Leila Edwards - A bit about you...

Lecturer in Events Management at University College Birmingham, a post I have held for eleven years this year and really enjoy.  Prior to working at UCB, I worked for Severn Trent Water as an Events Co-ordinator, assisting with the organisation of corporate events and promotion of external events at a number of its reservoir sites in the Midlands region.  I also worked for the company’s International division, co-ordinating consultancy bids and organising study tours for international delegates to view Severn Trent Water’s operational facilities. Prior to that I worked in hospitality for Disney Cruise Line and at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Florida.  My interest in events grew from a love of hospitality, music, food and people.

What does International Women’s Day mean to me?

For me IWD is cause for celebration of women, our achievements, diversity and success.  It’s also about empowerment and action for equality, aiming to reduce bias, strike a better balance and unite.

What advice would I give to the younger me?

(Now I’m feeling old)!  My advice would be to have confidence, have fun and ensure you get the most out of every single day.  Never let anyone tell you, you can’t do something because you absolutely can, if you put your mind to it!

Which woman in power do you admire most?

Her Majesty the Queen, the longest reigning monarch in British history (more than sixty years), is quite simply extraordinary.

What do you think is the funniest / most ridiculous stereotype about women?

That women prefer to wear glass slippers instead of breaking glass ceilings.

If I could put on a parade for International Women’s Day, which women would I put on the float?

Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling, Angelina Jolie, Joanna Lumley, Serena Williams, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex, Beyoncé, Karen Brady, Clare Balding, Elizabeth Moss, Rita Ora, Holly Willoughby and Dawn French to mention just a few!

“I think we’re gonna need a bigger float” (adapted from Jaws the Movie).