Business leaders from across the West Midlands joined to celebrate International Women’s Day in an event organised by the Institute of Directors.
The event, at the John Lewis community rooms in Birmingham city centre on 8 March, focussed on the global theme for International Women’s Day #PressforProgress.
An audience of around 50 businesspeople took part in the debate which was facilitated by former FIFA referee and current CEO of Sports Officials UK Ltd Janie Frampton.
She welcomed the chance to celebrate International Women’s Day but stated there is still a long way to go to achieve full gender equality in the workplace.
“Coming together like this means we can learn from women who have built strong careers despite the barriers,” she said. “For all the barriers I have seen in the male-dominated world of football, I also know those barriers are not insurmountable.”
The panel featured a host of influential women from different fields of expertise including former Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Police Suzette Davenport.
She said: “International Women’s Day is a fantastic day to be inspired and enthused and to hear powerful stories from across the world. I hope this event, in which we have shared skills and experience, will also encourage and inspire us.”
Also on the panel were former president of the Birmingham Law Society and founder and principal at law firm Schofield and Associates Eileen Schofield, chartered accountant, licenced practitioner of Insights Discovery, Neuro-Linguistic Programming practitioner and business coach Liz Whitfield and founder of Centrepunch Beaulagh Brooks.
Completing the speakers were Resolve ASB managing director Janine Green and digital and social media marketing consultant Abhi Punj.
The debate featured discussions around progress towards equality, barriers to that progress, attitudes towards successful businesswomen and hints and tips for personal career progression.
IoD Women as Leaders chair Jeanette Rawlinson added: “I am delighted that once again the IoD is bringing together experts and professionals from so many sectors to share experience. One of the things we do really well is find resourceful and interesting speakers to discuss issues that really matter to business leaders.”
The event was in partnership with Women in Social Housing and members of Women Unltd were also invited. It forms part of an ongoing series of events aimed at women business leaders in Birmingham.