Local legal firm, Freeths, celebrated International Women’s Day on Thursday 8th March by bringing together the Stoke-on-Trent business community with a talk by ex-career banker turned entrepreneur and the newest member of the Dragon’s Den gang, Jenny Campbell.
The event focused on the “Press for Progress” campaign which was held at Valentine Clays new HQ in Fenton.
Over 70 local business men and women listened to an interview with Jenny, hosted by Zebra Consultancy, owner and first female chair of professional services organisation Finest, Sarah Da Silva.
International Women’s Day 2018 campaign #PressForProgress is aimed at motivating and uniting people to be gender inclusive with the 2017 Gender Gap Report mentioning that gender parity is still over 200 years away.
Freeth’s International Women’s Day event was aimed at raising awareness of this campaign and uniting local business people to the cause.
Speaking before the event, Jenny, who is known for setting up YourCash Europe and winning Businesswoman of the Year in 2014, said: “Despite vast efforts for gender parity to transcend industries and sectors there is still a distance to go within the business landscape and this year’s International Women’s Day theme certainly shines a light on this.
“During my career, particularly in banking, I experienced gender stereotypes which I was just expected to accept. I chose to stand up to these challenges at every possibility and it is this that defined my strength in business acumen.
“For women all over the world, this determination and strength in character that will eventually eradicate conscious and unconscious gender stereotypes in the workplace and move us towards a society that doesn’t need to champion this issue because we already organically embrace it.
“I am really looking forward to celebrating this along with my friends at Freeths on International Women’s Day.”
Whilst being interviewed, Jenny spoke about the hardships she faced in further detail, especially at how judged she was for leaving work to pick up her children as her husband was away at work.
She also said: “We need to aim for parity, not power.”
Guests at the event were given ceramic roses which were made on site at Valentine Clays, drawing focus onto the skills of local women and the historic skills that mean so much to the city.
Zalena Vandrewala, Associate Solicitor Freeths Stoke, commented: “As a firm, Freeths actively support women in business all year round, but it is great to come together to mark this date in the company of so many successful women from different backgrounds and industries.
“Over the past few years, the businesswomen of Stoke-on-Trent have excelled in a variety of sectors from the likes of Director of Valentine Clays, Hannah Ault, and her dynamic vision to showcase ceramics in the City at a destination venue to Restauranteur and co-founder of RAWR, Gemma Bloor who brings a new dining experience to the City.
“And we are very proud to now have national entrepreneur, Jenny Campbell in Stoke-on-Trent to mark this occasion.”