There is no doubt that this year’s line-up of speakers, seminars, sessions and sponsors is stronger than it has ever been before as businesses recognise the value of being more involved with the Yorkshire Mafia (YM) and the schedule of events we provide throughout the year.


Not only are we able to give businesses from the Leeds City Region and surrounding districts access to some of the UK’s leading brands that are offering market leading advice, guidance and insight but we have a full week-long schedule that includes our first dedicated Women’s Network event.


Sponsored by Carat, the world’s first media agency and a member of Dentsu Aegis Network – the global communications network ‘Innovating the Way Brands Are Built’, this event will focus on how working in partnership with others makes us all stronger together!


For the first time Carat Leeds have come on board to sponsor our Women’s Networking session, as it makes the debut into our calendar of activities during LBW. Like most businesses that are involved with the week, Carat is keen to extend its network but it also has another reason for choosing the Women’s Networking session, we find out more.



Despite being a global business, Carat is very aware of the need to take a local approach when working with its clients. Director at Carat Leeds, Andrea Bagan explains:


“Being part of a global communication network has many advantages, but regionally it can create barriers where local businesses don’t necessarily understand how we can support them with their own communication challenges on a local, regional and national level.


“As media is often a company’s second largest expense after wages, we want to develop deeper relationships with board level directors so that we can demonstrate the value that a truly effective marketing strategy can deliver for a business.”



LBW has grown year on year and as we evolve and offer an increasing number of opportunities for businesses and professionals to engage, we have also seen companies recognising the value of that too. Andrea explains why Carat wanted to become more involved with the YM and in particular LBW. She comments:


“This is our first experience of being involved with LBW as a sponsor, however a number of our employees have previously attended LBW and they have always had positive feedback both in terms of the speakers and delegate attendance.


“We are keen to support local business initiatives within the region and what better way to really get involved, than sponsor an event during Leeds Business Week that looks to bring together 200+ women in business.


“When we reviewed the event list, the women’s networking event felt like such a good fit because gender equality is such a hot topic within our business, as we are extremely passionate about correcting the gender imbalance within both our industry and the wider business community.”



Rather than just talk about gender equality, Carat has taken somewhat of an unprecedented approach to putting in place its own targets to address the balance. The agency has made a commitment to achieve a 50/50 gender balance in its leadership positions by 2020.


These claims may seem far-fetched to some, but the agency has already met with its targets in Leeds as it announces that two thirds of its leadership team is made up of women, an admission it says is ‘bucking the trend in the industry’.


As a business that is known for doing rather than discussing, we really champion the approach by Carat and look forward to hearing more about the work that they are doing in this area.



The Women’s Network event, sponsored by Carat, KC Communications and 8 Outdoor, takes place on Monday 9 October at Tattu in Leeds. The cost is £20 per ticket and it is anticipated, given the popularity of this event, it will be a sell out – so please, make sure you book your place in advance.


The session, which was included in the round-up due to popular demand, offers women the chance to network over cocktails, while enjoying nibbles in a relaxing, informal and beautiful setting.  Starting at 1pm, attendees can come along and spend a couple of hours getting to know their fellow mafiosa. For further details visit: https://leedsbizweek.com/events-seminars/event-seminar/womens-networking-afternoon/



Showing further support for the YM, Carat will sponsor the next Yorkshire Mafia Women’s networking event, which takes place later this year, and would like to ask for any feedback in terms of specific topics or issues that our lovely YM ladies would like to discuss or debate.


Please do send your comments to tara@theyorkshiremafia.com and we will pass them on to the team.