Recently TheBusinessDesk.com caught up with our guest speaker Laura Tenison, founder of JoJo Maman Bébé, for International Women's Day. She spoke about how important it is to support women in business at all levels.
"Running a business is not the easy option," said Laura, "you have to be on duty 24/7."
With start-up capital of just £50,000 and only two part-time members of staff, Ms Tenison employs more than 700 people and has grown her company to a forecasted gross turnover of £50m in the current financial year.
She said: " International Women's Day is a truly essential diary date which has brought to worldwide attention the plight of a great many women living as second rate citizens under oppressive regimes."
"Forward Ladies offers a support network for women in business which is not only practical but social and enjoyable."
"From my point of view I feel that it's my duty to give back and I try to give speeches which will encourage and enthuse others to chase their dreams. I would like others to hear my message and hopefully take the useful advice on board."
"Coming from a company with an all-female board," she said, "I find it strange that more companies don't have women executives. Women often put work-life balance higher on the agenda than ambition, which I empathise with."
"Juggling a successful career into the mix of childcare or elderly parent care can be daunting and getting back into the workplace following a career break, difficult."
"This is obviously not the case for everyone, but we should remember that many women still need support from others who understand their language and the problems they are facing."
"The change needs to come from the top; by allowing all employees a sensible work life balance, there will be less discrimination and more women will apply for top jobs."
You can come and listen to Laura in person at our event on 3rd March in Leeds. Purchase your tickets here.