Keynote Speaker: DANY COTTON

Topic: Climbing the ladder in a male-dominated environment





The first woman Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade

Dany Cotton

Danielle Cotton QFSM joined the London Fire Brigade in 1988, and her first placement was at Wimbledon Fire Station. Aged 19, she had been a full firefighter for just three months when she attended the Clapham Junction rail crash. In 2007, she was assigned the post of Area Commander, becoming the highest-ranking woman in the British Fire Service, and in 2012 was made Assistant Chief Officer then Director of Safety and Assurance. In 2017, Dany was appointed Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, the first woman to hold this position.

On 14 June 2017, she was called out in the middle of the night to take charge of the London Fire Brigade's response to the massive Grenfell Tower fire, which she described as "an unprecedented incident." She appeared at several media briefings to give updates on casualty figures, challenges faced and firefighters' progress. (The on-going investigation means Dany is unable to talk about Grenfell.)

In October 2017 she highlighted Fireman Sam in a campaign fighting sexism and promoting the gender-neutral term firefighter. She proposed that the children's character should be renamed Firefighter Sam as research showed women are put off a career in the fire service because it is seen as a job for men, and that as Fireman Sam is seen by children from an early age, the name reinforces this stereotype. In 2004 Dany became the first woman to be awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal. She is the Patron of Women in the Fire Service


After-lunch Free workshop

Facilitator: Jeff Green, CEO Balanced Boards

Topic: Placing Women on More Boards - Your Top Questions Answered

Jeff Green has been at the forefront of bringing people together from all areas of society for over 30 years. One of those very rare people that "actually does stay in touch"; he has built up a well-connected network with one objective - to motivate people to learn from diverse views thereby creating more ideas, more innovation and more profit for everyone. Currently, he is writing "Making the cake bigger" a book providing Business Leaders the tools to improve social mobility impact and achieving revenue growth through diversity.

Jeff is an angel investor focussing on investing in Women Entrepreneurs which directly links to his leadership initiative - Here, his team recruit and place leaders from all backgrounds into Non Executive and Director positions in both NYSE & FTSE listed and unlisted companies. This includes gender, ethnicity, faith, LGBT and the forgotten, social diversity.

Jeff has been mentoring tomorrow's leaders with his work with HRH Prince of Wales's charity and is a Board Member of The UK Internet Commission and was nominated for a Diversity Lifetime Achievement Award.



Our meeting place

  • Judge’s Court (pictured bottom left), Brown’s Courtrooms
    1st floor, 82 St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4AG
  • Nearest Tube:
    Exit 4, Leicester Square
  • About the venue:
    Hidden away within Browns Covent Garden is Browns Court Rooms. This historic two floor event suite is designed with grand sweeping staircases and stunning original features. The building was once the Westminster’s County Courts and in 1996 was converted into a bar and restaurant. Within the largest room - The Judges Court, the original Judge’s Bench is still in place. It was from here that convicted defendants were sent down to the detention cells ... these detention cells now serve as the wine cellars!

Diarise these 2020 lunches

(all Thursdays)

February 27; April 23; June 25; September 24 and November 19