Wai Foong Ng

Wai Foong Ng | Matchable

Wai Foong Ng

I was born in London and spent my formative years in French schools in London and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

After graduating from Cambridge in 2005 with a double degree in Law with French Law I joined PricewaterhouseCoopers as a graduate where I spent 13 years specialising in tax structuring for real estate and private equity funds. In my most recent role, I spent 8 months as Implementation Lead on the roll-out of Salesforce across PwC's tax practice, helping to influence over 4,000 people to adopt this digital change.

In 2014, I started a blog, Suit & Pie (http://suitandpie.co.uk), documenting my professional journey and interviewing inspiring leaders and entrepreneurs. The blog accumulated over 20,000 reads in its first year and landed me a gig as a Judge at the Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards (with WATC founder, Vanessa Vallely!).

As my network grew, I was drawn towards startups and the drive and tenacity of their founders. In 2016, I co-founded Suits & Startups (http://suitsandstartups.com), a website and community bringing together City professionals and entrepreneurs to share their stories, exchange ideas and innovate outside of their normal networks.

Most recently I have left PwC to become the founder of Matchable (http://wearematchable.com), a platform that matches corporates and their talent with non-profits to work on skilled volunteering projects that will help effect radical change in the social sector. I believe that in the future doing good will be embedded in every company’s DNA and am hoping to help make this happen through Matchable!

Arya Taware

Arya Taware | FutureBricks

Arya Taware

The idea of FutureBricks came to me when I was working for a small housebuilder in London Bridge back in 2013.

Our job was to look for sites and appraise them. We would find a number of good quality sites but the developer was unable to get financing from the banks at the time.

This was largely due to the 2008 financial crisis which has had a ripple effect and impacted housing in the UK in various ways. For example, mainstream banks are refusing to lend to SME housing projects below £5 million.

At the same time, I was fed up with my money sitting in the bank and not earning any interest. So I decided to solve the gap from both sides of the market: If small and medium-sized housebuilders could somehow get access to finance and if people like you and me could simultaneously invest in these fully vetted secured projects from as low as £500, then it’s a win-win solution from both sides and that’s how FutureBricks was born.

Leah Robson

Leah Robson | Your Energy Your Way

Leah Robson

Leah co-owns a social enterprise installing renewable tech on building sites and in homes with an emphasis on giving opportunities to women in construction.

I graduated from the University of Liverpool with a BA in Social Science. Then after a year’s voluntary work in Tanzania teaching IT, I moved to London as a graduate trainee software developer. After taking an MSc in Corporate Governance and Business Ethics and a successful career in IT consulting, I realised I wanted to work in an area I was passionate about – caring for the environment.

I then worked for an installer of solar panels, ground and air source heat pumps for five years. It amazed me how few women I met when working on building sites, so decided to set up my own social enterprise specifically targeting providing training, work experience and apprenticeships to women who want to work in construction.


Holly Rafique

Holly Rafique | #techmums

Holly Rafique

Holly is on a mission to save the world through technology, believing that an understanding of technology is critical to living in the increasingly digital and integrated world.

For children today, digital literacy is as fundamental a skill as reading and writing.

After over a decade as an IT Consultant and developer in Financial Services, Holly took some time out to focus on building Lego and cardboard swords with her two boys, rather than building software systems. Now Holly has rediscovered a life-long curiosity for how things work and is reapplying her skills to new technology challenges and helping others to educate themselves in all things digital.

Holly is currently Head of Digital and Content at #techmums, a non-profit that seeks to empower women, their families and communities through technology. In her role she has overhauled and recreated the #techmums digital skills course to teach Mums, who start with limited tech experience, a range of topics including Blogging, App Design, Web Design, Python Coding and educates them in keeping themselves and their families safe online. Holly has created the physical content, build an online portal to support and enhance learning and created educational videos for an accompanying online course.

Holly has re-trained extensively in diverse areas, including analytics, genetics, bioinformatics and artificial intelligence, to ensure that she is able to normalise prominent technologies and bring them into everyday conversation. Holly is focused on taking every opportunity to demystify technology and remove stigma and stereotypes around technology. In her spare time she works with her children to create videos to encourage children to explore technology and robotics.

Holly is also pushing the agenda on ethical computing - she contributed to a manifesto, by the Women Leading in AI group, recommending regulation and evaluation of algorithms that utilize artificial intelligence solution. This manifesto, containing 10 regulatory recommendations, was put forward to MPs at the House of Commons in February 2018. Holly is passionate that ethical computing should be a core teaching requirement for all computer science courses.

Holly is keen to reframe the question from “How can we get more women into tech?” to “How can we bring more technology into women’s lives?”; encouraging women to consider how digital solutions can enhance the areas they are already passionate about.


Vinnett Taylor

Vinnett Taylor | Telefonica O2 UK

Vinnett Taylor

I’ve always enjoyed engineering and technology, from the design of hardware to integrated software.

When I was a child my favourite TV programme was Tomorrows World. If you are too young to remember it, I guess the nearest equivalent today would be BBC Click.

The story of my career is a journey of climbing a series of ladders, in telesales management, enterprise sales and solution sales management. My first technology role was with Syman-tec, right back when it was an unknown start up. I helped deliver several ‘first to market’ ser-vices, including the first ever global site licence in the late 1990’s.

Caroline Pegden

Caroline Pegden | TempaGoGo

Caroline Pegden

Following a decade of corporate life, I have co-founded TempaGoGo, an innovative online marketplace taking the pain away from temporary agency recruitment.

After a MsC in Science of Management from HEC Paris, I worked in multiple locations and sectors, starting in strategy with McKinsey & Company in France and the UK, then moving to the fashion industry.

Before joining TempaGoGo, I led a large-scale digital transformation in the UK public sector, exploring how to leverage machine learning at The National Archives.

Numerous facets, but just one mantra - we can do it!

The mum of 2 young children, I'm passionate about encouraging fellow female entrepreneurs and supporting younger women at the start of their careers.

Naomi Jane

Naomi Jane | A Life Less Ordinary Wanted

Naomi Jane

Naomi has spent the last 13 years empowering business leaders, founders and under-represented communities to reach their true potential.

She is known for her high impact, positively challenging, holistic approach. Naomi has built a career empowering others to achieve transformative change in their personal lives, organisations and communities.

From a single parent household; she experienced severe school bullying, clinical depression, and the care system before entering turning 18. At 20 she was attacked at knifepoint. To today: graduating from University of London with honours, launching two award-winning businesses, leading various social change initiatives and empowering others around the world to transform their own lives and be the change they wish to see.

A social entrepreneur at heart, she launched her first business whilst studying at university. The 4WD Foundation delivered behavioural change programmes to some of London's most vulnerable young people. Naomi built effective partnerships with brands such as Channel 4 and Google to fund 4WD's social impact projects.

She went on to advise top investment banks and law firms on how to attract diverse entry-level talent and build inclusive cultures. Collaborating with top universities and the City she provided students from under-represented backgrounds with access to life-changing mentorship and work experience. Facilitating leadership development and employee engagement initiatives for corporate clients soon followed. Cross sector, industry leader clients include BP, CBRE, IHG, McDonald’s and Michael Kors.

In 2014 she launched the positive change agency, A Life Less Ordinary Wanted. From FTSE 500 companies in crisis, to individuals at a crossroads, Naomi harnesses emotional intelligence as a coach and facilitator to support her clients to become authentic, empathetic, resilient leaders. Since launching she's built a diverse, experienced, inclusive team who support their clients around the world. Ambitious founders and senior business leaders are supported to build businesses and authentic lives they love.

In 2016 Naomi launched the Social Leaders Programme to offer subsidised Less Ordinary Coaching and Therapy to inspirational founderstackling pressing social challenges around the world such as mental health, domestic violence, women's health & wellbeing and agricultural sustainability.

An engaging speaker on emotional intelligence, authentic living and women in leadership, Naomi energetically and passionately spreads her ‘You don’t have to settle’ mantra. She has spoken at The IoD, for TedX, The RSA and Deutsche Bank.

On IWD, March 2019, Naomi launched AFEMMERA- s global support network for feminine-presenting LGBTQ+ women. After coming out as a member of what is often an invisible minority group, Naomi found that she and fellow femmes face a unique set of challenges within the LGBTQ+ community and the wider world. AFEMMERA intends to empower feminine-presenting queer womxn (cis and trans) to build positive connections, a sense of global community and increase accurate representation through storytelling.

Naomi graduated from the University of London with BSc Hons in Management where she co-founded the original Entrepeneurship Society, Inspire. Since graduation Naomi has continued to advance her learning with WYSE International, Common Purpose, the Coaching Academy and The Psychosynthesis Trust.

In her spare time she seeks balance through meditation, nature, reading, Reiki, travel, yoga and writing poetry.

Cat Trebilco

Cat Trebilco | Reach the Peak

Cat Trebilco

I run my own business as an executive coach who helps women in career transition to discover the best next steps for their future.

After working in the corporate world for 5 years, I decided that life in banking was not for me. I qualified as a coach and went on my own journey of discovery too, deciding to follow my dreams and combine my two passions in life – being in nature and the mountains in order to help people. In 2014, I set up Reach the Peak, running walking-coaching retreats and helping women, through one-to-one coaching and retreats in the outdoors, to discover their own passion in life and find the confidence and courage to go for their dream career.

I also run expeditions around the world, having recently led a team of 12 schoolgirls to Cambodia, sleeping in hammocks in the jungle and working on community project at a local school. In October/November 2018, I led an expedition to Everest Base Camp, and having dealt with 2 emergency helicopter rescues and a number of team conflicts, I now run talks on Leadership Lessons from Everest Base Camp, aimed at corporate leaders. In 2017, I led 5 weeks of expeditions in the Arctic, leading teams of trekkers in temperatures of minus 27 degrees, camping on frozen lakes and pulling our kit in sleds behind us.

I have a degree in Psychology, the CIPD Diploma in Human Resource Development, I'm an accredited NLP Master Practitioner and qualified Summer Mountain Leader. I am also one of only a few women to hold the Winter Mountain Leader qualification, taking people on adventures in the wilderness of Scotland in all weathers.

Isobel McFarland

Isobel McFarland | Care

Isobel McFarland

After graduating from University College London with a 2:1 in English Literature, I went to work at the advertising agency Karmarama.

Having built up a wide range of experience in PR during my time at university, I was very excited to be working as a Junior Account Executive across of number of high-profile clients. However, during the year I developed a strong interest in technology and understanding the processes behind it. This led me to securing a coveted job as a Junior Data Analyst at the rapidly growing start-up, Human Theory. I had no technical expertise, and initially found the thought of coding terrifying, yet I pushed past obstacles and taught myself code in my spare time. Through hard work and perseverance, I was able to prove that you don’t need to be from a scientific background to work in a technical role. Interestingly, I found that creativity, my original strength, is key to becoming a successful technical analyst.

Over the last few years, my journey across industries opened my eyes to problems all around me. One in particular captured my passion, both personally and technically - loneliness in the elderly population. I went on to found Care - a platform that aims to eradicate social isolation by making access to local events quick and easy. I am the first to create a single platform that compiles elderly-focused events in one place, and I believe this is the key to tackling societal loneliness. I am also a regular volunteer at the elderly charity North London Cares, in order to make sure my work with Care continues to stay relevant to my target market. Taking this on whilst managing a change of industry and learning a whole new skill set has not been easy, but it has been an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience.

Angelica Malin

Angelica Malin | About Time Magazine

Angelica Malin

Angelica Malin is an entrepreneur, podcast host and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of About Time Magazine, one of the UK’s most popular lifestyle websites.

Since launching About Time in 2014, Angelica has grown the magazine’s monthly readership to 85,000 and social following to more than 100,000.

It was recently featured among the top 50 female-founded companies in London. A regular commentator on female entrepreneurship, female empowerment, and the future of work, Angelica also hosts the “Work It” and “Work in Progress” podcasts, interviewing some of the most successful CEOs in the UK today. In 2019 Angelica launched the About Time Academy, whose first guests include Deliciously Ella and Daisy Buchanan.