There is a famous quote by Madeline Albright, the first woman to become the US Secretary of State - "There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." I am passionate about helping other women to succeed in the workplace as I have been lucky enough to be mentored by and exposed to some excellent female role models over the years.
Progress definitely also needs to be made in the healthcare sector. As I developed my company there were no women chairs or CEOs of large healthcare providers who I could look up to and seek inspiration from. Senior male healthcare managers have, quite literally, turned their back on me on a number of occasions. It is important that women entrepreneurs share their experiences and skills to benefit and support others.
When I set out on my engineering career I really did not consider myself to be a trailblazer or pioneer. But, upon reflection, I can see where I have faced challenges that no woman stepped into before me and I can see that in reaching down to the girls that are following me I have tried to ensure that they will not have to face the challenges that I did.
Mary Portas began as a shop window display designer, moved into fashion retail and then set up her own business to advise retailers. Her expertise is in building brands and buying and selling the goods and services that the British public most desire
Rather than focusing on gender quotas, it should always be about putting the right person in the job, regardless of their gender. Businesses need to value experience and loyalty in their people and where appropriate maintain a flexible attitude to employees who have childcare commitments.
Why should businesses actively pursue a diverse board? Because diversity creates a more innovative, dynamic boardroom, that incorporates more of the varied skills that make a business successful. So what can be done do to get more women into senior positions?
We need to allow our messages for a healthy and united society to be amplified by others; volunteering is the ultimate way to reinvent yourself and embrace the joy of giving. Even if at times volunteering is challenging, you will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make in your life.
In my own experience, not all young people that I encounter from the millennial generation are actually brimming with self-assurance. Issues of self-esteem, anxiety, etc, are commonplace. That old demon: lack of confidence, holds some of them back.
Perhaps somewhere along the way we as women lose the curiosity to try and understand how things work and how to solve problems. Personally I think it is far more likely there is an image problem with technology and I believe we should be able to do something about this if we work together.
As a proud mother to my young daughter, I can only imagine how difficult it must be for those individuals who struggle to establish a bond with their baby, which is why I jumped at the chance to get involved with the charity as a Trustee.