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Inspirational Women

  • Blog
  • 02 February 2017

By Julie Lilley, FSB Chief Operating Officer 

I am proud to be the Chief Operating Officer of FSB. And I am proud that FSB recognises people – staff and members for the talent and ability regardless of gender.

As I look around the organisation women are represented at all levels. At the Senior Management Team level – I am joined at the table by the Head of HR Heather McLean , Head of Communications, Louise Stewart  , Head of Finance Rachel Grundy  and Head of Governance Clare Oakley . On our board we are proud to have Sandra Dexter  as our National Vice Chairman, Janet Jack  as Finance Director, as well as several female Non Operational Directors. In fact up and down the country female staff and members play their part in making FSB the success it is.

Julie Lilley

Julie Lilley

Diversity is at the heart of what we do at FSB – which is why we appointed a Diversity Chair – Helen Walbey  who leads our Women In Enterprise Taskforce. I truly believe when women do better, economies do better and that’s why FSB is delighted to have joined forces with Facebook to celebrate women who have set up and run their own businesses.

This week FSB’s Helen Walbey joined with the Vice President (Europe and America) of Facebook Nicola Mendelsohn for the SheMeansBusiness launch event in London.

 Inspirational Women

Not only were there talks from inspirational women including Nicola – who has been described as” the most influential women in tech” - but there were hundreds of inspirational women there – all sharing information and ideas.

And we feature in this month’s edition of Harper’s Bazaar magazine in an article on women navigating the road to entrepreneurial success. FSB has joined forces with Facebook and the British Chambers of Commerce to encourage more women to take the leap to become entrepreneurs.

 Inspirational Women

This is not tokenism – figures show that by 2020 women could help add £10 billion to the UK economy if they started their own business – with numbers like that can we afford to ignore their potential? As FSB modernises and looks to attract more members we can’t ignore the fact that 59% of entrepreneurs under 35 are women.

This is an exciting opportunity for us - we are not just collaborating with Facebook but FSB has made our own short films celebrating some of our inspirational women members. We’ll be launching them over the coming weeks. So please join us on Facebook and twitter and help celebrate some of our inspirational women helping make FSB great.

Here’s our first video with Bini Ludlow, founder of Indian cookery school Sweet Cumin.