Business leaders will be urged to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ at the Institute of Directors Northern Ireland (IoD NI) 2018 Women’s Leadership Conference, at which best-selling author and TV presenter Liz Earle MBE will be guest speaker.

The event, sponsored by leading law firm Arthur Cox, will take place at Crowne Plaza Belfast on 9th March, 2018.

Now in its 11th year, the conference regularly attracts more than 400 business women and men from across all sectors in Northern Ireland.

Kirsty McManus, IoD NI National Director said:

“The Northern Ireland economy is fortunate to benefit from a wealth of successful business leaders and we look forward to gathering them together once again for the 2018 Women’s Leadership Conference.

“The event will take a theme of ‘innovation’, something for which Liz Earle is synonymous, so we are delighted that she will be delivering our keynote address.

“Liz is one of just several speakers to have so far been confirmed for the conference as we aim to provide a strong line-up of leaders to inspire those in attendance.

“In addition to the keynote address, the conference will feature a range of panel sessions focused on innovation, the language of leadership and emotional intelligence.

“We are also introducing a range of exclusive lunchtime roundtable discussions led by some of Northern Ireland’s most successful female business leaders.”

Liz Earle is a leading authority on beauty, nutrition and wellbeing and is best known for launching the Liz Earle Beauty Co, now owned by Walgreen Boots Alliance.

Her latest ventures include the Liz Earle Wellbeing magazine and Liz Earle Fair and Fine, a range of ethically sourced, Fairtrade jewellery, while she has also received an MBE for services to businesses.

Catriona Gibson, Managing Partner, Arthur Cox, commented:

“We are proud of our long-standing relationship with the IoD and are delighted to once again sponsor the Women’s Leadership Conference, which remains one of the most important dates in the business calendar.

“Liz Earle’s story is one of incredible success, driven by a natural entrepreneurship accompanied by hard work and dedication, as well as an ability and willingness to learn key leadership lessons from others in the industry.

“Providing counsel to firms of every size and across all sectors, Arthur Cox supports business leaders as they seek to continually improve corporate and governance standards, thereby boosting economic growth across Northern Ireland.”

The conference will also provide a platform for six local entrepreneurs to pitch for a £6,000 funding boost and bursary package for their business.

Delegates will also be able network as they browse the Women’s Leadership Conference marketplace.

Among speakers to also be confirmed for the event is Flybe chief executive Christine Ourmieres-Widener and Ciara Donlon of Theya Healthcare.

Other speakers will include Marie Macklin CBE, founder, Macklin Partnerships; Carmel McKinney, NIFRS; Prof Eileen Harkin-Jones, Ulster University; Alice Charles, World Economic Forum and Aishling Feegan, Dell.

For further details, including a full list of speakers, and to book a place, visit The event is open to non-IoD members.