Operations Director Paula Deas explains why she is among three key figures from the CWLEP attending a milestone event aimed at inspiring more women throughout England to become board directors at Local Enterprise Partnerships.
She said: “The LEP Network has organised the LEP Women Leaders 2019 event at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London on Thursday, June 6 for over 150 women to hear from a range of inspirational speakers and take part in panel discussions and Q&A sessions.
“Fifty-five current women LEP board directors have confirmed their attendance including Sarah Windrum, CEO of The Emerald Group in Leamington, and Marion Plant OBE, principal and CEO of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, from the CWLEP along with myself.
“Sarah, who is also chair of the CWLEP’s Digital Creative Business Group, will be part of the Enhancing Gender diversity on LEPs boards panel which will discuss what LEPs can do to encourage more women to get involved with LEP boards at the by-invitation only event which will include women from the private, public, education and third sectors.
“LEP Women Leaders 2019 was organised after a government review of LEPs said one-third of every LEP board will be filled by women by 2020 and half of every LEP board by 2023.
“The LEP Network is hosting the event to help LEPs achieve these ambitions by bringing together a large group of women leaders – some of who are successfully engaged in improving gender diversity within their organisations and others who are leaders in their field and interested in working closer with LEPs as they shape their Local Industrial Strategy.
“The CWLEP is committed to encouraging more women to become involved in LEP activities and to drive forward their strategies.
“LEP Women Leaders 2019 is an excellent opportunity to encourage more women to get in touch with their Local Enterprise Partnership and take an active role in shaping the economy of their area.
“At the CWLEP, we are working hard to persuade more women to become involved by applying to join our board of directors to play a significant part in our activities.
“Often, women can be reticent to put their name forward even though they have the skills and business contacts but all candidates are judged on their ability and knowledge and we want to reflect all communities within Coventry and Warwickshire to encourage growth and innovation.
“All LEP board directors are volunteers who want to make a difference to the areas in which they live and this event will be an ideal opportunity to showcase the talents of women who hold senior leadership positions and hear about the challenges and barriers they have faced and how they have overcome them.
“Most importantly, we want to inspire more women business leaders whether they are running an SME or a large organisation to become involved with LEPs and this day will be an ideal chance to promote the impact the 38 LEPs are having throughout England.”
Caption: Paula Deas, Operations Director at the CWLEP