Let's be bold and collaborate to achieve gender equality

FORWARD LADIES - the Leeds-based networking organisation that promotes women in the workplace - is calling on the region's business community to support its drive to promote gender equality.

Keynote speaker Petra Wetzel at the Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. 1 December 2016. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Forward Ladies is encouraging firms around the region to get behind International Women’s Day on March 8. The group hopes that more women can emulate the success of entrepreneurs like Petra Wetzel, who was the keynote speaker at Forward Ladies’ recent National Women in Business Awards, which were held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Ms Wetzel is the founder and MD of the WEST Brewery in Glasgow, which she has grown from a self-contained German style beer hall and brewery into a major distribution operation.

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The Yorkshire Post is the media partner for an event to celebrate International Women’s Day which features speeches from the entrepreneur and philanthropist Kavita Oberoi, who is originally from Bradford, and Sherry Coutu, the former CEO and angel investor who serves on the boards of companies, charities and universities. It is being hosted by Forward Ladies at Hilton Leeds City in Neville Street, Leeds on March 3 from 12pm to 3.30pm. Tickets can be obtained via www.forwardladies.com.

A spokesman for Forward Ladies said: “For International Women’s Day 2017, Forward Ladies is asking you to #BeBoldForChange and help forge a better working world - a more inclusive, gender equal world. Forward Ladies celebrates by reflecting on the extraordinary accomplishments and achievements of women who have overcome barriers and helped shape the country’s history.

“Although International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900s, many companies are still struggling to create gender balanced businesses and fail to recognise the talent in the market by attracting, retaining and rewarding the contribution that women are making in business.”