Ruth Cairnie is the Chair of the POWERful Women initiative. She is also the Chair of Babcock International Group and the SID at Associated British Foods plc where she chairs the Remuneration Committee. She was previously on the boards of Rolls-Royce Holdings plc, Keller Group plc and ContourGlobal plc.
Ruth is also a Patron of the Women in Defence Charter. She is a trustee of Windsor Leadership.
Ruth was formerly Executive Vice President Strategy & Planning at Royal Dutch Shell plc, where she held a number of senior international roles, including managing the Global Commercial Fuels business.
During her executive career, Ruth was mainly based in London but also lived in Stockholm, Hamburg, Singapore and the Hague.
Ruth has a BSc Joint Honours in Mathematics & Physics from Bristol University and a Masters in Advanced Studies from Cambridge University.
Baroness Verma, co-founder of Powerful Women is currently sitting on the European Union Committee and chairs the EU External Affairs Sub-Committee.
Baroness Verma served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development from May 2015 until July 2016. She has been a Conservative member of the House of Lords since 2006 and previously served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for DECC.
Between 2010 and 2016 her posts included the position of Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Development), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Energy and Climate Change), Lords Spokesperson (Department of Business, Innovation and Skills), Lords Spokesperson (Home Office) (Equalities and Women’s Issues), Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Department for International Development) in government.
Laura Sandys CBE, co-founder of Powerful Women is a business entrepreneur and political innovator. In both politics and the corporate world, Laura has campaigned for changes in food security, together with resource management and energy markets as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Energy Minister.
She is the CEO of the organisation Challenging Ideas, a creative space for businesses to test ideas, models, and challenge status quo thinking in a safe environment, as well as the Chair of Energy Systems Data Taskforce. Laura also set up the Food Foundation as an independent policy think-tank to explore the changing challenges facing UK and international food systems.
Previously, Laura Sandys has served as the Conservative MP for South Thanet since 2010. She is the former chair of the European Movement UK, a not-for-profit, independent, all-party and grassroots organisation, which calls for closer integration and cooperation at the EU level in areas where collective EU action can deliver better results than individual member states acting on their own.
Francis Gugen is a founding member of POWERful Women, as well Director & Chair Audit Committee of SBM Offshore NV; the world’s largest offshore floating production facilities provider, with a market cap of £2.5bn operating 1% of the world’s oil production. Francis has over 40 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry.
Francis was previously employed as Non-Executive Director by Britannia Building Society, Chairman by Petroleum Geo-Services ASA, Chairman by CH4 Energy Ltd., Chief Executive Officer by Amerada Hess Ltd., Chairman by Confederation of British Industry, and President by UK Offshore Operators Association Ltd.
Between 1982 and 2000 he helped grow Amerada Hess in North West Europe, ultimately becoming regional CEO.
Emily Bourne is the Director for the Energy Development and Resilience Directorate at BEIS, with responsibility for upstream oil and gas policy, shale gas policy, offshore oil and gas environmental regulation, energy planning consents and coal liabilities, energy Cyber security and Emergency resilience.
Prior to this she was the head of the department’s Shale Gas team, and before that Head of Programme for Electricity Market Reform in the Department for Energy and Climate Change. She has worked on energy policy for the past ten years.
Simon Fanshawe OBE is a co founder and partner of Diversity by Design, a ground breaking consultancy that works with organisations to develop diversity solutions in response to strategic questions in order to build greater performance. www.diversitybydesign.co.uk
Recent clients include: Sheffield, Cardiff, Kingston, Hertfordshire, Nottingham, Exeter Universities, FirstGroup, Costa, Virgin Media, the Co-op, GCHQ, NSPCC, The College of Policing, The Army.
Previously, Simon was chairman of the University of Sussex governing Council. He is currently on the Boards of Brighton Dome and Festival, Housing and Care 21 and of POWERful Women and is a Trustee of The Museum of London.
Simon was also a co-founder of one of the most successful lobby and campaign groups in recent times, the lesbian and gay equality organisation Stonewall. He is now a co-founder of the Kaleidoscope Trust, supporting LGBTI activists abroad.
Simon is a broadcaster, writer and pundit. He was awarded the OBE in the New Years Honours list 2013 for services to Higher Education. And he was made an Honorary Doctor of the University of Sussex for services to diversity and human rights in 2013.
Matthew Wright is the former Managing Director of Ørsted in the UK (previously DONG Energy).
He joined the Company in May 2017. Matthew has 30 years’ experience in the utilities sector, working both in the UK and overseas. Most recently he spent 10 years in the UK water sector, first as Managing Director at United Utilities and subsequently as CEO of Southern Water, a position he held for 6 years.
Prior to this, he spent 20 years in the electricity industry and held a number of senior strategic and operational roles with ScottishPower in the UK and PacifiCorp in the USA.
Sir Edward Davey has served as the Member of Parliament for Kingston and Surbiton from 1997 to 2015, and since the General Election of June 2017. In 2019, Edward was elected as acting co-leader of the Liberal Democrats alongside Sal Brinton.
An economist by trade, he was a business consultant before he was elected for the first time in 1997. It was his concerns about our environment that first got him politically active. Ed was Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in 2012-15, and in 2016 set up a consultancy working primarily in the energy and climate change field. He chairs a Community Energy Co-operative Company called Mongoose Energy and was honoured to receive a knighthood from the Queen in the 2016 New Year Honours.
Elizabeth Baxter is Director of Project Finance at Sonnedix, a global solar independent power producer backed by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. She leads the origination and execution of project finance lending for solar power projects in the UK and Europe. Before joining Sonnedix, Elizabeth was a Principal Banker at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) where she financed almost a billion euros of power and energy projects and companies in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa over eleven years. Prior to EBRD, Elizabeth was a financial associate at Biossence Ltd, a UK waste to energy developer. She began her career in investment management at Lehman Brothers in New York. She has a Bachelor in Economics and International Studies from Yale College and a Masters in Management and Strategy from the London School of Economics.
Loraine is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Network Rail, which maintains and develops Britain’s rail infrastructure. With some 42,000 employees, it is the fastest growing railway in Europe. Loraine leads a centre of expertise which supports Network Rail’s ambition to be a more open, diverse and inclusive business.
Previously, Loraine lead a multi-award-winning team, delivering a programme of equality and inclusion and employment and skills in the construction of the its infrastructure, venues and facilities on the Olympic Park for London 2012. For this work Loraine was awarded an MBE.
Loraine was the vice chair of the Trust for London, a grant–making body which tackles inequality and poverty in the capital and chaired the working group that funded London Living Wage campaign. Loraine is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In October 2019 Inclusive Boards and the Financial Times announced that Loraine has been included in the top 100 women influencing engineering in the UK. In November 2019, Loraine was awarded the Mike Nichols Award (Association of Project Management APM) which recognises contributions to transformational change for the world and society.
Rubina leads e-mobility technology strategy and innovation at Centrica. She manages new technology development to enable the convergence of clean energy and electric vehicles, with the goal to accelerate our global transition to net-zero. Rubina serves as an Advisory Expert to the Solar Impulse Foundation and is also a judge for and mentor to cleantech startup competitions internationally. For her achievements in enabling the transition to net-zero, Rubina was selected as the Young Energy Professional of the Year 2020 by Energy UK. Her career has spanned work in Australia, the United States and the UK. In her previous roles, Rubina headed up the Fraunhofer TechBridge programme to accelerate innovation and investment in clean technologies and set up a new electric vehicle division at Gemserv. She is a regular speaker at international conferences and a thought leader with more than 10 publications in leading journals including IEEE, TechCrunch and PV Tech Power. Rubina graduated with a first-class honours in sustainable energy engineering from the Australian National University and received her master’s degree in engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Nick Wayth has held a broad career at the forefront of change in the energy industry as it adapts ever faster to tackling climate change.
Nick spent nearly 22 years at BP plc in a broad variety of executive and management roles. Most recently Nick held the post of Chief Development Officer of Alternative Energy, where he led BP’s strategy and business development in a broad range of renewable technologies, including solar, offshore wind and digital energy. Through this role Nick was also a member of the BP Ventures Investment Committee, sponsoring several of BP’s venture investments.
Prior to this Nick held senior roles as VP Competitor Intelligence and as Head of North America Investor Relations, based in Houston. Nick’s early career was spent in a variety of operational, technical, and commercial roles in the upstream business, based offshore in the North Sea, Aberdeen, Algeria and London.
Nick holds a PhD in Mechanical / Electrical Engineering and a degree in Mechanical Engineering, both from the University of Southampton. Nick is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and a Fellow of the Energy Institute.
Nick is passionate about creating an inclusive and supportive environment for working parents and carers and was the executive sponsor for an active resource group at BP’s St James’s Square office. Nick also advises and mentors entrepreneurs in energy start-up companies.
Outside of work, Nick enjoys running, cycling, yoga and spending time with his wife, Debbie, and their two sons.