Last night saw a full-on female love-in with the launch of Whistles x Penguin ‘Inspire Women’ series. Amongst the 80 women from the worlds of film, fashion, publishing and beyond were some of our faves including model Erin O’Connor, novelist Kathy Lette, designer Lara Bohinc and Fashion East's Lulu Kennedy who joined Grazia’s Editor in Chief Jane Bruton for a three course dinner by pop-up dining company Shcklewell Knights at Penguin HQ on the Thames Embankment.
Kicking off a new project of talks and book clubs which will be rolled out to customers later in the year Whistles’ CEO Jane Shepherdson explained, “The one single question I get asked more than any other is how I’ve got to where I am in my career. We came up with the ‘Inspire Women’ project in an effort to help other women share their experiences – both their successes and their failures.”
Speaking were three amazingly inspiring women – Beeban Kidron, the Director of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Rosie Arnold, Deputy Creative Director of BBH Advertising and Lynn Thomas, Surgeon Captain and the highest ranking female officer in the Navy. Their speeches were inspired by the 1958 working girl classic book The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe (you might recognise it from Don Draper’s reading list) and as they told their stories of navigating gender politics in male dominated professions there were more than a few cackles of recognition from the female-only audience (especially after a delicious round of French martinis and Old Fashioneds).
Erin O’Connor giggled conspiratorially “It’s like we are a coven of women with all of us on the same team! For each speaker you got the sense that every women in the room was willing her on.” Novelist Kathy Lette agreed “I’ve named this gang the ‘C-literati’ – it’s a group of women with balls as well as brains. I always say a group of women is more powerful than a Wonderbra – they lift you up, push you higher and support you no matter what!”
Nothing more to say than AMEN TO THAT GIRLFRIEND!