IBBC Womens Group Roundtable Hosted by G4S Risk Consulting
G4S has been a member of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) for more than 5 years and has been represented in London by Angelique Lecorps, Senior Consultant for G4S Risk Consulting's Strategic Risk Advisory division. Angelique has extensive experience advising and reporting on Iraq and the wider Middle East, complemented by several assignments in Iraq and Kurdistan.
In July 2015, Angelique was invited to chair the IBBC's Women's Group, which was launched under the patronage of Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, UK Trade Envoy for Iraq and IBBC Chairman. The Women’s Group complements the IBBC's other four "sector tables": Finance and Professional Services, Oil & Gas, Construction and Infrastructure and Education, Training and Heritage. This initiative aims at advocating and advancing the rights of Iraqi women in society and the workplace, and promoting a platform to facilitate business opportunities and networking among Iraqi women. Building on the Group’s first panel session at the IBBC's Autumn event at Church House in November, it was decided to organise a series of seminars in London, leading up to a half-day conference in late 2016/early 2017.
The three seminars are dedicated to the following issues:
1) The role of religion and culture in business - How those define behaviour and present challenges to the promotion of Iraqi women in business
2) Iraq and KRG, looking at differences between women in the two regions - Are there similarities in obstacles and opportunities.
3) The heritage sector - A number of women stand out as models in the heritage industry. How we can replicate this success in other sectors.
The first seminar, chaired and moderated by Angelique, took place on 7th April, at our G4S offices at Southside. Judge Marilyn Mornington, who has spoken in the Middle East on cultural and counter extremist platforms and is a both a convert to Islam and practicing British judge, accepted to be our keynote speaker. Representatives of the Iraqi Embassy in London, the KRG government, BP, DFID, the universities of Wolverhampton and Portsmouth, the Legatum Institute, TwentyFifty, SSH Design, the UGS Foundation, Restrata and GardaWorld were in attendance. The seminar provided an insightful opportunity to discuss inter-generational challenges, gender issues in education, societal constraints in Iraq and the wider region, the existence of laws that protect women but are not enforced by the society, as well as the impact of regional security on communities and sectarian tensions and how poverty and political instability can reduce women’s access to the workplace and accelerate vulnerabilities and the risk of exposure to extremism.
The seminar also highlighted the need to help women build confidence via formal and informal networks and the need for international corporations and organisations to promote local engagement and local hires, with a view to also better understand the environment corporations operate in. Participants also called for greater emphasis on promoting women's opportunities in the workplace and developing entrepreneurial and leadership skills. The idea of a "mentoring" programme was also discussed, with the aim to build a dedicated platform for networking and support.
The next roundtable, on Iraq and KRG, is scheduled to take place in June/July 2016 (date tbc). To find out more about the IBBC, contact Angelique Lecorps