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Chamber launches toolkit to aid women in business

Henrietta Brealey, GBCC policy adviser

Henrietta Brealey, GBCC policy adviser

A new resource for women was launched today by Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC).

The GBCC Women in Business Toolkit. developed in conjunction with Europe Direct, will be unveiled on November 19 at a panel-led debate. It will feature an array of advice and guidance on statutory rights and best practice activities.

Henrietta Brealey, GBCC policy adviser, said: “The Chamber is currently celebrating its 200th Anniversary and while we are celebrating our past we can also help positively shape Birmingham’s business environment in the future.

“Women in business has been a hotly debated topic in recent months in both European and UK Parliament.

“The toolkit includes advice and guidance on statutory rights and best practice activities. It does not call for onerous regulation but raises awareness of what already exists. It aims to support interested women and their employers by giving them the information they need to decide what works for them.

“While aimed at women, much of the guidance in the toolkit is useful for employers looking to learn more about legal requirements and best practice as well those interested in promoting all kinds of diversity in their organisations.”

The launch will be hosted by Chamber Patrons PwC (5:45-8:00pm) and the discussion, entitled ‘Red Tape or Creating Change? Women in Business: Setting the Agenda’, will involve panellists discussing what they think should, and should not, be done to support women in business.

Katie Warrington, director at PwC, launch event sponsor, said: “We’re really pleased to be supporting this event as we view increasing diversity at all levels as a key priority.

“It’s about making sure there is a level playing field for all, regardless of gender or race, and doing this as quickly as we can. This also goes beyond doing the right thing as diversity can also bring real commercial benefits.

“To best serve our clients in a changing world we need to ensure we have sufficient difference and flexibility in our thinking.

“This event will provide a great opportunity to hear from a range of leaders on what they think does, and does not, work in terms of promoting diversity. We’re looking forward to what promises to be a highly engaging discussion and fantastic opportunity to network with businesses, and individuals, interested in this agenda.”

The panel for the launch event will feature Susana Mendonça (Daily Politics BBC WM) as chair and Kate Cooper (founder, New Optimists), Kirst Davies-Chinnock (MD Professional Polishing Ltd., chair of the Women in Business Association), Sarah-Jane Marsh (chief executive, Birmingham Children’s Hospital), Sarah Veale CBE (head of equality and employment rights, TUC) and Kate Warrington (assurance director, PwC).

The event is free and Chamber members and non-members are welcome to register to attend through the events section of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce website: www.birmingham-chamber.com

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