Maybe I’m Crazy But… with Jen Brister, Sarah Weldon, Chi Onwurah and Helena Morrissey

Maybe I’m Crazy But… this time I’d like to celebrate women who embarked on the most audacious of missions, came up with the most impossible ideas, weren’t afraid to break conventions and set their own rules.”

It’s always a thrill to open a Ladies Who Impress celebration, and our 5th event was very special indeed: a packed room with over 100 guests, very naughty espresso martinis and not three but four fabulous guest speakers from very diverse backgrounds: stand-up comedy, education and adventure, politics and the City. Backgrounds aside, their stories were equally inspiring and here are some of the highlights.

Jen Brister

Jen Brister’s profile on Twitter says: “I am a stand up comedian and I am a woman. I know AS IF?”

Jen did have a stab at the 9 to 5, selling advertising space, once in her twenties, but having studied stand-up comedy (although by her own admission, you cannot be taught to be funny…), she knew that her calling was to be on stage. You may think that Jen has always been supremely confident to take on live comedy, but it’s about ‘faking it till you make it’ and then being on stage becomes natural and quite a bit addictive… Why, I can even relate to it myself.

To see Jen perform live, check out her website or Twitter.

Sarah WeldonSarah Weldon is setting off to row solo around Great Britain in May 2014. Nope, this hasn’t been done before but this incredible woman has come up with an insanely ambitious plan to raise awareness and funds for the Oceans Project she founded in 2010, whilst teaching kids in Georgia. The project has a custom-built online platform with English and Science lessons delivered via Skype. Funds raised will buy tablets, internet access, projectors, solar charges, and, ultimately, education, for kids globally.

There are many ways to help, so please get involved! For just £10 sponsorship, you can get your name on her boat!

Chi OnwurahChi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle and Shadow Cabinet Minister, joined us straight from the Parliament, which, by her own admission, still largely resembles a men’s club.

When asked about her most treasured achievements, Chi first told us about her career as an Electrical Engineer, connecting Nigeria’s first telecoms network to her father’s house and making him proud.

Chi is incredibly passionate about getting more women interested in science, engineering and technology. On a personal note, if she had any spare time, she would study … Portuguese.

Helena MorrisseyHelena Morrissey advised women to be open to opportunities, get noticed rather than blend in and be proactive because merit alone isn’t enough to advance your career. Otherwise, she talked about doing not just ‘white’ and ‘dark’ but ‘orange’ laundry, an ordinary chore for a mum of nine…

Helena’s foundation, the 30% Club, committed to greater gender diversity on corporate boards through voluntary actions, has made great progress since 2010: now only 2 FTSE-100 boards have no female directors and 20% of all FTSE-100 directors are women, up from 12.5%. To find out more about the 30% Club, please visit its website.

Fabulous five

This event has been generously sponsored by:


The Makers Academy, offering full-time web development courses for both IT professionals and complete beginners and helping their graduates to get jobs at top technology companies in London. 

They also offer £500 scholarships for women to promote greater diversity in the tech community.


Cru Kafe, a new brand of 100% Arabica, organic, eco-friendly coffee, delivered in biodegradable pods, compatible with Nespresso machines.

Indeed, the evening wouldn’t be the same without the Cru Kafe team and their fabulous espresso martinis…

Many thanks also to Abby Chicken, Anne Sommerfield, Michael Hobden and James Stittle!

Jana with Jen Brister

Cru kafe martinisJana with Helena

Jana with Sarah

“An incredibly inspiring event, highlighting successful women”

“Far exceeded my expectations – a truly inspirational evening. A room full of positivity and forward thinking. Cannot wait for the next event!” 

“I left the Maybe I’m Crazy But.. event feeling pumped up for life. Such inspiring women make you realise you can do anything!”



One thought on “Maybe I’m Crazy But… with Jen Brister, Sarah Weldon, Chi Onwurah and Helena Morrissey

  1. Liliyogini

    These events are very special opportunities for people to come together and get inspired, laugh, rage, cry, cheer…….

    Keep going Jana


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *