Women in business

Member Article

West Mids MEP Addresses Coventry and Warwickshire Businesswomen at Chamber Event

A leading employment politician in Europe has told businesswomen in Coventry and Warwickshire that they can make a huge difference to women in business by not making a big deal of their gender as employers.

West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre, who is the employment spokesman for the Conservatives in the European Parliament, was speaking at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s latest Business is Good for Women event.

Anthea, a former winner of the European Woman of Achievement Award for Business, said that women employers should lead by example and showcase the capabilities of women in business.

“We need to have examples of women that have succeeded, we need to have women as mentors and we also need to do a great job as employers,” she told the 90-strong audience attending the event at Coombe Abbey in Coventry.

“As women employers, I think we can make a huge difference by not making a big deal of the family responsibilities that many women have and accepting that we can make it work if we have good will on both sides and showcasing what it is that women can really do.”

The audience heard that Anthea, a director of MCP Systems Consultants, carved out a successful career in business before taking a seat in the European Parliament.

The Herefordshire-based MEP began her career with MCP as a trainee and became the company’s first woman consultant within a year and the company’s top fee earner within five years. A year later, she was made a partner of the consultancy.

As a member of the employment committee in the European Parliament, she told the event that she had opposed a proposal to introduce quotas for the number of women in the boardroom as part of a report to improve gender balance on company boards.

She said: “I am all for having more women throughout management but this report wanted to make it compulsory and wanted to introduce quotas of 40 per cent of each gender. We must not impose quotas like that.”

Peter Burns MBE, president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said it had been interesting for local businesswomen to hear how they were being represented in the European Parliament.

He said: “Anthea supported our Chamber on a lobbying visit to Brussels and it was great for our members to hear first-hand of her own experience as a successful businesswoman and an MEP representing their business interests.

“She told those at the event that we all have to recognise that we need to encourage women and make them feel confident in their capabilities, and to encourage girls from a young age into roles where we want them to achieve.

“This echoes an initiative called ROLE that the British Chambers of Commerce is supporting and in Coventry and Warwickshire, we are encouraging local businesswomen to get involved by becoming a career role model to inspire the next generation of women business leaders.”

The next Business is Good for Women event will be held on November 4. For more information, visit www.cw-chamber.co.uk

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Matt Joyce .

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