An Evening with Inspirational Women at Hope Street Xchange

22 February 2023

Hope Street Xchange, in collaboration with the University of Sunderland and The Office Rocks, have powered up to celebrate International Women's Day 2023. Following the success of last year’s event, Laura Middleton, Colleen Compson and Justine Gillespie have joined forces once more to showcase an array of inspirational female business leaders from across the North East.

Tickets have just been announced and are selling fast for the event, which will be held on Wednesday 8th March (5.30pm – 8.30pm) at Hope Street Xchange, and given the line-up, there is no wonder the tickets are getting snapped up quickly!

Following a welcome reception, the evening will showcase guest speakers and panel members from the region, including guest speakers Sophie Milliken MBE, CEO & Founder at Moja Group, Kylie Dixon, Author & Founder of The Northern Lass Lounge and Claire Goodliff and Debra De Luen, Founders of Amazing Jane Activewear.

The panel members include Spark Radio Presenter Kristiana Zunde, Public Health Enthusiast Evelyn Uche-Mark and Izzy MacDonald-Booth, Craft and Design Retail Manager at the National Glass Centre. The evening will be topped off by networking and nibbles, with the organisers also collecting women's clothing donations for Smart Works on the evening. Smart Works gives women the confidence they need to reach their full potential, secure employment and change the trajectory of their lives.

Colleen Compson, Commercial Facilities & Events Manager, University of Sunderland, said:

“International Women’s Day is an event that we as a university have organised events and celebrated over the years, and we are delighted to host the event again this year. It’s great to team up with my colleague, Justine Gillespie (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager) and to be working with Laura Middleton from The Office Rocks, one of our tenants at Hope Street Xchange again following the success of last year’s event.

The guest speakers and panel guests we have lined up are fantastic, and we are really looking forward to hearing from these inspiring women.”

Laura Middleton, Founder and Managing Director of Sunderland-based content marketers, The Office Rocks, said:

“We are so excited to collaborate with Hope Street Xchange and the University of Sunderland again this year. The energy in the room and thirst for support amongst other female business leaders was immense last year. Events like this are so vital to inspire and support other women in business. I brought my teenage daughter along last year, and she wants to return again this year. The collaboration and celebration of women in business is so important and inspiring for the next generation to see.”

Guest speakers and the duo behind Amazing Jane Activewear will be taking to the floor to talk about their business journey, which has seen them cause a stir in the fitness media of late with their innovative TrackHer leggings.

Debra De Luen, Co-founder at Amazing Jane, said:

“We can't wait to guest speak at the event! The North East really has been a catalyst for our growth in the last few months. Alongside,  national awareness raising of our brand within the fitness industry, this has been combined with phenomenal support from a network of businesswomen from across the region.

We are so appreciative of the business community who have embraced and championed us and have made some amazing contacts, many of which have led to some amazing opportunities. So, we can see first-hand the importance and how much value that a supportive network can bring to female business owners and leaders.”

Tickets priced £13.00 are on sale now and available via Eventbrite: