Tees Valley Combined Authority interim managing director Julie Gilhespie on why it’s important to promote the region’s businesswomen…
It’s our job to inspire, educate and promote the opportunities available to all people in the Tees Valley, but particularly women in this context.
It’s important that young women have role models whom they can aspire to, and what’s particularly exciting about these awards are the range of different businesses involved, which cuts away with any stereotypes over the type of things women can aspire to do.
The role of the Tees Valley Combined Authority is very much to be that leader which inspires young people to take on these opportunities.
We’re all striving for true diversity, but these things take time and nobody expects it to happen overnight, but what’s important is we get ourselves into a position where young girls that are coming through further education or apprenticeships, see running a business as a career choice. So it’s important they see women doing this.
At the Combined Authority, we’re currently under-represented in terms of women on the LEP board and we’re currently going through a process which is aimed at attracting more women.
So anyone who is involved in business and see the LEP as something they might like to get involved with, to come along and talk to us.
It’s a real opportunity to mix with other people from other businesses from the region while also influencing policy and our future direction.
Finally, may I wish all the shortlisted candidates tonight all the very best of luck.
Tees Valley Combined Authority