More Highlights from The Gloss Gala 2022 - The Gloss Magazine

More Highlights from The Gloss Gala 2022

In addition to fabulous fashion and fantastic prizes, financial feminism was on the agenda too …

“Let’s think about it … instead of being bystanders, what if we decide to be upstanders – find our voice and occupy our space. Women deserve to occupy space in the financial sphere.” So declared broadcaster, writer and performer Cally Beaton, the first inspirational speaker at The Gloss Gala 2022. Its theme – “Financial Feminism and Investing For Impact” – derived from the runaway success of THE GLOSS x Goodbody Investment Club, a female-focused community created during the pandemic to promote financial literacy and candid conversations about money.

Cally Beaton.

Turning money from a source of stress to a source of strength and also a source of freedom and independence, was reinforced by Cally, who discussed financial feminism through the prism of her own personal experience. Cally started her career in TV production and, when her company was acquired by ITV, she found herself on the ITV board – not just the youngest board member but also the only woman member. She went on set up an award-winning creative consultancy before joining US studio giant ViacomCBS as a Senior Vice President – overseeing budgets in excess of $500 million for brands such as Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount.

Cally, as the audience found out, knows a thing or two about self-help, having helped herself out of a boardroom career to try something completely different, just before a global pandemic. Thirty years into a high profile career in the media, she had a conversation, with the late Joan Rivers, that unexpectedly changed her life and threw caution to the wind to start out all over again – this time in front of, rather than behind, the cameras – as a stand-up comedian.

A walking, talking advocate for reinvention, and doing “one thing every day that scares you”, Cally has since appeared on shows including The Apprentice You’re Fired, QI and is a regular voice on BBC Radio 4. Cally spoke with honesty and humour about her brand of financial feminism, and why for her, money isn’t usually about the actual money. “Money does not blow my skirt up,” she said before admitting, “One of the things that motivated me to make better investment decisions started at home, I became a sole breadwinner. Then I got another curveball … my son was diagnosed with autism.”

She left the audience with much to think about including the idea that the menopause is a superpower and an upbeat message on finding your path: “Anything is possible. We will decide what our story is. Let no one underestimate, stereotype or pigeonhole us.”

Merryn Somerset Webb.

“The first thing about money is that if we don’t invest it properly or understand it properly, we can’t use it properly,” believes Merryn Somerset Webb, the keynote speaker at Gloss Gala. As the former editor-in-chief of Moneyweek and Financial Times columnist, Clonmel-born Merryn spoke on the topic of investing for impact. She welcomed the THE GLOSS x Goodbody Investment Club initiative acknowledging, “It’s a safe, low-risk place” to educate ourselves about investment options.

As one of the most well-respected and prominent voices in financial journalism, Merryn’s latest book Share Power focuses on how shareholders can leverage their influence for good. “If you want to change the world you have to understand how companies work,” Merryn explained, before highlighting that, “In a very short amount of time, a large amount of the wealth in this country will be held by women.”

To effect change, Merryn believes in the power of “making a fuss” and being an active, rather than passive, shareholder to influence how companies behave regarding social, ecological and personnel initiatives. “Write those letters, do that admin and do it before it’s too late,” she urged the audience. She also recommended choosing funds that reflect our values: “Wealth comes not just with responsibility, and the joy of having the calmness of wealth, but an ability to make things different, an ability to articulate your own values via your choices.”

Follow Cally Beaton @callybeaton and Merryn Somerset Webb @merrynsw and watch their speeches on GLOSSTV through the links below.

GLOSSTV: Cally Beaton at The Gloss Gala 2022.

GLOSSTV: Merryn Somerset Webb at The Gloss Gala 2022.

Photography by Conor Healy.

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