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Creating Positive Footprints....

Women in Public Life Seminar

As Parliament Week partners with this year's theme of #DoDemocracy and as part of the Pink Shoe BoardAble programme we held an event to encourage, inform and support women into public life. 

'Your Nation Needs You! enabled women considering a public appointment to find out what is really involved and how to go about taking those first steps into public life.

Rosalyn Eales of the Cabinet Office gave delegates a real insight into the wide variety of public roles available and stressed that age is no barrier - both young and more mature candidates are welcome. Also that we should consider what transferable skills we have that could be applied in a public appointment.

Delegates then shared some of their own expectations before we heard from Sarah Anderson CBE, a successful entrepreneur who has worked with a variety of public bodies including Job Centre Plus and the Equalities & Human Rights Commission as well as chairing the Anderson Report into business regulation. 

Sarah was able to offer the inside track of how an Appointments Panel works and what is actually involved in the process. Sarah's strong sense of satisfaction from making a tangible difference  inspired us all.

Pink Shoe Hullabaloo!

For Global Entrepreneurship Week event we hosted a powerful event on Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. Pink Shoe Hullabaloo! The round table explored how the UK’s entrepreneurs #MakeItHappen, and looked into the reasons behind the success of the UK’s entrepreneurs, and how they can be used to inspire the country’s future businessmen and women.

Joining the many successful entrepreneurs and leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were Alan Mak MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Entrepreneurship, and Craig Tracey MP, Chair of the APPG for Women and Enterprise. The MPs outlined their goals in relation to their APPGs, and underlined their commitment to supporting female entrepreneurs and to inspiring and encouraging more women and young people to start their own businesses.

Helene Martin Gee welcomed our host Baroness Uddin then introduced Sue Lawton MBE who chaired the proceedings with her usual finesse. Firstly, the founders of Clever Tykes, Jodie and Ben Cook outlined the catalyst for their brilliant series of books aimed at providing young children with positive role models from the world of business.

Alex Mitchell of Young Brits then spoke of the importance of growing young businesses, followed by a passionate Jacqueline Winstanley on encouraging Inclusive Entrepreneurship. Finally, Ishreen Bradley outlined her top tips on growing a successful business.

As the round table discussion continued, it was clear that the speakers had come with great passion, and many important issues were raised. Points debated included the recently-discovered fact that new entrepreneurs are more likely to have had an entrepreneurial parent than not, and that the 1.5 million female entrepreneurs constitute one-third of the self-employed workforce. With a fantastic 200 million women starting up businesses worldwide, how can we look to improve that number; is it due to the inherent risk that people associate with start-ups, or it is related to the career paths and options that are presented to young women at school and university?

To provide some insight into the school question, we were joined by students and teachers from Woodside High School who spoke about their interest in a future as entrepreneurs. With the subject of entrepreneurship making it to the leaders’ communiqué at the most recent G20 conference for the first time, it is clear that much has been achieved in advancing the subject in the political agenda. As women have started eighty per cent of the UK’s post-recession new businesses, it is only right that we can now start to look at this success and discuss how to take it to the next generation.

After the roundtable we enjoyed drinks and networking and gave a toast to Lorely, the newly enobled Baroness Burt of Solihull.