On the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day – 8 March – Surrey Chambers launched its rebranded Business Women in Surrey group.
And what a huge success it was!
The flagship event at Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge attracted over 170 attendees, all keen to hear the career journeys and stories of five inspirational speakers and engage with them in a lively Question Time style debate.
Surrey County Council assistant chief executive, Susie Kemp, began by sharing her experiences of working with Robert Maxwell and running her own business before moving into the public sector. And Shell global senior manager Linda Phillips talked about time spent working for Samsung and now Shell, where she commented on being delighted to have found a company that really understands and supports women.
Lauren Westwood, managing director of her own gemstone jewellery business Westwood Rocks, explained how a gap year led to Godalming and her first Westwood Rocks shop: now one of seven around the UK.
From the world of media, Surrey Life magazine editor Caroline Harrap proudly commented on how she turned a loved but rather tired local mag into the profit-making award-winning title it is today. And Helen Loveless from national newspaper the Financial Mail joked that an early short-lived spell in sales – which she hated – thankfully turned into a long-term career in journalism which she loves.
Clearly, this event and the relaunch of Surrey Chambers Business Women in Surrey has filled a gap in the local female business networking market: just as we thought it would.
But this is just the beginning. We have many more events, workshops and seminars to come and we are also rolling out a mentoring scheme.
So keep talking to us and in turn we’ll do our best to keep delivering to you.