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Women and Leadership: The Impact of Women on Cities

Festival of the Future City

Watershed  |  £5 – £10

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What difference does women’s leadership make to their organisations – and what impact could it have on the city? We bring together significant current female leaders from around Bristol to discuss this issue and more.

Over the last six years, Festival of the Future City has looked at how cities would be different if they were designed by women.

To discuss this, we are bringing together three of Bristol’s most significant current women leaders: Vivienne Faull, Bishop of Bristol; Sharon Foster, High Sheriff of Bristol; and Evelyn Welch, Vice-Chancellor, University of Bristol. Chaired by writer and consultant Margaret Heffernan, with an introduction by Jane Duffus, author of the two volumes on The Women Who Built Bristol, which look at the prominent women in Bristol’s history.

Buy Jane Duffus’s The Women Who Built Bristol and The Women Who Built Bristol, Volume 2 now from

Jane Duffus is a writer, whose last published book was Elegantly Understated: 175 Years of the Fears Watch Company, was published in summer 2021. She has also released two volumes of The Women Who Built Bristol and is researching and writing a book about the seminal independent music label Sarah Records, which is set to be published in October 2023.

Evelyn Welch is Vice Chancellor of the University of Bristol and a scholar of the Renaissance and Early Modern Period. Prior to her appointment at the University of Bristol, she was a Professor of Renaissance and Senior Vice President (Arts & Sciences) at King’s College London.

Sharon Foster was appointed as High Sheriff of Bristol in 2023. She is passionate about opportunities for education for children and young people. She has been a school governor and she is also a Trustee of Beira Mozambique Trust, a project of the Southern African Resources Centre.

The Rt Revd Vivienne Faull is the 56th Bishop of Bristol. She served as a Deaconess at Saint Matthew and Saint James, Mossley Hill in the Diocese of Liverpool from 1982 to 1985, moving to become Chaplain, later Fellow, of Clare College, Cambridge, being made Deacon in the Diocese of Ely in 1987.

Margaret Heffernan

Dr Margaret Heffernan is a professor of practice at the University of Bath School of Management. She is a CEO and has written several books about leadership and business.

Pay What You Feel

This event is part of our new ticket pricing structure where we ask people to pay what they feel they can afford in accordance with their means. Read more about it here. Read on for the ticket prices for this event.

One free carer ticket can be booked at the same time for a paying disabled visitor. If you need to book more than one, please contact us before booking to arrange.

Pay It Forward

The Pay It Forward option enables you to book a ticket above the standard price, and will help to subsidise a ticket for someone who requires the Pay What You Can option. This option is aimed at people who are able to meet their basic needs and would like to help somebody else with the cost of their ticket.

  • Is this for me? – I have access to a regular and stable income and I have the means and desire to contribute towards making the event affordable for others and supporting Bristol Ideas.


This recommended price is based on what we’d traditionally charge for a similar event. It helps us make sure that basic costs are covered. This price is aimed at people who are able to meet their basic needs and have enough to live on.

  • Is this for me? – I have access to a regular and disposable income, and I can comfortably afford the recommended ticket price.


This option is lower than the recommended price. It is subsidised by Bristol Ideas and fellow audience members who have booked at the Pay It Forward rate. This price is aimed at people who could do with support to get by.

  • Is this for me? – My access to income is low and unstable and I worry about meeting my basic needs. I would select a concession rate due to my personal circumstances.

No one will be turned away due to lack of funds, so please contact us if you have any queries.

Booking Information

Ticket booking is via Eventbrite. Please review Eventbrite’s terms and conditions and Privacy Policy as Bristol Ideas do not accept any responsibility or liability for the policies. You can read Bristol Ideas’ Privacy policy here.

Please note we only refund tickets if the event is cancelled. Events start punctually and, out of consideration to other audience members and speakers, our policy is not to admit or issue refunds to latecomers. Full Terms and Conditions here.


  • Watershed’s main entrance and Box Office are both on the ground floor which is accessible via a ramped, electronically assisted entrance door.
  • There are two Blue Badge parking spaces to the rear of Watershed on Canons Road.
  • Guide dogs and hearing dogs are very welcome.
  • The first floor of Watershed is accessible via lift from the main entrance and includes level access to all areas, including the cinemas and event spaces.
  • The cinemas and event spaces have induction loops.
  • There is an accessible toilet (with baby changing facilities) near Cinema 1. Follow the signs for the Cinemas and the accessible toilet is just on your left through the double doors before Cinema 1.
  • There are gender neutral toilets in the cinema corridor on the first floor.

Visit Watershed’s Access page for more information.

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