International Women’s Day Panel

March 25 2019

A panel event commissioned by The Round Foundry and Marshalls Mill estate in honour of International Women’s Day saw women in business come together to celebrate the successes of women in Leeds and to also discuss the issues they still face and to agree how to move forward.

The panel was joined by tenants of the estate, neighbours, and friends from across the city, with the audience engaging with the panellists and each other to come to agreements on what must be done in the Leeds business community.

It was agreed that representation amongst women is key and that measures should be taken to ensure that communities and networks are more diverse so that awareness of issues that affect all women can be brought to the forefront of discussion. Panellists also came to the decision that education is the way to move forward, including educating our boys and girls to respect each other and themselves as well as promoting equality in grassroots organisations amongst young people.

The women of the panel highlighted that the work-life balance is still difficult to achieve for women, especially when it comes to having and caring for a family, however it is not impossible to “have it all” with the right support network in place.

The event that took place on Thursday 7th March at Elmwood, consisted of women at the top of their careers such as Sarah Dear, Managing Partner at Elmwood Brand Design, Jilly Langley, Director at MediaCom Leeds, Deborah Ogden, personal brand specialist, author and speaker, and Natasha McCreesh, business coach and mentor.

Debbie Longbottom, CFO at Elmwood Brand Design and presenter of the panel commented “The panel was a wonderful way to discuss real issues with women in the Leeds community. It was great to meet with likeminded and inspirational women who are very much engaged in being the driving forces behind achieving gender parity. I am proud to be a woman in business in Leeds and very much look forward to continuing to see women achieve great things.”

Panellist Deborah Ogden commented “It was extremely insightful to listen to what the other panellists had to face, as well as issues brought forward by the audience. It is important that women continue to speak out about instances of inequality they face, at work or in their personal life.

I feel like every attendee that left the event that evening was ready to go out into the city and be a catalyst for change and for that I am grateful.”