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Women at the Top business network welcomes male members

SPEECH: Gary Elden, CEO of global recruitment company SThree

GOVERNMENT RESEARCH shows that black people account for a meagre four per cent of London business-owners –
lower than any other ethnic group.

Despite this, black men account for the majority of black business-owners in London and there is still a lot to be desired of the support available to them.

Of this number, only a quarter are women. There are number of reasons as to why this is the case, such as lack of access to funding, lack of support and, by contrast, a surplus of negative self-fulfilling prophecies from the classroom to the boardroom.

It’s an issue that organisations such as Women At The Top (WATT) set out to address.

Founded in 2015, this events company offers aspiring black and minority ethnic (BAME) business women an intimate forum to hear from and network with predominantly black female achievers in business. It champions the advancement of women in the workplace, and this typically comes in the form of seminars and brainstorming sessions. WATT has held several successful events since it was launched.

However, it received several requests from black men in business to hold events where they could attend and glean information.

Now WATT has answered this call.

For the first time in its two-year history, the organisation will broaden its reach to include aspiring black businessmen and entrepreneurs, creating an environment in which they, too, can attend, enhance their perspective and network - the first of such opportunities will be at their next event on 29 April.

Two successful black male entrepreneurs will address the audience on the 29th with speeches, peppered with their experience and insight into their respective fields.

One is Gary Elden, CEO of SThree, a global recruitment company covering 15 countries and 2016 recipient of the Black British Business Person of the Year award. The other, Peter Herbert QC, is a leading black figure within the UK justice system.

Sandra Pinnock, founder of Xsandys haircare and skincare distributors, will also deliver a keynote presentation.

Of the event, Nadia Jones, experienced business manager and consul to WATT said:

“It’s all very exciting indeed.

“The event is very much about the interaction between those who attend and the way in which they can offer each other support, as much as hearing from these high-calibre speakers.”

WATT founder Sandra McKenzie added:

“We should all have an appreciation of the different challenges that we face in our gender roles in our professions.

“Coming together, as women and men, will perhaps help us to appreciate it. By involving men in WATT, we can share insight and help each other.”

According to NatWest and Development Economics, the number of women starting their own business in the UK was at 3.7 per cent in 2009. This rose to 7.2 per cent in 2012, but fell to just 4.7 per cent in 2015.

WATT’s upcoming buffet brunch in central London will take place on Saturday April 29 2017. For details and tickets, click Posted on: 21/04/2017 10:49 AM

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