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Rochdale's high flying women show they're the business
- 10 March 2015
Around 70 women attended the Women in Business Event at Hopwood Hall College, which was organised by Rochdale Borough Council and specialist local business advisors Blue Orchid.
The event was set up to celebrate successful women and encourage more of them to go into business after figures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) revealed that they make up just one third of entrepreneurs in the UK.
During the day successful local women took to the stage to talk to the audience about how they built their impressive careers.
Among them were Gillian Bishop, CEO of Link4Life, which delivers leisure and cultural services on behalf of the council. Gillian became the youngest Chief Executive in the country when she was appointed to run Allerdale Borough Council in 2005 at the age of 33.
She told the audience that she'd learned vital skills along the way including the importance of setting personal goals, being flexible while staying focussed and treating other people well.
Other speakers included Ruth Yasmeen, Managing Director of Spidervision Productions, whose short film Three Brothers about three South Asian boys growing up in modern Britain was nominated for a BAFTA earlier this year.
Ruth said she wanted to mine the talent in the UK to bridge the gulf between the British film industry and Bollywood, and that she's determined to win a BAFTA for her next film. Ruth is a former social worker, who made a big career change by going into the media. She now has a strong reputation in India, the UK and Pakistan as a screenwriter and producer.
Julie Bowmer, who was named Rochdale Businesswoman of the year in 2014, manages five companies ranging from Food Distributions to Engineering, Accountancy, IT and Property. She told the audience about the importance of taking risks and not being afraid of failure.
Liz McInnes, MP for Heywood and Middleton, and Helen Skidmore, from the council's public health team, also spoke about their career journeys, their inspiration and the skills they have picked up along the way.
The audience, which included solicitors, accountants and graphic designers, also took part in a raffle to win an M&S hamper, which raised money for the Rochdale Women's Welfare Association.
Susan Ayres, Head of Economic Affairs at Rochdale Borough Council, said: "Women in Business was a fantastic event which showcased the huge amount and varied nature of female business talent we have here in Rochdale borough. We are grateful to all the speakers for sharing their experiences and the advice they offered to others to help more women succeed in business."
Councillor Peter Williams, Cabinet Member for Business and Skills at Rochdale Borough Council, said: "It's really important that we celebrate and support these local women who have achieved so much. Strong leaders benefit the whole of the community by bringing in the skills and investment which will drive our borough forward. The council has a range of support available to local businesses, including Blue Orchid, which provides expert advice to help people start and grow their business."
Anyone who would like to access support from Blue Orchid can contact them on 01706 515710.
Issued by Rochdale Borough Council.