The theme for IWD2020, #EachforEqual, highlights the importance of gender equality in business. Economies and communities can prosper and thrive in a gender equal world.
Latest calculations from the World Economic Forum reveal that it will take British women 166 years to close the economic gap.
A recent update of the Rose Review reports that boosting female entrepreneurship with support, resources and access to investment could increase the UK economy by £250bn.
Progress is being made but Britain still lags behind with only one in three entrepreneurs being female and family care responsibilities has been identified as the number one barrier to female business success.
The IWD event at the Boulevard Hotel was a sell out; 105 businesses were represented and over 150 guests attended. The two masterclasses held by Boost Lancashire and the Small Business Academy gave free advice and tips on how to scale up and market businesses online.
After lunch, the gathering heard from speakers; Karina Jadhav of The Menagerie Restaurant and Bar and Maura Jackson of BACKUP NW.
They shared their stories of the trials and tribulations that they had faced as women in business. Karina is the youngest independent female restaurant owner in the region. Through break-ups, motherhood and self-doubt, Karina has created a successful new business showcasing an immersive dining experience and attracting celebrity customers such as Justin Timberlake and Drake.
Her comment ‘I’m not bossy, I’m the boss’ resonated with the ladies whose attempts at being assertive have been misconstrued.
Gritty, genuine and straight talking, Maura Jackson, CEO of BACKUP NW had the audience laughing and crying, sometimes at the same time. Audience participation demonstrated how women really do have to wear many hats in business.
The event raised £400 for the charity which supports homeless young people by helping them into further education, employment and lasting accommodation.
Coral Horn, founder of Pink Link said “Equality is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. The sooner we can reduce gender diversification the more prosperous we will all be, in life and business.”
The Blackpool Rock Gin Company’s gin cocktail masterclass ended the event with the ladies who stayed enjoying cocktails created to mark the event.
Lesley Crowe of Blackpool Unlimited said “It was a fabulous event from start to finish, great venue, fabulous food and inspiring and entertaining speakers.”