On 22 April, Lucy Needleman and I were excited to take up an opportunity from Sópers House to speak at their first ever Ladies’ Networking Event.
Sópers House is a unique office concept space in Cuffley, Hertfordshire. It embodies everything the modern-day entrepreneur needs, with amenities that include a Pilates studio, wine cellar and onsite hairdresser.
As well as supporting a growing number of female business owners as BKL clients, our interest was personal:
- I was awarded Accountancy Leader of the Year at the 2017 Women in Finance Awards for raising the profile of female leaders within a male-dominated industry
- I have also written articles for Accountancy Daily and City Matters on gender bias in the workplace
- Lucy wrote her university dissertation on undergraduate attitudes towards female entrepreneurship
- We both took part in BKL’s #BreakTheBias video for International Women’s Day 2022
Inspired by this, our topic for Sópers House was ‘What does it take to be a woman in business?’ Our presentation and discussion tackled these questions:
- How easy is it being a woman in business compared to being a man?
- How will businesses benefit from greater female representation?
- What challenges have we encountered?
- How can we change things for the better?
Weaved throughout the conversation were thoughts we’ve collected from some incredible women who have paved the way for others – from Starling Bank founder Anne Boden to Ann Summers CEO Jacqueline Gold. Our love of books, podcasts and conversations on the subject meant we had so much we wanted to contribute and share.
The experience was great fun and we met so many brilliant women – running construction companies, buying law firms, running yoga studios, navigating their way back into the work world after taking a career break. Thank you to everyone who came along and to BKL’s People Director Wendy Harpur for organising our presentation. We’re delighted that Sópers House will be running their Ladies’ Networking Event monthly and we can’t wait to visit again soon.
To finish with the same quote that rounded off our presentation:
“If you have yet to be called an incorrigible, defiant woman, don’t worry, there is still time”
Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estés, author of Women Who Run With The Wolves