Posted on:
7th March, 2020

LEPs supporting International Women's Day

LEPs like EM3 are marking International Women's Day - “Brilliant ideas, innovation and implementation come from diversity of thinking,” that thought from Enterprise M3 Board director, Linda Cheung, will capture the spirit of the day as the Enterprise M3’s female board directors join forces to celebrate International Women’s Day.

As a leading Local Enterprise Partnership, EM3 LEP has recently led a recruitment drive to encourage more women to join its board as part of a strong commitment to the mantra “ great minds don’t think alike” and the value of diversity.

Julie Baker and Virginia Barrett are the latest senior business women to be appointed to the LEP board and join Chief Executive, Kathy Slack, and fellow board members Dr Deborah Allen, Stacey King, Linda Cheung, and Cllr Caroline Reeves, to support this year’s #eachforequal campaign promoting greater gender diversity in the workplace.

A dedicated networking event is planned for EM3’s Basingstoke HQ on Monday, March 9 while several of the board members have published inspirational blogs in the run-up to IWD 2020.

Kathy Slack, Chief Executive of EM3, said:

“We are facing a world of challenges but also such opportunities. Having a strong diverse board is critical for steering a way ahead. Nine new board directors joined us this year and 45% of our board are female, bringing a richness, creativity and such passion for our local economy into our debates. Diversity of thinking and recognising that everyone has a voice has been just one of our successes in this last year. “

Julie, Head of Enterprise and Community Finance at NatWest, worked as business lead on the government-commissioned Rose Review which aimed to break down barriers for women becoming entrepreneurs and which was published lastrch to mark IWD 2019. She said:

“If there is one thing I have learned, it is that we need the creativity and innovation that comes from diversity to keep up with the rapidly changing world around us. The Rose Review identified that boosting female entrepreneurship could add £250bn to the economy and we need to challenge any barriers which restrict opportunity.”

Dr Deborah Allen, Managing Director of Operational Governance at BAE Systems PLC and EM3’s deputy chair, said:

“Diversity of every kind – age, gender and culture - is needed for LEPs to make the balanced, strategic decisions which will deliver successful futures for their regions. We need the broad diversity of views - across age, gender and culture - all of which provide different perspectives on how people live and work in our area.”

Linda Cheung, Co-founder of CubeSocial and Intrapreneur Nation, said:

“The greater the mix around the table, the richer the perspective. You get better business decisions – more effective, more productive, more profitable - with diversity. “

Anyone interested in joining the EM3 board should contact EM3’s Assistant Director Rachel Barker –