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20/05/2015

Women in Business Conference 2015

Yesterday, Alice & Letty attended the Women in Business conference in Morecambe.

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The day kicked off with a welcome from Angela Seel the President of Lancaster Chamber of Commerce who kindly hosted the day at the Globe Arena in Morecambe. Angela introduced the event with her own past experience of being a woman within the finance sector, and only one of a very few female directors or partners of wealth management companies.

Jenny Curwen and Cynthia Bowring from Sanlam Private Wealth – the sponsor of the day’s event - went on to explain their roles within the company and the highs and lows of studying for their chartered status. They realised the importance of being a woman in their industry and within Sanlam’s have set up a women’s network, making them the perfect representatives from the day’s sponsoring company.

The first seminar, by Jane Lowe of Business Room 52, had the room stripping, borrowing other women’s watches, belts, jackets, and glasses! This unorthodox exercise introduced the idea of giving away your power and how to get it back. Many women will agree they often start a sentence or question with an apology “I’m sorry, but I don’t agree” or “sorry, can I just say…”. This is one small way in which we give away power, we are apologising for speaking before anyone has even started listening. We often put ourselves and our abilities down in front of others, or not put ourselves out of our comfort zones for fear of failure. Being aware of when and how we give away our power can help us to stop doing it, and regain our power.

After a short break for refreshments and a chance to network and have a look at all the exhibition stands, Jennifer Edmondson of GO Health & Fitness gave her seminar on ‘Where did the woman with the dreams go?’ Jennifer had the whole room squatting and exercising within minutes. Her motivating talk encouraged women to feel confident and follow their dreams and that it’s never too late. Through exercise and healthy eating and living, whether that’s drinking more water or cutting back on alcohol consumption, by planning, putting time aside and doing things one at a time we can be more confident, successful, and generally nicer people to be around.

A delicious lunch, including an orange that changed Alice’s life and the best chocolate brownie she’d ever tasted, preceded the key speech by Kirsty Henshaw.

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Kirsty told of her incredible life, after as she put it ‘being politely asked to leave school at 15', her entrepreneurial streak began. Kirsty spoke with such sincerity about how she went from working in a bar in Ayia Napa, to massage therapy, to selling products in her parents’ shop, to becoming the founder of an ice cream company that is now set to take off in the states since her initial pitch to Dragon’s Den in 2010. She is also the owner of the brand ‘Kirsty’s’, a range of healthy gluten and dairy-free food which has received million pound investments from all the major supermarket chains. Her passion, ambition and ability to overcome adversity combined with her genuine nature truly left us feeling inspired and impressed. The key thing to take away from Kirsty was that she attributed her success to being young, female and able to talk to people and build rapport.

To see how Kirsty’s Dragon’s Den pitch got her where she is today, take a look here.

For more Lancaster Chamber of Commerce events and to find out more, visit the website here.