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Masha Kiryanova (Co-Founder and Committee)

Masha works at Sankaty Advisors Bain Capital and is a former analyst in the Industrials team at Deutsche Bank, which focuses on providing M&A as well as other advisory services to corporate clients. Prior to committing herself to long, fruitful weeks of financial analysis, she was studying Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She loves to read, to visit art galleries, to travel; and in her free-time will sneak away from the city for a game of tennis, or a session of wakeboarding.

Marta Szczerba (Co-Founder)

Marta is an MBA Fulbright Scholar at Harvard Business School (2014-2016) and has been named one of the “35 under 35” women in business by Management Today. She previously worked as a Associate Commercial Director of ExanteDiet.com at The Hut Group and was a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group. She graduated in 2011 with a First Class degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University. Marta is now a Private Equity Investment Executive at investment firm KKR.


Ann Hyams (Committee)

Ann works at Whitbread in Investor Relations having previously been part of their strategy team, which she joined after training as a consultant with L.E.K. Consulting. Ann studied geography at Oxford University, where she was also heavily involved in sport; as Ladies Blues swimming captain, and subsequently Secretary of the Women’s Blues Committee. Now in London, she enjoys exploring the wealth of exhibitions and entertainment the capital has to offer, but also enjoys the chance to escape for beach breaks, city breaks, or a bit of wild swimming across Europe.

What are the top tips you’ve learned from the Eyedea experience?

Being a part of Eyedea has given me exposure to so many inspirational women who stand out for different reasons. However, common traits that have resonated with me are courage and conviction in their own ideas, and an innate ability or inner strength to believe in themselves. The women I admire most are the ones that are both liked and respected; a combination that seems far more difficult for women then men to achieve in the workplace.

What has been your favourite ‘Eyedea moment’?

My highlight of the Eyedea experience, and why I think the network is so special, is how much inspiration everyone finds in each other, over and above what is gained from listening to our speakers. I love hearing stories about how our members have connected beyond our events, taking the networking experience to a new level and demonstrating the far reaching benefits Eyedea has been able to offer – creating new friendships as well as new business connections!


Martha McPherson (Philanthropy/Charities)

Martha is currently studying for her Master’s degree in International Affairs, specialising in Energy, at Sciences Po, Paris. Before this, she spent two years as Communications and Marketing Director at educational access charity The Brilliant Club, and two years in strategic brand consulting at The Value Engineers. She graduated in 2012 with a first class degree in English Language and Literature from Oxford University. Martha enjoys travelling and has interned in the corporate planning department at Infosys in Bangalore, India as well as participating in the Study China programme in Jinan, China.

Who was your favourite speaker? 

I have so many favourite Eyedea speakers but I really loved Tanya Mackay, who was our fourth ever speaker. She had just launched an amazing skincare range called mio. I remember her talking about internal voices of encouragement and saying that you have to be your own best friend – that we are often too hard on ourselves, and say things to ourselves in our heads that we wouldn’t say out loud to our worst enemy. That really made me think about how important it is to self-encourage, rather than always thinking of what went wrong.

What is it that makes Eyedea so special as a networking experience?

My best moments in Eyedea are when our speakers share extra special, personal or hilarious moments of their lives in business with us, that you would never hear anywhere else or in any interviews. I love it when the whole room goes quiet, or bursts out laughing, or breathes a collective ‘oooooh’ at something that a speaker says, and you can see the network members making mental notes to apply these insights to their own professional lives.



Lydia Zacharis (Committee)

Lydia is a Buyer for Net-a-Porter, having made a profession out of her love for fashion, after earning a Bachelor’s in Economics from London School of Economics and a Master’s in Management from London Business School. Prior to joining the leading online luxury retailer she worked at Harrods, Swarovski and Quintessentially, and also contributed to SUITCASE Magazine, as well as participated in Marketing competitions organised by Procter & Gamble and L’Oreal. An avid traveller and culture lover she likes making the most of her time by discovering new places – you can always count on her for some recommendations!

Who are the women who inspire you?

Women who are achieving interesting things in their fields whilst staying human and kind, women who are pioneers, speak their mind and are changing the world whilst being themselves and not feeling that they have to put up a tough facade, women who lead by example and respect and not by fear and intimidation, women who do not let the fact that they are women ever hold them back in anything.

What is it that makes Eyedea so special as a networking experience?

The beauty and ethos of Eyedea is that it is driven by passion and a genuine interest in learning and getting inspired, without any additional agenda. It is a non-profit network with no external involvement whose purpose is to connect successful female speakers with curious, intelligent young women in informal settings which allow speakers to let their guards down and be very open and personal. Every event leaves you feeling invigorated and ready to tackle any obstacle and conquer the world; like you do after a very helpful, honest chat with a trust-worthy friend or mentor over a warm cup of tea.


Linda Blank (Committee)Eyedea_WebsiteShoot-2498

Linda holds the position of Commercial Director at SUITCASE Media Group, a travel magazine and creative agency. Previously, Linda spent almost four years as a Strategy Consultant at Accenture, focusing on business model innovation and corporate growth strategy. She holds an MSc Management degree from Imperial College’s Business School and a First Class Honours Degree in BA Language & Culture from UCL, where her dissertation was published. Linda is also on the committee of Unicef’s Next Generation London, a group of young professionals who are committed to helping transform the lives of the most vulnerable children.

Who are the women who inspire or have inspired you?

Apollonia Polaine is the still one of the most impressive women I have ever met. She was the first person I invited to come to Eyedea and I was so star struck. Not only was she an amazing business woman and incredibly intelligent, but she was also the most generous and hospitable speaker I have ever met. If I could, I would ask her to come back to Eyedea every year.

What is it that makes Eyedea so special as a networking experience?

To me Eyedea is so special because of the quality of the people who join us. Every single person I met through Eyedea is smart, ambitious and eager to help others. Because we never advertised on a large scale, our network grew in a very organic way and kept the sense of intimacy, which is super important to me and makes me feel like I always have a safety net to follow back upon.



Isabella Gerber (Committee) 

Isabella is an mining, oil and gas development consultant at Adam Smith International, where she has worked since 2013. Before this, Isabella completed an MSc in Management from Imperial College Business School focusing on global energy management. She also holds a BA in French and Arabic from UCL, which included a year abroad in France and Syria. For Eyedea, Isabella leads the network’s entrepreneurship blog as a platform to support and help launch nascent female-led businesses. She also supports the social travel startup Live2Leave as their Content Manager. In her free time, Isabella avidly practices yoga, enjoys exploring London, travelling and learning new languages.

What has been your favourite ‘Eyedea moment’?

Every event we host is really special in so many ways – bringing together incredibly inspiring women in leadership with our members and hearing stories that resonate with each of us, there are always so many takeaways to help motivate you through your career.

In your view, is entrepreneurship a talent or a mind-set?

Through all the amazing young entrepreneurial women I’ve met and interviewed, my view is it takes guts, hard work and belief in your business. It’s certainly more of a mind-set than a talent; if you have a great idea and give it everything you’ve got, it’s bound to be a success.


Since early 2016, our event photos are captured by Victoria Metaxas (http://aurora-stories.com/) and Connie Chen.