everywomanClub event with Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild
everywomanClub held its first event of 2013 on 5 February at Rothschilds’ London Sky Pavilion. Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Chief Executive of E.L. Rothschild LLC and a director of both the Estee Lauder companies and the Economist Newspaper Limited, was the evening guest speaker.
After networking over a glass or two of wine, Lady Lynn shared her personal path to success and explored how Club members, as business leaders and influencers, can play a vital role in embracing The Henry Jackson Inclusive Capitalism initiative. The initiative’s focus is to address the gap between employer needs and employee skills, to mentor small businesses and improve access to credit and reform management and governance for the long term, replacing today’s focus on short term performance.
We heard that as a ‘baby boomer’, Lady Lynn learnt early on the importance of hard work and determination. Her own meteoric rise to success began when she started doing legal work for her client - tycoon John Kluge. As she says herself, she started buying companies and doing deals at just 20-odd years old. He persuaded her to take the plunge into buying her own company – an idea that she first reacted to with disbelief! But she succeeded in doing so – and has not looked back since.
Of the The Henry Jackson Inclusive Capitalism initiative Lady Lynn shared her passion for what she describes as not a ‘think tank’ but a ‘do tank’. The initiative wants to reverse the negative image of capitalism following recent years and to ensure that young people get the opportunities that past generations had. The facts as they are expose a bleak truth, with just 23% of British people believing that they have a better life than their parents.
Larger corporations can and must support smaller businesses and The Henry Jackson Inclusive Capitalism initiative supports this – in the US this is happening through the ‘supplier connection’ – a website portal where larger companies can add their needs and the suppliers can supply these. Initiatives like this are essential in supporting these businesses.
The formal part of the evening drew to a close with a lively discussion and debate around the issues raised and how Club members, as thought leaders and senior business women, can collectively drive this initiative forward. The Henry Jackson Initiative highlights the best way for us to tackle the huge global challenges we face and to drive progress through collaboration. In the same way through our work with leading organisations looking at their gender diversity we are seeing a shift in focus from ‘fixing a problem’ to one of ‘leveraging the opportunities’ that diversity creates through collaboration.
As a woman who has made it to the very top through sheer talent, focus and passion, Lady Lynn expressed a sentiment that I think we can all be inspired by: ‘Shoot for the top and believe you can get there’.
Following Lady Lynn’s thought-provoking address, guests took the opportunity to discuss the many ideas and questions that she had raised with their peers.
Founded in September 1999, everywoman supports any woman at any stage in their career. everywoman's events and leadership programmes support the development of confident, capable and charismatic leaders. everywoman's Award programmes and projects such as The Navigator and Modern Muse showcase role models who inform and inspire future leaders and the next generation, positioning the organisations they work for as ones with career opportunities for women. To find out more about everywoman, please see their website.