in operatic singing, including performing in Edinburgh while at university.

She recalled an occasion when a girl who was part of an act with her turned up to a performance. This girl had attended few rehearsals and Ros along with her friends felt sure that she would just stand there on stage, sing but be unable to interact with them. Well she did just stand onstage and sing, and, to use Ros’s phrase, she was ‘fabulous’!

She realised that though she was very good, she would never be fabulous as this girl was and so decided that, rather than pursue singing professionally, she would focus upon her degree – psychology.

Now a very successful business women, Ros has founded Ros Taylor Group and written books including ‘Creativity at Work’. She donated a copy of this book to the raffle on the day, and sold signed copies at the start of the event – kindly donating a £1 from each book sold to Save the Children.

The raffle

This year, Angela Mortimer celebrated IWD in conjunction with the charity, Save the Children, which gives aid to children in over 120 countries.

A raffle held during the lunch, filled with prizes donated by clients, raised over £3,300 with all proceeds going directly to Save the Children.

This year prizes included an Anya Hindmarch Clutch Bag, a stay in a 5* hotel, make-up, vouchers for Selfridges, wine and a chocolate experience. To see a full list of prizes please click here.

Angela Mortimer plc. would like to thank everyone who attended for making the day so enjoyable, with a special thanks to the speakers and raffle prize donors.

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