On Wednesday 23 June 2021, we launched the UK chapter of the Organisation of Women in International Trade (OWIT).

This was a milestone event for the OWIT UK Executive Board and the OWIT International Community. Together with trade bodies and industry organisations, we believe that international trade is a key to the business agenda and that it will help us to grow the economy following the disruptions caused by Brexit and the Pandemic. Indeed, there has never been a better time for a new OWIT chapter in the UK.

Our launch event included remarks and a panel discussion by H.E Ambassador Simon Manley CMG, Permanent Representative of the UK to the World Trade Organisation; H.E Ambassador Stephen de Boer, Permanent Representative of Canada to the World Trade Organisation; Ms Susan Barton Team Leader, Trade and Gender Equality, Trade Policy Department, Department for International Trade UK and Mr Chris Southworth, Secretary-General, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) United Kingdom. Ms Shannon Manders, Editorial Director, Global Trade Review moderated the penary panel discussion.

Participants then joined three sessions to futher discuss the forthcoming programme of OWIT UK. Topics discussed included:

Key challenges faced by businesses and different markets and cultures, and how to support them to trade easily and safely on a global level, chaired by Ms Deborah Leary OBE D.Univ,FRSA, CCMI, OWIT UK Vice President, Snr Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, UK Export Champion and Owner Forensic Pathways

Increased knowledge and guidance on international standards and digitisation of processes chaired by Ms Sue Lawton MBE, World Business Women Chair and OWIT UK Advisory Board with session Expert: Ms Noreen Cesareo MA, FRSA, OWIT UK President, WEI Director and Trade Specialist and Principal, Market Accents

Identifying and bridging gaps in leadership and entrepreneurial skills, chaired by Ms Gurshinder Sidhu, OWIT UK Board with Session Expert: Ms Helene Martin Gee, Savvitas President and OWIT UK Advisory Board Chair.

Outcomes from these three sessions are beng processed and will be included in the OWIT UK programme. We captured initial thoughts from these sessions in the wordcloud shown below.