Local businesswomen were encouraged to embrace challenges by speakers at the TENDRING4GROWTH Women in Business event in Clacton last week – as well as learning about initiatives to support and inspire women in business.
The event formed part of the TENDRING4GROWTH Business Week and was organised by Tendring District Council (TDC) in partnership with Colbea, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting local businesses.
Delegates heard from a range of speakers about their experiences and mutual challenges of being a successful woman in business and at work.
Mary Newton, TDC Cabinet Member for Business and Economic Growth, shared her own experience.
“Back in the late 1960s I worked in the shipping industry and as a woman I was told I couldn’t work in sales. So, I left to work for a scaffolding company who took me on in a sales position,” Councillor Newton (nee Beaufils) said.
“In sales I was the only woman in a group of 20 new trainees. I wasn’t prepared to settle for roles that I was told were suitable for me, as a woman. My advice for women is to stand up for what you feel is right, don’t take no for an answer and keep knocking at that door – I was soon taken back to be the first woman in a deep sea liner shipping firm.
“As portfolio holder for regeneration I take the responsibility to ensure diversity in work very seriously and the council is committed to ensure everyone has an equal chance to make a success in business and at work.”
Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford, Colbea CEO, said: “Our funded and low-cost training courses and workshops align with the local agenda of driving economic growth. We are inviting women to connect with us and access our expertise and support.
“Our personal one-to-one approach has been critical in supporting people. We are here to guide you through the process; whether you want to find out about loans, business plans, to start out in business or to grow.”
Guest speaker, Director of Mad-HR Charlotte Bate, added: “I love attending events like these. They provide networking opportunities, advice and encourage women to be confident in business and at work.
“As an owner of my own business and a mother of two girls, I understand the challenges of wanting to progress my career whilst being around for my family. It’s about finding that right balance for you.
“Widen your professional network, understand your goals and try not to put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect – it doesn’t exist. But stay true to yourself, stick to your beliefs, work hard and don’t let fear hold you back.”
To find out more about training and support for local businesses please visit www.colbea.co.uk.
To learn about how TDC may be able to support your business to develop visit www.tendringdc.gov.uk/tendring4growth