Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Quotas 'Only Sure Fire Way' to Help Women in Business

Source: http://www.womenintechnology.co.uk/news/quotas-only-sure-fire-way-to-help-women-in-business-news-800557633
Introducing quotas for large businesses hiring a certain number of women to senior roles is the "only sure fire way" to ensure more women reach the boardroom.

This is the view of Preethi Sundaram, policy and campaigns officer at the Fawcett Society, who claimed that running 'business as usual' is not working.

Commenting on the Davies review that did not suggest large firms should have mandatory quotas to promote gender equality, Ms Sundaram admitted that it is not the popular choice, but might be necessary.

"The government has made it clear [that] they don't intend to force big business to take action on the issue," she said.

"Fawcett want to see firms employing more than the 250 people required to monitor their 'pay gap'; greater awareness of the problem is key to tackling it."

Last week, a survey of almost 3,000 women by Marie Claire and Everywoman found that sexism is still rife in the workplace, with 61 per cent of women believing men are better at getting pay rises than women.

To read the full article from Women in Technology click here.

Confidence Boost for Merseyside Women

Merseyside women joined together at The Women's Organisation this month to battle their barriers and build in confidence. As part of the 'Working Better' project the women were invited to an interactive personal development training course focused on building self esteem and taking positive steps for the future.

The project is aimed at supporting women who are facing barriers to success such as:

- Long term unemployment
- Poor health or disability
- Lone Parents
- Ex-Offenders etc.

Training manager at The Women's Organisation Bernie Cox (pictured) said "It's always a pleasure to be able to offer this type of support to women. It's so inspiring having listened to their stories to then see them walk out with their head a little higher and taking tools to help them keep the positivity flowing."

The encouraging course looks at:

- Positive Thinking
- Identifying Positive Achievements
- Building in Confidence
- Goal Setting and How to Achieve Your Goals

Some comments from the women who attended included:

"Inspiring, motivating, interesting"
"I was encouraged to think more positively"
"I enjoyed finding out more about myself"
"I had a lovely day and felt I learned a lot"

The Women's Organisation will be offering a similar Personal Development course on Thursday 30th June 10am-3pm. If you are a local woman wishing to overcome your barriers and build in confidence then call our team on 0151 706 8111 or email info@thewo.org.uk to check your eligibility or reserve a place.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Liverpool Woman Makes Her Mark in Media

26 year old Megan Walker always dreamed of a career in video production, but upon graduating from studying film at LJMU she discovered that jobs in media were scarce. Being a Liverpool resident Megan felt frustrated that it seemed the only avenues of opportunity involved relocating to London and realised, in the current competitive climate, the best way to pursue her dream was to create a job for herself.

Megan had taken on various work experience roles within media during and after her studies in order to build her knowledge of the industry, and a chance offer to help out a friend is what would begin her journey to becoming an entrepreneur. Having taken up the offer to support her friend who was running media projects with local schools Megan was delighted when the friend then recommended her to cover a project herself.

Megan said: “The idea of starting my own business was daunting. I didn’t have a clue about business plans or any of that side of it. But I found my way to The Women’s Organisation who told me about their grant and support. They were really enthusiastic and helpful from the start. I met with a business adviser who was so supportive in helping me move things forward. From there I did the business planning training which really helped me to get my head around things, especially the cash flow. I was then helped to access grants and found that there was a great network of people I could collaborate with at the training and networking events.”

When attending industry events Megan found that media is a very male dominated industry and at times women are taken less seriously in technical roles. She said “it makes me proud to be flying the flag for women in a field in which we are so under represented.”

Megan received grant funding from The Women’s Organisation and Liverpool Vision to get essential equipment for the start up of her business, and now has a live website and is booking clients. She said: “I went from wondering if it was a possibility to starting a business in a matter of months. I feel better about myself and really proud of what I have achieved. It’s great to feel the support of everyone who has taken such an interest in my business. It’s like the community is behind you.”

‘Megan Walker Media’ offers a range of video production services specialising particularly in marketing and promotional videos for business and community, and also producing films for weddings and events. If you would like to find out more about what Megan does visit www.meganwalkermedia.co.uk follow her on Twitter @megwalkermedia or Facebook Megan Walker Media, or contact her on 07708082560 info@meganwalkermedia.co.uk

And, if like Megan you are interested in starting up your own business call The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 and find out about the range of FREE services we can offer. You can also email info@thewo.org.uk or visit www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Supporting Social Enterprises from North West to Nepal

Building on the mission that "Our outlook is International", The Women's Organisations Development Manager Lisa McMullan was thrilled to be invited to visit Nepal to work with local Social Enterprises. Working in collaberation with SAN (Social Audit Network) UK and SAF (Social Audit Forum) Nepal the visit was an opportunity to train local Social Enterprise leaders in Social Accounting and Audit.

SAN UK began working with colleagues in Nepal back in 2004. Providing consultancy support to the Department of Education and local community facilitators, the SAN team, led by John Pearce, contributed to social accounting and audit becoming a mechanism to support community participation and promote accountability within the primary education field. Today, social audit practices are integral to the monitoring, evaluation and direct payment of community education schools.

Since then, Nepal has experienced significant constitutional and political change; and improving governance systems and widening participation in decision making have been identified as priorities for the country’s development. In response to this, a group of local development professionals established the Social Audit Forum (SAF-Nepal). SAF is a pioneering not-for-profit organisation that promotes good governance through participation, transparency and accountability.

SAF-Nepal has been promoting and developing social audit practices in a range of community support projects and is committed to improving the quality of social audit practices and its longer term impacts. As part of this commitment, SAN UK is supporting SAF-Nepal by sharing its experiences and expertise in implementing our social accounting and audit model.

From 14 – 16 May 2011, Lisa facilitated a 3 day ‘Prove Improve and Account’ workshop for 23 Nepali colleagues – directors, members and supporters of SAF-Nepal. The aim of the workshop was to develop a shared understanding of the SAN model and to explore how it can be best adapted to the context in Nepal. Over the 3 days, the group considered the New Guide to Social Accounting and Audit, using a case study and SAF-Nepal to put some of the theories & tools into practice. For example, SAF-Nepal reviewed its values; agreed a set of output and outcome indicators; completed a comprehensive stakeholder analysis; and participated in a mock social audit panel. During the visit there was also opportunity to discuss and understand the public audit practices in Nepal which is more focused at small development project level. SAF-Nepal is now developing its own guide to social accounting and audit for wider implementation.

Having successfully completed phase 1 of SAF-Nepal’s action plan to promote social accounting and audit practices, efforts are now focussed on securing resources to develop five model organisations by supporting their own social accounting and audit processes, and to establish a bank of accredited social accounting advisers and auditors in Nepal.

For more information on The Women's Organisations international links, research and support for social enterprises please visit www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk or contact Lisa directly on lisamcmullan@thewo.org.uk

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kirkby Children Get Enterprising to Stop Loan Sharks

The Women's Organisation joined the England Illegal Money Lending Team last week to support their 'Stop Loan Sharking' campaign at primary schools in Kirkby. The week long programme of events was aimed at children and adults alike to help them to find out more about the dangers of illegal money lenders.

An estimated 310,000 households nationally borrow from loan sharks who operate illegally, often charging extortionate rates of interest, and resorting to violence or intimidation to enforce repayment.

Representatives from the Team joined by the local credit union, Knowsley Mutual, attended assemblies at Westvale School and Ravenscroft School, to speak about the dangers to 260 children. Knowsley Trading Standards also sponsored 30 children’s credit union accounts, using money taken from illegal lenders. The School Gates Employment Support Initiative and North Kirkby Children’s Centres facilitated coffee mornings for parents at both schools, to give them a chance to chat with representatives from the IMLT and other organisation’s such as The Women's Organisation picking up some invaluable advice.

The week long campaign Culminated on Friday 20th May with an enterprise day hosted at Westvale Primary School by The Women’s Organisation. Children were asked to come up with a marketing campaign to encourage local residents to use the credit union, and avoid illegal money lenders. The campaigns were judged by representatives from Radio City, the IMLT, Knowsley Council and the credit union.

Bernie Cox, training manager at The Women's Organisation said
"The day was a great success. It was such a brilliant opportunity to not only raise awareness of this important campaign, but to get these budding young entrepreneurs thinking about enterprise. It was a delight to work with Westvale and their enthusiastic students."

Some of the comments from the students included:

"Thank you for making our day fantastic!"
"I have enjoyed today. It was fun"
"I would love to do this again"
"I enjoyed making a business and also being part of a team"
"I think that today was brill. Bernie and Jo were very kind."
"I enjoyed working as a team"
"It has been fantastic. I want to do it again"
"I enjoyed all the activities that took place today and I feel more confident working with others"
"I liked working as project manager, everyone got involved. Our team won, but everyone is a winner"
"It was an amazing day and I loved it. I wish there was more days like this"
"It was cool"

To report a loan shark:

Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003
E-mail reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk
Log-on to www.direct.gov.uk/stoploansharks

For more information on The Women's Organisation and the enterprise support we can offer to women in Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton and Stockport visit www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk

Monday, May 23, 2011

'Surviving the Cuts' A Hair & Beauty Industry Master Class

The Women's Organisation are pleased to invite you to 'Surviving the Cuts' - A Hair & Beauty Industry Master Class

Held on: Monday 6th June 12.30pm-3.30pm
At: The Women's Organisation, 54 St James Street, Liverpool, L1 0AB

This fantastic master class event featuring talks from top industry experts will provide you with tools to 'Survive the Cuts' and grow your hair/beauty business.

Open to women in Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton and Stockport who are running their own hair or beauty business, the event will offer fantastic networking opportunities as well as:

HR Power Session with Courtney Consultants
on their expertise in recruiting the right staff and HR for business

Workforce Development Team from Hugh Baird College
on opportunities for taking on apprenticeships and support available

Jo Copoc from Boomerang Business Solutions
on 'Successful Sales' and increasing average sales orders

Places are limited and booking is essential. By contacting our team on
0151 706 8111 or emailing info@thewo.org.uk

Calling Women Artists - Exhibition Opportunity Sefton

Submissions from women artists are invited for an exhibition presented at the Waterfront Gallery, The Promenade, Southport from 7TH JULY 2011.

'Husk' is an exhibition with the theme of 'Human Remains' being headed up by The Women's Organisation client and artist Ruth Ainsworth.

Artists are asked to submit work which responds in any media to the definitions/words below:

Longmans; ₁ husk/husk/ n 1 a typically dry or membranous outer covering of a seed or fruit 2 the esp. worthless outer layer of something;
a shell [ME, prob modif of MD huuskijn, dim.of huus house, cover] – husky adj
₂husk vt to strip the husk from – husker n Oxford; husk, shell, case, carapace, integument, pod, framework, frame, structure, chassis, hull, skeleton.

The final pieces will join specially commissioned work by women artists from the Waterfront Gallery. Work will be chosen for its visceral quality and ability to leave a lasting impression on its viewer. digital/video/performance/photography/painting/drawing/sculpture – all media welcome…

If you are interested in finding out more or discussing possible ideas for exhibition then contact:

Ruth Ainsworth
01704 570323

Initially entries should be sent by digital image emailed to ruthieains@talktalk.net no later than FRIDAY 24th June 2011. Selected artworks to be delivered by FRIDAY 1st JULY 2011. For full Terms and Conditions visit:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Merseyside Business Women Make 'Connections That Count'

The Women's Organisation played host to its second Business Club event last night. Business women from Liverpool, Knowsley and Sefton joined together to network and make 'Connections that Count' which was the hot topic of the night.

Business club member and local woman in business Cath Daley was the guest speaker offering tips on how to present yourself successfully when given a business opportunity. Asking for a nervous volunteer she offered techniques on how to present yourself confidently even when it doesn't come naturally. Her visualisation technique of anchoring yourself to the centre of the earth left the attendees striding tall.

The Women's Organisation Training Manager Bernie Cox added her warm style to the night with anecdotes and top tips on networking successfully.

Feedback comments from the night included:

"Interesting session, good chance to see different businesses, learn and network with others"

"What Cath had to say was really encouraging and helpful. Thanks"

"Makes you feel positive and is very welcoming"

"This was my first networking event. I found it very useful and it was good to meet new people"

"Useful contacts made"

"Good event. Speaker was excellent, food was good too, looking forward to the next event!"

"Interesting talks. Loved the networking info and a great mix of women"

"Fantastic Speakers. Great Support"

"I thought the event was very 'motivating' and useful. I am new to this and got a lot from it"

Membership to our business club is currently FREE and open to women in Merseyside or Greater Manchester who are running their own business. Our business club holds regular networking and specialist training events. For information on how to join and forthcoming events contact our team on 0151 706 8111 or email info@thewo.org.uk

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Women Worst Hit by Spending Cuts

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/women-worsthit-by-spending-cuts-2285190.html

Public spending cuts will have a disproportionate impact on women, widening Britain's gender pay gap and increasing other inequalities between the sexes, according to a report.

The study, carried out by women's groups and experts at the University of Warwick, warned that hard-won gains for equality were in danger of "unravelling" as a result of planned spending cuts, which may even trap more women in violent relationships.

Published jointly by the Centre for Human Rights in Practice at the University of Warwick and Coventry Women's Voices, the report predicts that cuts to adult social care, legal aid, benefits, and public sector pay freezes will all have a greater impact on women than men.

The eight-chapter report, billed as a snapshot of the situation in Coventry in March, concluded that planned and potential cutbacks will hit women hardest and may have a negative impact on their human rights.

Co-author James Harrison, of the University of Warwick's Centre for Human Rights in Practice, said: "This assessment is a projection of what the spending cuts might mean to women.

"It uses Coventry as a case study but the findings are relevant to the whole of the UK."

Dr Harrison added: "Public authorities, both nationally and locally, have legal obligations under the Equality Act and the Human Rights Act to promote equality and protect human rights."

To read the full article click here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Intensive Business Planning for Women

The Women's Organisation are delighted to offer a FREE one day intensive Business Planning Course to women. This course which will be delivered across the region is open to women in Liverpool, Knowsley or Sefton, who have a clear business idea and are considering self-employment. This lively, interactive day will give you an insight on how to;

• Develop a clear vision for your business
• Complete a SWOT analysis
• Understand the importance of market research and how to complete it
• Create a marketing plan
• Understand how to complete the financial forecasts for your business

On completion of the course you will be given the opportunity to book an appointment to see a qualified business adviser for one to one help and support.

Courses are scheduled as follows:

Tuesday 31st May 9.30am-3pm
Sefton Chamber of Commerce, 150 Lord Street, Southport, PR9 0NP

Thursday 2nd June 9.30am-3pm
Eden Children’s Centre, Westvale Primary School, Melverley Road, Kirkby, L32 0RQ

Thursday 17th June 9.30am-3pm
The Women’s Organisation, 54 St James St, Liverpool, L1 0AB

Monday 27th June 9.30am-3pm
Sefton@Work, 286- 288 Stanley Road, Bootle, L20 3ER

Wednesday 6th July 9.30am-3pm
The Women’s Organisation, 54 St James St, Liverpool, L1 0AB

Tuesday 12th July 9.30am-3pm
Halewood One Stop Shop, The Halewood Centre, Roseheath Drive, Halewood, L26 9UH

Thursday 21st July 9.30am-3pm
The Women’s Organisation, 54 St James St, Liverpool, L1 0AB

Thursday 28th July 9.30am-3pm
Sefton@Work, 286- 288 Stanley Road, Bootle, L20 3ER

To find out more about the courses or to book your place call The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Big Society - Cameron's Big Con?

As part of this year's Writing on the Wall Festival, The Women's Organisation will play host to a debate on 'Big Society - Cameron's Big Con?'.

Held on: Tuesday 17th May 7pm-9pm

The event which will take place at The Women's Organisation's new 54 St James St offices will feature a panel of local representatives from media and community organisations giving different perspecitves on the governments 'Big Society' initiative. Taking part in the heated debate will be:

- Darcus Howe - Broadcaster and Journalist
- Dan Hind - Writer and Commentator
- Maggie O'Carrol - Founder and CEO of The Women's Organisation
- Phil Knibb - Founder of Croxteth Communiversity

Those interested can pay on the door for the event at a cost of £3/£5. For more information about this and other Writing on the Wall events visit www.writingonthewall.org.uk or call 0151 703 0020

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Business Strategy Event 'Connections That Count!'

The Women's Organisation are delighted to invite local women to this months Business Club event which will be around business strategy, particularly making 'Connections that Count'.

Held on: Thursday 19th May 6pm-8.30pm
Held at: The Women's Organisation, 54 St James Street, Liverpool, L1 0AB

Business Club Member Cath Daley of Cath Daley Ltd. will be our guest speaker offering tips on:

- Giving winning business presentations every time
- Effective networking
- Building business connections that count

Cath says

"Often people who run small businesses think that they won't be giving 'presentations' in what they do and overlook the importance of presenting themselves effectively. However, every time you meet someone you talk to about your business, no matter how informally, you need to consider how you are are coming across. That first 30 seconds is what you get to make an impression that can lead to a connection that will count for your business"

As well as this interesting talk this event will offer:

- Opportunity for local business women to network
- Top tips on 'Recession Proofing Your Business' from our Training Manager Bernie Cox
- Light refreshments

Booking is essential by calling 0151 706 8111 or emailing info@thewo.org.uk

The event is FREE to members of The Women's Organisation Business Club.
Business Club membership is free of charge and open to women currently running a business in Merseyside or Greater Manchester.

If you are not yet a member and would like to attend this event please call 0151 706 8111 or email info@thewo.org.uk to book a place and register

Room Hire in L1 From as Little as £15!!!

Calling all female entrepreneurs - our new purpose-built £5.5m centre is open for business and available for rent!

Why not give your business a boost with a prestigious address and office space providing you with every facility you need in a stylish setting.

54 St James Street, Liverpool is a great place to do business! Come down and see for yourself the wide variety of furnished and unfurnished office spaces, meeting rooms and virtual offices we have available for rent or hire at very competitive prices.

Our rates for rented office space depend on the size of the room and any additional services required e.g. telephone services. By visiting, you can see all that we have to offer. You can tell us your requirements and then we can prepare a quote tailored to your individual needs.

The virtual office and meeting room rates start from £15 plus VAT per month to rent a virtual office. Meeting rooms can be rented from £60 plus VAT per day with half day rates also available.

Tenants receive 10% discount on the cost of meeting room hire and by doing business in our new building, you can tap into a wealth of valuable resources including networking and business advice and support.

Call us on 0151 706 8111 or email info@thewo.org.uk to arrange a viewing. Our centre provides a terrific new facility and we will be delighted to show you around.

Hui Yi Lu (Notes from the past) Launching 13th May

Hui Yi Lu celebrates the intimate and the personal within Liverpool's Chinese community through the large scale and the miniature. Following a series of photographic workshops with the Chinese community, held in partnership with The Pagoda Centre and FACT Media Centre, skills were learnt and stories were shared resulting in a series of 20 cinematic images .
These large scale photographs, displayed across the city will be juxtaposed with a miniature photographic story told inside fortune cookies. These cookies will be distributed throughout the Look11 Festival and can also be obtained by contacting the artists :Paul McCann: paul@twinvisionphoto.co.uk and Leila Romaya: leila@straycatmedia.org so you may have your own personal exhibition to take home! Contact Leila for more information about the exhibition.

This project was kindly supported by Look11 and Liverpool City Council.