Have your say
Is the Government doing enough to support women?
- No (100%)
- Yes (0%)
Blog / News Options
Latest Hub Post
Download the PowerPoint Presentation from this event. (right-click the link and choose the Save Target As or Save Link As) The Pacific Race to Success: Lara’s own compelling story of setting up a business as a one-man band, age 23, through to the sale of her 99% shareholding … Continue reading
As the year draws to a close I would like to thank you for your tremendous support in 2012. This year saw several key speakers including Nicola Horlick, Yvette Cooper and Shami Chakrabarti. The awards were so inspiring- so many amazing stories and achievements.
We have had several events engaging with government and providing the opportunity for you to have your say.
Posted in Blog, Etta's Corner
In a recent article for the Financial Times, Andrew Hill explores the value of the ‘T’ word in the workplace. His conclusion is that thanks and gratitude are not expressed frequently and appropriately enough by management bodies within companies until it is too late.
The suggestion would be that sometimes employees could be most effectively motivated by a genuine and heartfelt show of appreciation. With the job market more competitive than ever, most women are familiar with working long hours for little or no return. Making employees feel like a valued member of your company therefore is key to making sure they don’t take their talents and good work ethic elsewhere. I caught up with Maxine*, who works in the Leeds branch of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
‘We’ve given feedback about how engaged we are and how we feel about our jobs,’ She explains. ‘One of the things that a lot of people have said is that the work they do is not appreciated: people don’t say thank you.’
Maxine goes on to suggest that things are a lot more stressful because work is thankless.
‘You don’t necessarily have the whole bonus/reward dynamic that used to exist,’ she says. ‘You can do the best job in the world and most companies might still find an excuse not to give you the bonus you so richly deserve. It leads to feelings of entrapment and stress in employees.’
The outlook however is not all bad.
‘I do think moves are being made to make big companies aware that it upsets employees when they don’t give adequate thanks and recognition,’ Maxine acknowledges.
Make no mistake though; however genuine the displays of verbal gratitude, they do not take the place of a well-deserved pay rise or bonus.
Although thanking staff adequately can improve their performance, well-placed incentives still carry importance, whether it be a promotion or a bonus. A recent article from the deputy editor of i reveals that 75% of employers who have implemented the Living Wage of £7.45 p/hr have seen the positive effects in the behaviour of their staff. Staff members are more likely to deliver good customer service and mean it. Implementing the Living Wage, which is 20.4% higher than the minimum wage, also improves staff retention rates.
In his article Andrew Hill also warns against the dangers of employers saying thank you when they mean something else entirely. It devalues the words to use them as a pre-emptive order; thanking employees in advance for things you want them to do. The guilty thank you also makes its appearance when management fails to fulfill its obligations to staff, thanking them for overlooking these shortfalls. Hill very insightfully sees that ‘purveyors of the work-place thank-you often pollute its positive impact with less palatable messages, inviting cynicism.’
It may seem difficult, nigh impossible sometimes, to know how to convey appreciation appropriately and frequently for those who work for you. However know that as an employer an increasingly straightened workforce appreciates any gesture from you in this quarter.
Posted in Blog, Tips Tagged Buisness resources, Management Skills, Thanks, The T Word, women in bus, women in business |
With Lord Leveson on the cusp of publishing the much anticipated results of his enquiry into the ethics of the journalists, it is time for a fresh look at how women appear in the media.
Women’s pressure groups Eaves, End Violence against Women Coalition, Equality Now and Object came together earlier this year to produce a special report: ‘Just the Women’. Their report states they ‘have long been concerned with the potential for the media to create, reinforce, perpetuate, or alternatively challenge, sexism and discrimination’. It is not difficult to see that negative portrayals of women in the media will continue to have a knock on effect on how they are perceived in the workplace.
You can find out more or read the full article here.Posted in News, Women in Business in the Media Tagged Levenson Inquiry, Women and the Press, Women in the Media, Women in the workplace, Women's Pressure Groups |
This Month, Carrie Green, Founder of The Female Entrepreneur Association.
My Blog this month is about one of the many inspirational ladies who attend my events in the North West.
Out of all the people who attend my events, there are two types of people that I particularly notice. I call them the Shouters and the Whisperers. The Shouters have lots to say and never miss an opportunity to take centre stage so I must keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t command all the limelight. Whisperers are just as competent, they enjoy listening to the others and they quietly take it all in. I need to be aware of them too, so I can make sure their voices are heard. We need Shouters, Whisperers and all the degrees in between for successful businesses and networking events so I of course am delighted to host everybody!
Sometimes it is necessary for Whisperers to become Shouters to boast about their talents and grow their businesses. However there are other ways and like unassuming and softly spoken Carrie Greene they can just quietly achieve world dominance in more subtle ways!
I first met Carrie Green at a fashion event I held in Wilmslow on February 19th 2011. Significantly when I interviewed Carrie for this article and asked her to describe how the idea for the association came about, she pin pointed February 2011 as a turning point in her life. I knew when I met Carrie she had reached a crossroads in her career. Even though she had already created a very successful business at the age of 25, she was already searching for a new direction. There was an air of expectation about her that night as if something was about to happen and it’s been exciting for myself and the others who know her to watch as her new business venture has successfully grown into something very special. Carrie is not the sort of person to blow her own trumpet so this has been a great opportunity to find out more about this exceptional 27 year old with a golden future ahead!
Sue: I know when we first met in Wilmslow, you wanted to do something different. How did your original thoughts blossom into the Female Entrepreneur Association?
Carrie: I started my first business in 2005, whilst studying at university. It was an online, mobile phone unlocking service (which is legal!). I worked hard on developing the marketing strategy and within a year or so we were receiving over 100,000 visits to the website every month and selling thousands of codes all over the world. I’d reached my goal and so couldn’t understand why I was so unhappy. I had a business that was doing amazingly well, but I felt lost and lonely.
Then in February 2011 I realized where I’d gone wrong; I’d gone so far off track because I was never on track! I’d never stopped to consider what I really wanted to achieve in life, what I was passionate about, what I really wanted to do. Yes, I loved building my business, but mobile phone unlocking was not my dream in life.
When I sat down and thought about what I wanted I realised that I wanted to create something that made a difference. I wanted to create something that inspired and empowered women to make amazing things happen. So I put a website together and started looking for female entrepreneurs who wanted to share their story and that’s how it all began.
Sue: Was there a light bulb moment?
Carrie: When I started to put messages back asking women if they wanted to share their story, the response was incredible! Women from all over the world were getting in touch to tell their story – literally from the UK, India, Australia, America, and Nigeria! It was amazing and the response from people reading the stories was incredible too. At that point I realized that I was creating something that was going to make a difference
Sue: You started the LinkedIn page and everything exploded!
Carrie: Yes, the whole project has really developed online, through social media – in particular Facebook and LinkedIn. I think the key to its success has been being very clear about what the Female Entrepreneur Association is about and putting in the time and effort to build the network and build relationships with people.
Sue: You have just won a big award at the MADE Festival in Sheffield, tell us more
Carrie: Winning The Change Makers Award was incredible. I was up against 25 amazing entrepreneurs, so to actually win was unbelievable. Meeting HRH Prince Andrew and having a helicopter mentoring session with Lord Bilimoria is something I’ll never forget. I think the key thing I took away from the MADE Festival is to never stop believing that you can make your dreams come true, to never doubt yourself and make a game plan for how you’re going to make it all happen.
Sue: What direction is FEA going in now?
Carrie: In July of this year I launched a free digital magazine, This Girl Means Business, which is published once a month. The response from this has been brilliant and so the aim over the next year is to develop that and get it out to more people – we should have the iPhone and iPad app ready for the magazine soon, which is exciting! Next year is going to be a big year, we’re going to completely redevelop our online platform and make it more useful and valuable.
Sue: Have you made friends through FEA or do you prefer to keep it separate to your personal life?
Carrie: Yes, I have made lots of friends. One of the main challenges I was facing when I first launched FEA was feeling lonely and isolated, because I worked by myself. Now, I have lots of like-minded friends who want to talk about business all the time and I love it!
Sue: Who is your favourite Female Entrepreneur?
Carrie: Lara Morgan, the founder of Company Shortcuts. She started her first business at the age of 23 and sold out 17 years later for £20 million. What I admire most about her is how open and honest she is about how she managed to achieve so much
Sue: How has creating the FEA changed your life and the way you feel about yourself?
Carrie: I can’t even begin to describe how much my life has changed since starting this project. I’ve met the most incredible people, published the most inspiring stories, and interviewed some of my idols, like Louise Hay, Michael Gerber and Michelle Mone. I’ve come to realise that in life, if you want to make amazing things happen you just have to believe in yourself enough and then get out there and do it. I now view business as an adventure; it’s exciting, but it can be scary, there are ups and there are downs, some days I have no clue what I’m doing, other days I’m going at 100 miles an hour, nothing is ever perfect, but you know what? It’s the best adventure ever.
Posted in Blog, North West
Here’s an interesting quote from Hilary Clinton this week:
“I can’t stand whining. I can’t stand the kind of paralysis that some people fall into because they’re not happy with the choices they made. You live in a time when there are endless choices. … Some women are not comfortable working at the pace and intensity you have to work at in these jobs … Other women don’t break a sweat.”
Clinton’s comments are in response to an article in US foreign affairs magazine ‘The Atlantic’, written by ex White House Director of Policy Planning Anne-Marie Slaughter. The magazine’s cover headline read ‘Why Women Still Can’t Have it All’ and talked of Slaughter’s experiences and struggles with managing a high profile career and family life. She raises questions about the messages she ‘unwittingly’ sent out to young females – making it sound an easy road to achieve the work/life balance. Slaughter believes that the “can women have it all” question is reductive and frustrating ‘and it only serves to promote the idea that women are constantly going to be failing if they don’t somehow fulfill the work/family mandate’.
The article opens the discussion wider and looks at the economic situation and the make-up of executive boards as factors that are encouraging capitalism, putting what’s best for the corporation ahead of what’s best for the worker.
Slaughter summarises: “The best hope for improving the lot of all women, and for closing what Wolfers and Stevenson call a “new gender gap”—measured by well-being rather than wages—is to close the leadership gap: to elect a woman president and 50 women senators; to ensure that women are equally represented in the ranks of corporate executives and judicial leaders. Only when women wield power in sufficient numbers will we create a society that genuinely works for all women. That will be a society that works for everyone”
Whining or Realistic? You can read the full article here.
Posted in News, Uncategorized, Women in Business in the Media Tagged advice for women in business, business leadership, equality for women, Female business leaders, gender agenda, women on boards |
The Women in Business Awards (WiBA) will soon be with us and as the finalists are notified there is definitely an increasing excitement in the air – it’s not long now! Award ceremonies are known for many things. Obviously the main part is celebrating all that is good and exemplar in a particular field or circle, but there are other dimensions too. At the Oscars it’s all about ‘the dress’ or fashion faux pas, the BRITS is all about the booze and the presenters (Can anyone forget the 1989 Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood BRIT spectacle?)… And of course there’s the winners acceptance speech. There are speeches that go on and on, speeches that thank the universe and of course speeches delivered in between sobs of emotion.
So I thought I’d do a bit of research to help the Forward Ladies finalists on their way! Take a break from your busy schedule and be entertained, inspired or horrified by the good, bad and ugly of acceptance speeches:
Funny - Robin Williams, Best Supporting Actor for “Good Will Hunting”: “Most of all, I want to thank my father, up there, the man who when I said I wanted to be an actor, he said, ‘Wonderful, just have a back-up profession like welding.’ “(1998)
Candid – Robert De Niro, accepting best actor for “Raging Bull,” thanks Jake LaMotta, “even though he’s suing us.” (1981)
Succinct – Jane Fonda, Best Actress for “Klute”: “There’s a great deal to say, but I’m not going to say it tonight.” (1972)
Heartfelt – Sally Field, Best Actress for “Places in the Heart,” after having won in 1980 for “Norma Rae”: “I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!” (1985)
Shallow - Cher, Best Actress for “Moonstruck”: “I’d like to thank everyone I worked with on the movie. They were really fabulous. It was really a great experience for me. My makeup man, who had a lot to work with. My hairdresser. My assistant . . .” Somehow she failed to thank her co-stars and her director. (1988)
Best of Luck to all Forward Ladies finalists – and winners enjoy your moments of fame, you’ll be just great! The WiB Awards are held on Friday 16th November 2012 –(Yorkshire & Humber) and Monday 26th November 2012 (North West & isle of Man). For more information about the awards visit http://wiba2012.com
Credit: Quotes taken from http://www.littlereview.com/goddesslouise/articles/oscrpost.htmPosted in News, Upcoming Events Tagged business awards, Women in Business Awards |
I know I am blowing my own trumpet by publishing the compliments Emma Dalzell has paid me but I think its important to let you read her experience with Forward Ladies. When Emma joined Forward Ladies last year she had no idea where her decision would take her and it certainly led her in an unusual direction. I just want to add that before I recommended Emma for the opportunity below, Emma had done a highly successful workshop at one of our Positive Womens Days so I knew she would rise to the occasion. Here is what Emma said:
Posted in Blog, North West, Region
“When I joined Forward Ladies last September, I had only just started my business, Bare Bones Marketing. I was new to networking with small businesses, having spent nearly 20 years in the corporate world, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised! Sue France, who runs the Cheshire area to which I belong, has been so supportive. And I wanted to share in particular one of the opportunities that came my way as a direct result of Sue’s support. It’s certainly not something I would have been asked to do without her!
Merchant Taylor’s School in Crosby is one of the leading independent schools in the North West and in June I found myself presenting to 60 sixth form girls about their personal branding. It was a lovely experience and although I’m used to public speaking in front of hundreds of people, it was not my normal crowd! But I thoroughly enjoyed it, and apparently so did they as I’ve been asked by their Head of Careers to present on the same subject to a conference they are running for 30 other Heads of Careers from like-minded schools. It’s a great opportunity, not only to showcase my business, but to support education by giving them some commercial pointers to help the next generation of (hopefully) successful business women. I’m grateful to Sue for recommending me to them and needless to say I’m looking forward my second year as an active member of Forward Ladies.”
A little bit of nerves never did anyone any harm, but too many wedding jitters can change what should be a wonderful day into a logistical nightmare. Planning and organisation could never be described as romantic words, but both are key to a making the big day special and stress free.
To help take the sting out of organising your big day, The Ultimate Bridal & Prom Show takes place at Bisham Abbey on 23 September 2012 and Crowne Plaza Marlow on 7 October 2012, plus offers some great advice and ideas on its website www.theultimatebride.co.uk. Each show plays host to a fabulous range of eclectic and original wedding suppliers as well as stunning bridal fashion shows providing inspiration and useful contacts for any bride or groom planning their wedding.
We know that each person has a different idea of how their big day will look, but whatever your vision, our top ten tips to organising a wedding can help you achieve it.
1. Choose a date. It sounds obvious, but first things first, you must set a date, or at least have a rough idea of the time of year. You might have a special day in mind already like a birthday or anniversary. Whatever your chosen date, it is advisable to check the events calendar for that year before you set your heart on a day. Major events, particularly sporting tournaments, may impact on venue availability, transport and accommodation. Even if it doesn’t, you don’t really want men rushing to find the nearest TV screen while you cut the cake.
2. Set your budget. After a date you need to consider your budget. It might be fantastic to hire a castle in the Scottish Highlands but if your budget won’t stretch to that there is no point in dreaming. That doesn’t mean that if your budget is small that you can’t have a fabulous day, it just means that if you know what you are willing to spend, you can create your perfect day at a price you can afford.
3. Get inspired. Decide what kind of a wedding you would like? Think about weddings you’ve been to. Was there anything that particularly stood out? Look in magazines for inspiration and cut out pictures that appeal. These cuttings will help you show others more clearly what you have in mind. Remember this is your day and you need to find a style that suits you.
4. Find a venue. Choosing a venue is one of the biggest decisions you will make and should also be one of the earliest. Wedding venues, even unusual ones, can get booked up well in advance. The ceremony and reception may be the same place, but if they are different you need to know that they are available on the same day and think about how guests will travel between the two. There are so many venue choices from traditional hotels to castles, theatres and even football stadiums. Choose what feels right for you. By all means do a search on the internet, but whatever else, make sure that you make a visit before you decide.
5. Draw up the guest list. Have a rough idea of who you might like to invite, because the number of guests might affect your choice of venue and will impact on your budget. Remember it is your day. Everyone understands that numbers are limited so be honest, you can’t invite everyone you would like to and explain why. Whatever the reason – family only, tight budget, small wedding – make sure that people who are not invited know that they are still important to you.
6. Enlist help. Bring in experts where you can. Hiring someone who organises big events all the time can take a lot of the stress out of day. You might want to hire a wedding planner to take on the whole day or part of it, for example booking the venue or entertainment. Enrolling the help of family and friends can help to share some of the strain, as well as adding to the excitement of the build-up by making people feel more involved in your plans.
7. Top entertainment. Good entertainment can really make the party go with a swing, adding the wow factor and giving your guests a night to remember. It’s worth investing in this area, be it a fabulous live band or a favourite DJ. Whoever you choose, make sure you’ve seen the entertainment first so that you know what to expect.
8. Get the good deal. The current economic climate means that there are plenty of good deals to be had. Negotiate on price where you can but be realistic, you can’t expect a champagne reception at cava prices. Get all your quotations in writing and factor in an extra 10% into your budget for unexpected costs.
9. Be you. You want to feel comfortable and relaxed, so if you plan to change your look for the day make sure that you try out any make-up or hairstyles well in advance to give enough time to reconsider. And whatever you do, don’t try out a last minute spray tan without knowing what to expect.
10. Enjoy. Remember that the real purpose of a wedding to celebrate your love for each other. Enjoy this special time, and that means the planning too, because it will be a memory before you know it and you want it to be a good one.
To register for free show tickets and to receive bridal discount vouchers, visit www.theultimatebride.co.uk. The Ultimate Bridal & Prom Shows: 0560 129 7083/0755 212 8054.
Posted in Blog Tagged 10 tips to Organising a Wedding, Ultimate Bride |
The issue of quotas in the boardroom has made it back into the headlines this week, re-opening the debate of discrimination in the workplace, equal rights and having a level playing field at work. Royal Mail chief executive, Moya Greene is publicly backing recruitment quotas for women in the workplace – including the boardroom.
In a speech to Communications Workers Union’s women’s section Greene spoke of ‘modest moves’ in the right direction and of the imbalances she has encountered in Britain business world. It comes as Vince Cable opposes attempts to introduce a 40% female quota on stock market-listed company boards across the European Union. You can read the full article in the Guardian here
Posted in News, Women in Business in the Media Tagged equality for women, quotas for women, The Guardian, women on boards quotas |
Maria Miller has been appointed the new Minister for Women and Equalities alongside her new role as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. She will be supported in this role by Helen Grant (also Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice) and Jo Swinson (also Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills).
Maria Miller said:
“Equality is a cornerstone of society and I am looking forward to taking on this vital area. Everyone should benefit from equal opportunities and equal treatment. Our plan to allow equal civil marriage is a great example of this.
“But equality is not just a question of fairness – giving women the support they need to realise their full potential will also give the economy a huge boost. Growth is our number one priority as a Government and genuine equality of opportunity will be a vital element in creating a sustained and sustainable economic recovery.
“This Government has already made real progress and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Helen Grant and Jo Swinson to continue this.”