First Women Awards
Government must engage with these businesses to secure the future sustainable growth of our economy. These business leaders have weathered arguably the worst recession in the last century and come out as survivors. As one such business leader I feel it's high time that we focus on these 'champions' of industry,
The young women making their way through school and university now, with dreams of progressing in their chosen field, maybe aiming right for the very top, need to know that their aspirations are achievable, that their dreams are not mere fantasies and that routes to the top exist.
We all know about that infamous glass ceiling. But women are also held back behind glass borders too. Eight out of ten people posted overseas are men as organisations tend to discount women as strong candidates for those international assignments that are becoming increasingly important to climbing the career ladder.
I think it is true that the current economic climate poses challenges that are very different to those faced by the school and university leavers of previous generations. There might not be a queue of companies waiting to give graduates a job, but there are plenty of young people out there with the drive, enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit to help themselves.
"I'm not competitive", "It's not about winning", "I'm not going to play that game". I hear this sort of thing far too often, especially from women, and it gets me wondering... why does competitiveness get such a bad rap?
While I do believe that it is vital that we modernise and push ourselves forward in business, I actually believe that goes hand-in-hand with being part of a trade body (and all the benefits that brings), rather than being at odds with it.
Sadly, thousands of the young people we help at The Prince's Trust do not grow up surrounded by positive role models. Many have had difficult childhoods, or grown up in workless households, with no one to turn to for advice about how to apply for a job or do well in an interview. They may look up to successful people they see in the media, but without the right support, they feel that their own dreams are out of reach. At The Prince's Trust, however, we are determined to prove them wrong.
Shared ownership is simple and it works. I feel passionate about it and its ability to help first time buyers who can't otherwise afford to buy a home.
The head office of Fairtrade International is in the leafy, genteel city of Bonn, former capital of Germany. So when I got my dream job leading Fairtrade's international work, I moved here swapping London's electric mayhem for the peace of the cycle route along the Rhine.
It is often a surprise to people when they learn about the organisations out there who are using accounting skills to really make a difference in some of the world's poorest countries.