Women EntrepreneursThere were success stories aplenty from health professionals and entrepreneurs to SME owners and global business representatives at the North East England Chamber of Commerce’s Inspiring Females Conference.

Held at, and supported by, Lumley Castle, the event was chaired by Nickie Gott, She’s Gott It Events.  Nickie also chairs the Chamber’s Women’s Advisory Board and launched the conference with a vote of confidence in how many women in business are now forging ahead.

She said: “We are determined to help women be the very best they can be and inspire confidence, so they realise they can take on whatever they need to do for success.”

The 90 women at the event heard advice from Jayne Dolder, founder and creative director, Bazaar Group, who won North East Woman of the Year 2015.  She outlined her own journey from a home-run business to a major manufacturer and retailer of soft-filled furniture.  Her watchword was to ensure longevity make sure you have growth but it has to be growth with profit.   She also stressed the need to always be looking for ways to improve.

Her advice also included recruiting the best people you can afford, although letting go of control can be hard, and make sure the work life balance is right.

Leisa Docherty, chief people’s officer at Sage, which has over 14k employees, shared her experience and explained how she left school at 16 and fell into recruitment by accident. Her career developed as she proved to be reliable and took every opportunity for self-development.

She was appointed to her first management job at 22 and was encouraged to go for a role by a mentor which she thought was above her skills levels and needed a different skill set, go the job and has never looked back.

The guests at the day-long event also attended development workshops and heard experiences from Ruth Plummer, Clinical Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine, Newcastle University, Bethany Ainsley, founder and director of Nouveau Wellbeing CIC and Young Business Person of the Year, Katie Meehan, a beauty blogger with just under 1m views of her site and Aisha Parlindungan an American student at Durham University.

Sue Jeffrey, leader of Redcar & Cleveland Council closed the event by explaining there is no point in saying I wish it was still like that, it never is, you just have to get on with it.”