The Asset Finance Professionals Association (AFPA) Trust, a charitable organisation for the asset finance and leasing industry, marked a significant milestone with its first International Women’s Day (IWD24) networking Lunch on Friday, 8th March.

The event brought together women from various companies within the asset finance and leasing sector, creating a platform to celebrate their achievements and contributions.

Hosted at Smith’s Bar & Grill in Sheldon Square, London, the 2024 event featured discussions with attendees participating by sharing questions, comments, and ideas, contributing to the collaborative spirit of the event.

Jane Bird and Aysha Ellis-Aziz

Led by AFPA Trust Deputy Chairwoman Aysha Ellis-Aziz and Ambassador Jane Bird, the programme covered discussions on women’s empowerment in finance, career development, work-life balance, and building a supportive community. Networking opportunities were a key focus, encouraging collaboration and connection among the diverse group of professionals.


One notable feature was the Charity Vote, allowing attendees to select their preferred charity from options including Women’s Aid, Smart Works, and The Fawcett Society. As a collective commitment to making a positive impact, attendees donated £1,000 via AFPA Trust to Smart Works, a UK charity dedicated to empowering women to reach their full potential, secure employment, and transform their lives.

Expressing her gratitude, Aysha Ellis-Aziz said: “It was truly heartening to see us come together at the AFPA International Women’s Day networking lunch. Our aim was not only to create an enjoyable experience but also to derive significant benefit from our collective efforts. As this marked our inaugural event of this nature, and witnessing the tremendous interest and positive response, we are delighted to announce plans for a much larger gathering next year. It was particularly special to unite and collaboratively select a worthy charity deserving of the £1,000 donation in honour of International Women’s Day.”

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Looking ahead, the AFPA Trust anticipates the 2025 edition aiming to continue the tradition of bringing women in the industry together to celebrate achievements and inspire one another.

The 2025 edition is scheduled to take place at the Royal Over-Seas League on Thursday, 6th March 2025.

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