Kirsty Wark on Fashion, Feminism and Fascinating Women - The Gloss Magazine

Kirsty Wark on Fashion, Feminism and Fascinating Women

Kirsty Wark captivated the audience of 1,600 women at The Gloss Gala 2023, discussing everything from fashion to feminism, and why women should see each other as allies, not rivals. Read some key takeaways below …

THE GLOSS Magazine’s Gloss Gala 2023, held in association with Goodbody, was attended by 1,600 women from finance, banking, media, law, marketing, government, recruitment and tech.

The keynote speaker on the night was Bafta-winning broadcast journalist Kirsty Wark. Exploring the theme of the event, In Women We Trust, she presented a powerful case for women to see each other as allies not rivals. “That’s where the magic happens,” she said. Kirsty went on to quote former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who once said: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women.”

Speaking through the prism of her own personal experience, she gave a compelling account of the many fascinating women – from Margaret Thatcher to Madonna – encountered during her long career at the helm of BBC’s Newsnight. “I learned something from every woman I’ve interviewed,” she said.

Read some of the key takeaways from Kirsty’s speech and watch a video interview below …

“I believe where women choose to see each other as allies and not competitors, that’s where the magic happens.”

Where women are concerned, success breeds success as we help each other to be our best selves, and there must be relationships here that are testament to that. I truly believe in helping young women reach their potential.”

I have learned something from every woman I have interviewed – from Margaret Thatcher to Madonna. From Toni Morrison, I learned about the power of storytelling, to give voice to past and present injustices. From novelist Donna Tartt, I learned about shortcuts when writing…and that it’s ok to take a perceived easy way out when it comes to research. From Madonna, I learned about the power of controlling the narrative. From a man I interviewed, Jeffrey Archer, I learned that patronising behavior is always ugly…”

“After 30 years on BBC’s Newsnight, as I’m sure women everywhere here feels in their role, there are no free passes; you always feel you must earn your place. I’ve announced I will leave the programme after the next election because I believe in the pipeline and how we must fill it with younger talent, and I don’t want to block it.”

“There are so many wise women, in financial services and the law, who have guided me through complex matters, the kind of women I give thanks to every day.”


“I love clothes… there was a time when feminism was censorious. How could you be a powerful figure in work and still care about clothes and make-up? All of us here know this is nonsense.”

Clothes bring me joy, but they can be divisive. On television, you are fair game: “You’re smaller than you look on the telly”; “You’re older than you look… fatter than you look…”

“As my confidence grew, I didn’t care to hide my love of fashion and the confidence it gave me.”

I can get a hard time on Twitter for my fashion choices. When I wore cowboy boots on Newsnight, one user shared a screenshot and said: ‘When you have Newsnight at 11.30 and a rodeo at midnight’. I did think this was funny to be fair.”

See every detail of The Gloss Gala 2023 through this link.

Photography by Conor Healy / Picture It Photography


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