The achievements of inspiring women in business were celebrated at Crawley College on Tuesday (12 March).
Fifty senior business women gathered at Crawley College to enjoy networking and afternoon tea prepared by College students studying catering and hospitality.
Following on from International Women’s Day, the afternoon was a celebration of the achievements of women working in senior roles at companies including NatWest, DMH Stallard, KPMG, Grant Thornton, The Arora Group, Irwin Mitchell and B&CE.
The event was co-hosted by Louise Perkins, Lending Director at NatWest (London & South East) and Julie Kapsalis, Managing Director at Chichester College Group.
The event was part of a network of mutual peer support set up by NatWest to bring together female business leaders in the local area.
Members also brought female guests who had provided inspiration to them, which ranged from colleagues to apprentices and from managers to family members and friends.
Louise said: “Across the UK, NatWest embraced International Women’s Day and we were delighted to jointly host and be part of Crawley College’s celebration.
“The event was attended by 50 senior female professionals from across the region and across a variety of sectors – illustrating the depth of talent the area has to offer and given the right environment, the opportunities available to all regardless of gender.
“The Rose Review shows that supporting more female-led entrepreneurs could aid the UK by £250 billion. Hopefully Crawley College’s event will help inspire and encourage others to take that step.”
Julie added: “I am delighted to have been part of a truly inspiring afternoon at our fabulous 58 Restaurant at Crawley College, which is part of our growing group of colleges.”
“The afternoon was not only a fantastic opportunity for us to share our connections and support each other, but also to inspire the next generation of female business leaders and I was thrilled to be able to invite ten of our college students as guests.”
“It was also an opportunity to demonstrate the college’s commitment to working in partnership with businesses to ensure that we meet their skills needs and retain talent in the local area.”
Students who were invited, included Crawley College Student President Madlen Standen-Grant and Vice President Rasiatu Turay, who took inspiration from talking to other guests.
Rasiatu, 19, is studying health and social care, with the aim to go on to train as a midwife.
She said: “It was really good to meet with so many different people, talk to them and hear about how they’ve got to where they are.
“It was interesting to hear how many of them said they didn’t know what they wanted to do when they were my age, whereas I already know what I’m going to do.
“I just feel really inspired and really motivated me to want to do more.”