On International Women’s Day 2022 we’re hearing from just a few of the many influential business women from across the Liverpool City Region:
Melanie Lewis, Chief Executive, Shakespeare North Playhouse
“International Women’s Day is an incredibly significant day and a day that we can celebrate the successes of female leaders and activists around the world.
The day gives us the opportunity to reflect on the achievements and the work done already, as well as to remember the sacrifices made by women, who have subsequently given us the freedom that we now enjoy.
Unfortunately, globally, I am still in the minority when it comes to having these freedoms and it is crucial in what seems like such a divided world with human rights under threat in so many ways, that we look at how we can all contribute as women to make the world a better place for generations to come.
I have been really lucky growing up with amazing role models – with three sisters who are business owners, a mother who was the first woman to ever grace the Liverpool Stock Exchange Trading Floor and a father and husband who are strong feminists too – however it is important to recognise that not everyone has these strong role models and support. Days like today will hopefully give others the confidence and the power to stand up and become the leaders and activists of tomorrow”.
Normandie Wragg, CEO, Nugent
“As a major employer in Merseyside, as of April 1st we are proud providers of the Real Living Wage, which is the culmination of focussed work in our charity, and attention on our core work and values.
Our staff and staff in the sectors of special education, health and social care, deserve the recognition and opportunity for all that they do helping those in our communities, and that goes for both our male and female employees, with a huge impetus placed upon closing the gender pay gap through this pay scheme.
As an organisation that cares about social justice, it is also imperative that we fly the flag for women in business and by empowering females no matter their age, profession or goals in life, we can play our own small part in helping to inspire and motivate women who previously may have felt like they weren’t able to achieve their dreams”.
Jacqui Johnson, Communications Director, Sutcliffe
“Into my 27th year at Sutcliffe, I have seen the company and the sector evolve greatly throughout the last two and a half decades, with approximately 14% of the construction industry now made up of strong, successful and knowledgeable women.
Misconceptions about gender specific roles are gradually diminishing and it is encouraging to see higher numbers of women leaving school, college and education, and now choosing a career in construction, with days such as International Women’s Day and Women In Construction Week helping to shine a spotlight on the career paths available for the next generation of engineers”.
Sam Bushell, Head of Family Law and Managing Director, Brown Turner Ross
“At Brown Turner Ross, there is great importance placed upon the celebration of our incredible female lawyers and employees, and this praise cascades down through the office and ensures a happy and motivated workforce, both for males and females.
As a company with a female managing director and over 60% of our workforce being females, we are fully aware that our actions can and will inspire the future of our sector for years to come and I am very proud that we continue to nurture and attract such a high calibre of female lawyers at the company, further ‘breaking the bias’ in a stereotypically male dominated industry”.
Dr Natalie Kenny, CEO, BioGrad
“As a business owner and a member of society, I am a fierce advocate for gender equality. I think the only way we will see real change though, is if we look directly at the working environments for men and women.
I don’t want any parents working at BioGrad to be concerned about returning to work because of the cost of childcare or the very limited amount of paternity leave given through UK legislation – as a business leader in my community though, these are things I can actively change.
Frankly we shouldn’t even need an IWD, we are the biggest percentage of the population and we go around free of charge (in many cases) to discuss how we aren’t getting the opportunities that we deserve! However, it is up to women to actually be vocal and name and shame the gender bias they’ve experienced in the workplace in order for this to change”.
Racheal Jones, CEO, One Knowsley
“With Knowsley suffering from a severe lack of health and education funding from the government, I see on a daily basis the inequalities for women in accessing opportunities to enhance their wellbeing and develop their valuable skills to be part of the workforce. Earning a living wage to increase their own and their families life chances is a crucial step to flourish and thrive.
Leaders must continue to engage with and listen to the needs of women to support them, recognise their contributions and remove barriers to unlock their potential. Days such as International Women’s Day, shine a spotlight on gender disparity and, importantly, celebrate the fantastic contribution to our society and economy that women make”.
Liz Hartley, Director of Project Management Services, Hive Projects
“Whether it is bias, gender disparity or a lack of opportunities, we need to ensure that there is no prejudice in any workplace with gender gaps closed for women in every industry.
At Hive Projects, our senior and management teams are an equal mix of talented men and women, and we are keen to maintain this supporting parity in the workplace and in the sector.
All of our staff are provided with the support, training and opportunities that they need, and we will continue to empower our team, in order for them to be role models for current and future employees at Hive”.
Caitlin Yeung, Marketing Assistant and former Kickstarter, Jayne Moore Media
“As a member of the Gen Z community and as a female, there is so much pressure placed upon us to climb the career ladder and to drive, own a home and ‘reach the top’ before the age of 30.
However, that really isn’t achievable for many, and without the female mentors and role models that I’m lucky enough to have in my sector, including my MD Jayne Moore, I certainly wouldn’t be in the strong position that I find myself in.
Through networking and meeting a mixture of young and experienced female leaders on a daily basis, I am now able to be a part of the ‘wider conversation’ and it is encouraging that discussions are being had on a regular basis to allow women to reach for the stars, which culminates in the celebrations of International Women’s Day”.
Lynn Lock, Chief Executive, I Am Moore
“With International Women’s Day 2022 focusing on breaking the bias, I Am Moore has worked with so many young women throughout the last 18 months that have been desperate for opportunities, but unable to have their voices heard for so many different reasons…until now!
There is still a stigma when employing in some sectors, that women are less qualified or less able to complete a high-standard of work than their male counterparts, but this is completely untrue and there is a huge pool of talent out there that if given the opportunity, can be the female business leaders of generations to come”.