Catherine is a seasoned public speaker, with a rousing style and easy authority. Whether presenting in person or virtually, she speaks with passion and insight on subjects surrounding diversity and inclusion, leadership, politics and making change happen. She is also a frequent and popular guest on panel discussions, enriching any debate with her immense knowledge and breadth of experience.
Some of her potential speaking topics are listed below. Each can be tailored to suit the needs of the client or event. If you would like something more bespoke surrounding these themes, or to make a booking enquiry, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with
• Difference Works: Why true diversity and inclusion is about much more than ticking boxes
Organisations know they need to improve the diversity of their workforces—but they often don’t know why. Catherine unravels the confusion surrounding diversity and diversity programmes, highlights the dangers of creating echo chambers or cultures that suppress dissident opinions and demonstrates the value of more inclusive cultures.
• Wonder Women: How unlocking female potential benefits us all
This addresses some of the key points in the Difference Works keynote, but looking in more detail at the subject of female participation in the economy and the workplace. Why is it that organisations struggle to retain women and how can they improve that record? And why the rewards of doing so are huge.
• From Lightbulb Moment to Growing Enterprise: How to turn ideas into reality
In March 2015, Catherine and Sandi Toksvig came up with the idea of the Women’s Equality Party. By July it was registered with the Electoral Commission. In 2019 it won its first council seat. Primadonna Festival made its debut in 2019 and one year later, after running a virtual festival during the pandemic, announced an Arts Council England grant and a permanent new home. Drawing on these experiences and on case studies she has conducted as a journalist and author, Catherine sets out her blueprint for making things happen.
• Tough at the Top: Hard lessons in leading and being led
Catherine has been a junior employee, a middle manager, the head of departments and organisations and she is also the co-founder of two start-ups, the Women’s Equality Party and Primadonna Festival. She discusses what she learned from bad bosses and good and from her own mistakes and successes about how to manage and how to inspire.
• Seizing the Turbulence: How to embrace change
Tumult tends to make people and organisations cautious, but progress is often born of turbulence, not stability. Catherine explains why resistance may not only be futile but damaging, and how to find silver linings even in the stormiest of circumstances—including pandemic, political and economic upheavals and personal loss.
“Very inspiring and engaging...we liked the way she spoke from the heart and gave her personal story. She sets a tone of openness and trust which was exactly what the session needed.”
“We like how Catherine peppered in interesting statistics to back up some of her points and add weight to them”
“Clearly very knowledgeable”
“Catherine was an absolutely fabulous addition on the night – razor sharp, great sense of humour, real and extremely engaging. She is right at the top of her game and therefore able to be challenging but without alienating the audience.”
"As a result of Catherine being on the panel, we were able to create the level, strength and quality of debate we really aspired to – and have an enjoyable, fun evening along the way. The feedback from our guests was that she had taken our panel to a new level.”
“OMG she was awesome”