International Women's Forum 2020 Cornerstone Conference London




Tour the Mithraeum Bloomberg space, which returns the Roman Temple of Mithras to the location of its discovery in the heart of London.

Situated on the site of Bloomberg’s new European headquarters, this cultural space features an immersive experience around the ancient temple, a selection of Roman artifacts found during excavations, and a series of contemporary art commissions responding to one of the country’s most significant archaeological sites.

Bloomberg’s European headquarters, constructed in 2017 for £1 billion, puts sustainability, innovation, community and collaboration at the forefront. Clad in 9,600 tons of Derbyshire sandstone with bronze ventilation fins and floors linked by custom glass lifts and a 210-meter helical bronze ramp, this winner of the 2018 Stirling Prize has unparalleled views of St. Paul’s Cathedral thanks to a single open-plan space inside and a double-height pantry above a self-supporting “vortex” of three curved timber shells.

The building's exterior is respectful of its historic setting, with a dynamic interior that embodies the organization’s core values of transparency, openness and collaboration.




Borough Market is London’s oldest food market. With a thousand years of history behind it, it remains a vibrant, energetic institution, as relevant today as ever. On this visit, members will explore the market’s atmospheric halls and passageways, and see some of its rich heritage up close. Learn about the role Borough plays as a home for high-quality food producers and merchants from all over Britain, Europe and the world — a reflection of its location at the heart of this cosmopolitan city — and promoting sustainable approaches to the production and consumption of food. Members will also have a chance to meet some of the inspiring women whose work is central to the market’s success. Most importantly, they will get to try some of the extraordinary food and drink that emerges from the expertise and passion of its traders.

Explore the hidden history of this market, including a private view of the treasures that will be taken out of the archive to view. .


Laura King, a leading caviar expert with 30 years’ experience in the caviar and fine food industry, founded King’s Fine Food, which supplies the finest food halls, restaurants, hotels and airlines in the United Kingdom.

King's Fine Foods has been sourcing the finest caviar for over two decades, and possesses a reputable knowledge of the delicacy. Laura is strongly committed to offering only the finest products in the world, produced by artisanal family businesses.

Attendees will sample several unique varieties of exquisite caviar in an indulgent champagne and caviar tasting, and will have the opportunity to learn from Laura herself in the traditional and charming Tasting Room at Fortnum & Mason.


Join this walking tour of the East End, the old core of modern East London that began with the medieval growth of London beyond the city walls. The East End has a history of intense political activism and association with some of the country's most influential social reformers.

The tour will begin at The Townhouse, a gallery and antique shop located in an early 18th-century building. The gallery specializes in 20th-century art (1900 – 1960), mainly British. Members will enjoy refreshments and a brief talk about the area before beginning the tour. The tour will cover the area known as Spitalfields, where the East End meets the City of London, led by guide Charlie de Wet. There have been waves of migration from around the world, but the poverty associated with the East End has kept much of the fabric of the area intact. Spitalfields silk was once the most luxurious fabric you could buy and its history is part of England’s creative heritage.

Charlie will also highlight some of the impressive women who lived and worked here, including Susanna Wesley, Anna Maria Garthwaite, Louisa Perina, Courtauld and Angela Burdett-Coutts.


This is a guided walking tour that delves into the fascinating history of the Spitalfields, Brick Lane and Shoreditch areas of East London, as well as the current socio-political landscape of this rapidly changing area.

As well as sharing insight into the area’s history, the guide, who is a street artist, will cover the practice of street art itself. They will provide insider details, stories and anecdotes about their personal experience in this culture.


You are invited into the exclusive world of Britain’s most iconic retail institution. Known as “the Queen’s Grocer,” Fortnum & Mason is the 300-year-old English purveyor of food, drinks and gifts.

Started in 1707 as a grocery store priding itself on quality, Fortnum & Mason has long continued the tradition of bringing only the best products to Britain and valued international clients. Over its long history, Fortnum has been busy, inventing the scotch egg, serving as one of the earliest post offices in Britain, developing teas for generations of the Royal Family, fueling the front line and sending their iconic hampers across the globe – including many trips up Mount Everest!

Join us for traditional afternoon tea to learn about this rich history and intriguing story with archivist Dr. Andrea Tanner. She will share insight into the brand, its flagship Piccadilly building and architecture, and the bountiful riches held in its world-renowned art collection and archive.


The Foundling Museum tells the history of the Foundling Hospital, the United Kingdom’s first children’s charity and first public art gallery. It aims to inspire visitors to make a positive contribution to society by celebrating the power of individuals and the arts to change lives.

Discover thought-provoking exhibitions, contemporary art commissions, collection displays and historic archives, plus hear about the learning and outreach work with disadvantaged children and young people, all within beautiful 18th-century interiors.

The Foundling Museum will welcome members of IWF for a personal tour with Museum Director Caro Howell. The visit will include the history behind the beautiful period rooms and unique collection, an exploration of the Gerald Coke Handel Collection and a sneak peek of the newest exhibition, not open to the public until the following day.


The work of The Francis Crick Institute is to help understand why disease develops and to translate discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections and neurodegenerative diseases. The Crick was formed in 2015, and in 2016 moved into a brand new, state-of-the-art building in central London, bringing together 1,500 scientists and staff – making it the biggest biomedical research facility under a single roof in Europe.

Sir Francis Crick, one of Britain's great scientists, is best known for his work with James Watson, which led to the identification of the structure of DNA in 1953, drawing on the work of Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin and others. This discovery proved to be of enormous importance to biomedical research, and earned Crick, Watson and Wilkins the Noble Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1962.

Attendees will be taken behind the scenes for a tour of the award-winning building – designed around a chromosome – and to meet the Crick’s Entrepreneur in Residence and senior scientists. They will learn about the groundbreaking research at the Crick, as well as the Athena Swan initiative, which is advancing equality for women in STEM careers.


The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse opened at William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in January 2014. It is a meticulously researched archetype of a Jacobean theatre, modelled on the Blackfriars Theatre of Shakespeare’s day and a number of other Jacobean buildings.

Along with a tour of the Playhouse and other areas of the Globe Theatre, the group will be addressed by actress Zoe Wanamaker, a nine-time Olivier Award nominee who has received four Tony Award nominations and has many film credits to her name. She is the daughter of Sam Wanamaker, the person most responsible for saving the Rose Theatre, which led to the modern recreation of the Globe. Along with a talk from Ms. Wanamaker, actors will perform scenes from Shakespeare’s plays.


Go behind the scenes with Imperial College London President and Professor Alice P. Gast to discover how the College is helping to increase the number of women in science. Hear from Jessica Wade, who has personally written over 400 Wikipedia pages to recognise women’s impressive contributions to science, and Helen Sharman, who became the first British astronaut on a seven-day mission to the Mir space station. The College encourages young people to study STEM subjects and supports an increasing number of female students leading start-ups and raising funding. Young female entrepreneurs from one programme, WE Innovate, will showcase their innovations and share their experiences with you.


The London Silver Vaults originally opened in 1876 as a safe deposit for the wealthy and a secure storage place for London’s silver dealers during World War II. Today, The Vaults is home to the largest retail selection of fine antique and contemporary silver in the world, dating from the early 1600s to the present. A unique underground destination, The Vaults boasts more than 30 specialty shops, each one a trove of beautifully crafted antique and modern silver.

IWF members will be greeted with a glass of champagne and an introduction to the Silver Vaults by Jonathan, Eric and Daniel Franks of I. Franks, who will then share their insight into the development of tea drinking in England – from its earliest days as an expensive luxury for the elite to the quintessentially English tradition of Afternoon Tea – and the evolution of the silver required for its correct preparation and consumption.

Following these discussions, members will enjoy speciality tea, cake and biscuits in “Vault Nine,” using some of the silverware that was supplied for the “Downton Abbey” series.


Join The Times for a behind-the-scenes look at how Britain's paper of record creates the news each day. Tour the newsroom, take a seat at the newspaper's editorial conference where the biggest stories of the day are decided, and quiz journalists over a glass of fizz at the top of The News Building – complete with panoramic views of the city.


Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. It became the first international auction house when it expanded to New York in 1955, was the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and was the first international fine art auction house in China (2012).

Today, Sotheby’s presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms. With 80 offices in 40 countries, it is one of the world’s largest brokers of fine and decorative art, jewellery, real estate, collectibles and automobiles.

IWF members are specially invited behind the scenes to The Drawing Room at the Sotheby’s London head office, where they will meet specialists, gain their insight and handle important pieces for upcoming sale, some of which have never been on public display.

**Please note that this venue is not wheelchair accessible.



Southbank Centre is a complex of artistic venues on the South Bank of the River Thames. Comprising three main performance venues, together with the Hayward Gallery, it is Europe’s largest center of the arts. Over 2,000 paid performances of music, dance and literature are staged at Southbank Centre each year, as well as over 2,000 free events and an education program.

For this special Behind the Scenes, IWF members will indulge in Southbank Centre’s stellar reputation as one of London’s leading music venues. Under the leadership of Gillian Moore CBE, Southbank Centre Director of Music, attendees will experience the riches of this incredible venue, learn about and engage with extraordinary women in music, and see the profound impact female talent has had on the music industry, both within the United Kingdom and globally.


Transport for London (TfL) is the local government body responsible for the transport system in Greater London. The London Underground is the world's first underground railway and was constructed in response to the city's rapid growth in the 19th century. Today, it is the 11th-busiest subway system on the planet – 1.4 billion passengers used it from 2016-2017.

IWF members will be welcomed by the Commissioner for Transport. They will view a presentation on the history of London transport with a focus on the role of women, especially during the World Wars. Members will be given special access to the “control room,” where they will see live the constant monitoring of the tube trains and how they are managed. Members will also be served light refreshments and will meet Kerry Rogan, Head of London Underground Network Command.


The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the largest national library in the world by number of items catalogued. It is estimated to contain 150–200 million items from many countries. In addition to receiving a copy of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland (approximately 8,000 per day), the Library has a programme for content acquisitions.

Several books and manuscripts are on public display, including “Beowulf,” a Gutenberg Bible, original copies of the Magna Carta, Jane Austen's “History of England” and Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre.”

Attendees will be greeted by Dame Carol Black, Chair of the British Library, and taken on a tour with Polly Russel to discover the work involved in putting together an exhibition. The group will gain further insight into the British Library and its achievements, goals and programmes during a group discussion, followed by refreshments with Dame Carol and other female senior leaders.


The National Gallery, founded in 1824, houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The collection is small compared to many European national galleries, but is encyclopedic in scope. Most major developments in Western painting "from Giotto to Cézanne” are represented with important works.

IWF members are invited to view some of the conservation studios at the National Gallery. These are completely closed to the public, so access to these rooms is a unique opportunity to see some of the museum’s treasures. Members are also invited to see one of the scientific labs. IWF UK member Dr. Caroline Campbell, Curator of Italian Paintings before 1500 and Loans Curator at the National Gallery, will host the group.


The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall that can seat 5,267. It is one of the UK's most treasured and distinctive buildings. Queen Victoria opened the hall in 1871. Ever since, the world's leading artists from many performance genres have appeared on its stage. It is the venue for some of the most notable events in British culture, specifically the Proms concerts that have been held there every summer since 1941. It hosts more than 390 shows in the main auditorium annually, including classical, rock and pop concerts, ballet, opera, film screenings with live orchestral accompaniment, sports, awards ceremonies, school and community events. A further 400 events are held in the non-auditorium spaces each year.

Attendees will be taken behind the scenes to the Prince of Wales Room, where they will be given an introduction to the Royal Albert Hall by CEO Craig Hassall. Suzanne Keyte will then present a brief talk and film about the Suffragettes and the role the building played in their efforts. The visit will finish with an introduction to external affairs at the Royal Albert Hall with Louise Halliday, followed by tea, coffee and the chance to meet other directors at this historic institution.


The Shard is a 95-storey skyscraper that was designed by Master Architect Renzo Piano. It has redefined London’s skyline and quickly established its place as a dynamic symbol of London. At a height of up to 800 feet (244 meters), there are 360-degree views of the city for up to 40 miles on a clear day.

Attendees will enjoy a private tour, including a guided tour of the viewing gallery with a complimentary glass of champagne and lecture from both Sean Gleig, Occupier Relations Manager for the Shard Quarter, and Roma Agrawal MBE, FICE, the structural engineer responsible for building it. Roma Agrawal is a diversity campaigner, championing women in engineering.


Tate Modern is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world. It is Britain's national gallery of international modern art, and forms part of the Tate group (together with Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate St. Ives and Tate Online).

Based in the former Bankside Power Station, Tate Modern is one of London’s most fantastic galleries. Hosting the national collection of British art from 1900 to the present, some of the world’s most prestigious, controversial and exciting artworks are displayed here.

Attendees will be taken on a private tour with particular emphasis on some of the great female artists represented in the collection.


The Wallace Collection is an art collection housed at Hertford House, the former townhouse of the Seymour family, Marquesses of Hertford. It comprises an extensive collection of fine and decorative arts from the 15th-19th centuries, with important holdings of French 18th-century paintings, furniture, arms and armour, porcelain, and Old Master paintings arranged into 30 galleries. The museum was established in 1897 from the private collection mainly created by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford (1800–1870).

Attendees will be guided through a special tour of the collection by one of London’s great art historians.


The Tower of London, founded in 1066, was a grand palace and royal residence early in its history and has since served as an armoury, treasury, menagerie, home of the Royal Mint, public record office and home of the Crown Jewels of England.

The peak period of the castle’s use as a prison was during the 16th and 17th centuries, when many figures who had fallen into disgrace – such as Elizabeth I before she became Queen, Sir Walter Raleigh and Elizabeth Throckmorton – were held within its walls. Today, the Tower of London is one of the United Kingdom’s most popular tourist attractions and a World Heritage Site.

Attendees will not only have the benefit of one of London’s best guides to bring this national landmark to life, but will also have the opportunity to meet Michael Flemming, retired member of the Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence. As a civil servant, he was responsible for the £13 million project to relocate the Crown Jewels to their current location.


Constructed in 1245 at the order of King Henry III, Westminster Abbey is one of the United Kingdom’s most notable religious buildings. For anyone interested in British royal history, visiting the Abbey is a must. Here you will find the tombs of some of Britain’s best loved monarchs. It is the burial site of more than 3,300 people, usually of predominant prominence in British history, including at least 16 monarchs and eight prime ministers, as well as poet laureates, actors, scientists and military leaders.

It is the site of many royal marriages, most recently the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, all coronations of English and British monarchs have been held here.

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit behind the scenes with special access to the shrine of Edward the Confessor, the Library/Muniments Room and stunning gardens.