Month: March 2016

PORTRAYED! goes to Somerville College Oxford

On International Women’s Day, the Lots Road Group is proud to announce that Somerville College Oxford is to host PORTRAYED! 25 YEARS OF INSPIRING WOMEN from 10-12 March for alumni and invited guests in the newly re-named Mary Somerville room.

Two of the inspiring women sitters were educated at the college and Mary Somerville herself was a pioneering mathematician and scientist and, amongst other things, tutor to Ada Lovelace who worked with Charles Babbage on the forerunner to computers. She has been in the news as she will be the first woman to appear on a British banknote (Scotland £10) apart from the Queen. Hence the re-naming of the room.

The exhibition, which has been touring since May 2015, commemorates the silver jubilee of the International Women’s Forum UK and will be on display in the Mary Somerville Room at Somerville College, Oxford. It features four of the founders of the lWF UK and the first 12 chairs, including two Somervillians – Karen Richardson and Moira Black. Also featured are Celia Goodhart, a Visitor of Oxford University; Barbara Mills, the former DPP (LMH); champion racing driver Jean Denton, the first woman to hold a ministerial post at the Northern Ireland office; Barbara Hosking, former speechwriter for Harold Wilson; Rosalind Gilmore, private secretary to five Cabinet Ministers and veteran journalist Katharine Whitehorn.

The exhibition has supported the Institute of Directors’ diversity aims by accompanying the inaugural Mackworth Lecture in honour of visionary female leader. The lecture, delivered by former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, drew on her experience of leadership. It also was linked to Barclays’ support for the HeforShe mentoring campaign. Open to the public last year at The Chelsea Gallery and to alumni of The Heatherley School of Fine Art, where the artists trained, it also was on show in the foyer of KPMG in Canada Square.
If you missed it, you can see the exhibition catalogue here Price £17.29 +p&p.

Barclays Headquarters Atrium becomes an art gallery for 3 days

Barclays, 1 Churchill Place, E14 5HP 23 to 25 February 2016

Supporting: He for She

In partnership with: IWF UK Susan Young & Curator: Simona Fionda

Sponsor: Barclays WIN London


The curator writes: From 23 to 25 February Barclays was the proud host of the Portrayed! exhibition, a series of 16 portraits created in 2015 to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) UK. The portraits are of its most inspiring women, its 4 founders and first 12 chairs.

The portraits include Jean Denton, champion racing driver and the first woman to hold a ministerial post at the Northern Ireland office; Barbara Hosking, former speechwriter for Harold Wilson; Rosalind Gilmore, private secretary to five Cabinet Ministers; and Katharine Whitehorn, Observer columnist.

We were extremely proud to welcome Mary Baker back to Barclays. Mary, one of the IWF UK founders, was also the first female Director on the Barclays Board from 1983 to 2000. She was the keynote speakers at the private viewing on 23 February and left a lasting impression on all employees and guests [shown] an extract from an internal 1991 video in which Mary talked about female representation at Barclays and stated “We doubled the numbers of women in management grades in the last 5 years; we are

up to just over 11% now. […] If we can double them again in the next 5 years and we end up with 20% in management grades, we are beginning to see the sort of critical mass which should be really hammering on the doors of the boardrooms to senior executive positions.”

Local schoolgirls find inspiration for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award

The exhibition was visited by six girls from the Isle of Dogs George Green’s School on 24 February. All six girls are currently working towards their Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze award and will be drawing on their experience of Portrayed! to help them to shape their own International Women’s Day event which they will then write up and present as evidence towards their award. Two of the girls are part of the ThinkForward programme initiative (Barclays is a founding sponsor and active investor), a targeted intervention looking to prevent young people becoming NEET (not in employment, education or training) at 16.

The girls “felt like VIPs, and were amazed that people would take the trouble to welcome them with such genuine warmth.”  They found the portraits accessible in a way they hadn’t expected. They felt connection with the sitters, and felt these would be people they could talk to. They also felt inspired to create work of their own. They started to think about making a collage, featuring women who have influenced them personally, to display at their own International Women’s Day event at school.

‘We are very proud to be associated with Barclays support for the HeforShe campaign,’ said Stella Tooth, The Lots Road Group.


“The WIN event featuring Portrayed! was beautifully organised and hosted by Barclays. One knows when an evening has really engaged guests when a formidable crowd is still there at the close of the evening,” said Susan Young, immediate past chair of IWF UK who sponsored the creation of this collection.

“I do want to thank you for all the effort you and the bank as a whole put in to setting up such a great exhibition and particularly for Mike Roemer’s clear commitment to the HeforShe campaign. […] The way you and your group carried it out was exemplary, and I so much enjoyed the chance to meet up with so many enthusiastic and talented members of the bank and to be aware of the work that is being done to enhance the equality opportunities for women in particular.’ said Mary Baker, the first female Director of Barclays Bank UK and the first female Director of Barclays PLC

Photo: Mary Baker by Dario of Gammeren photography