At last week’s conference, a number of female entrepreneurs across Kent and the UK presented the secrets of their success and offered advice on how to become a high-profile business person.
An audience of students, staff and local businesses heard from the Director of Innovation and Enterprise, Carole Barron who led the conference. The opening remarks were given by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow.
Hilary Steel, Editor of Kent Women in Business magazine and Kent alumni, explained her journey from student to her current role as entrepreneurial speaker, mentor, trainer and editor.
Hilary also welcomed to the stage young female entrepreneur, Katie Ellis who spoke about her experiences launching her own clothing business, The Able Label.
Chairman of Visit Kent, Amanda Cottrell, gave an inspiring speech about how she overcame personal challenges to reach the top of her career and Head of Private Banking at Metro Bank, Julie Barnsley, gave insights as a female working in the corporate world.
During the afternoon, Gabriella Oakley, Inspiring Women Engagement Manager at the Education and Employers Taskforce delivered a presentation on the charity, Inspiring the Future, and urged guests to give up just one hour of their time to volunteer and help inspire young women to think about a wide range of professions and sectors.
The conference concluded with a question and answer session with all the guest speakers and closing remarks delivered by Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation Professor Philippe De Wilde.
Three interactive voting sessions were held throughout the day. The results showed a 20% increase in guests considering self-employment and entrepreneurship and 39% of voters agreed that their perception of barriers facing women in business had changed after listening to the presentations.