CHAMBER MONTHLY BLOG- Celebrating 15 Years of Knowsley Women in Business

On Wednesday 17 October, 83 of Knowsley’s most inspirational women supported Knowsley Chamber’s Women in Business network event which was held at the stunning Knowsley Hall.

Guest Panel for the Knowsley Women in Business Network Event 17 October 2018. Shown L to R are (Danielle Flynn, Stephanie Lee, Louise Gillespie, Lesley Martin-Wright, Jennifer Larossa, Rachael Forshaw)

The invited guest panel of speakers reflected a group of women from a diversity of professional careers including Rachael Forshaw Commercial Director and Depot Principal at Sovereign Transport Services; Louise Gillespie Managing Director of Jessie & Co; Jennifer Larossa Forensic Scientist at Merseyside Police; Danielle Flynn Higher Apprentice at Jaguar Land Rover; and Stephanie Lee, Mechatronics Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover.

We were so delighted to be joined by Chamber member, Halewood Academy, and 6 of their students from the Future Female Leaders Programme.

Josie Gallagher, Vice Principal of Halewood Academy commented ‘Our Future Female Leaders programme is in its infancy. Halewood Academy are supporting this programme to help raise the profile of women in leadership roles, and provide a platform for our female students to aspire to.

“Through the programme students will have the opportunity to meet women from the business world, share experiences, and receive advice and guidance. It will also enable the student participants to explore Halewood Academy’s core values of collaboration, excellence, resilience, aspiration and respect.

“Our Future Female Leaders has 2 strands – to be a mentor to other young females in the school and/or to have access to a professional mentor. We have already successfully attracted some fantastic female mentors from a variety employment sectors; they have signed up to give at least 1 hour of their time (every 6 weeks) to mentor a young female from Halewood Academy.

“We were delighted to attend our first public event on Wednesday 17 October to help celebrate 15 Years of Knowsley Women in Business. Meeting so many influential women was such a special occasion. Our young Future Female Leaders were surrounded by empowering women who, I am sure, will continue to inspire them from years to come.

Ellie, one of Halewood Academy’s students said “I loved the event. It was very beneficial to meet so many women from so many different business sectors”.

Sehar commented “I will use the skills I have gained today when working with my mentees back at school”.

Topics discussed-
• Balancing family life with work life and the impact on responsibilities
• Mental health and wellbeing
• Redressing the numbers of men as a opposed to women in senior positions
• The opportunities for women in engineering and logistics
• Where and who to go for support as you climb the career ladder
• Greatest battles faced and how to overcome barriers

Following the conclusion of the panel discussions and lots of questions from the Women in Business Network, guests retired to the State Dining Room for a delicious lunch.

Following the event Knowsley Chamber received a large number of “thank yous” including this one from Joyce Greaves, CEO of Knowsley Disability Concern “Just a very quick thank you for a wonderfully organised and entertaining lunch today.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the discussions and made lots of new contacts which will hopefully be of benefit in a variety of ways in the future.”

Lesley Martin-Wright said “This was a hugely uplifting event and a very fitting celebration for 15 years of Women in Business here in Knowsley.

“Stephanie and Danielle provided some very interesting details about their recent meeting with the ‘Dagenham Ladies’, who during the summer of 1968, protested about their unequal treatment. As we know the women’s strike led to widespread attention and had a huge role in bringing about equal pay legislation in the UK.

“If anyone from the Women in Business network wishes to become a mentor for the Future Female Leaders programme please contact Knowsley Chamber in the first instance”.