International Women's Day Conference 2017

03 March 2017

Photo Caption: L-R  Louise Kennedy, Jeni Banks, Sharon MacArthur and Cheryl Holmstrom

Four leading North East female entrepreneurs have joined forces to celebrate and champion women in the workplace.

Taking place on International Women’s Day, 8th March, the conference will show the importance of women at work and what can be achieved for people who decide to go it alone or work within a corporate environment.

The event has been organised by Jeni Banks, managing director of The Mussel Club, owner of RedHandbag Sharon MacArthur, Cheryl Holmstrom, Enterprise & Innovation, University of Sunderland, and Louise Kennedy managing director of Oculus HR. Speaking about the event, Jeni Banks, commented:

“This is the first IWD conference that I have been involved in and I am honored to have played a part in the event.

“We want to create a day that not just promotes, but supports all businesses, men included! We are building on the success of last year’s conference to help people build lasting connections, as well as providing a great line up of speakers which will inspire and help businesses on the road to success.”

Speakers at the event include; Fiona Cruickshank MBE from Community Foundation and Kevin Haynes, Head of Learning and Development from Greggs PLC. The inspiring speakers are from a wide range of backgrounds, including self-employed, franchises and those employed in large organisations.

The event is sponsored by the University of Sunderland Business Schools Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship Programme. Claire Hoy who helped develop the programme and is speaking at the event commented:

‘’I am privileged to have been asked to speak at this event.  As a female academic and experienced leader in business I understand the challenges facing women in the workplace and absolutely value the positive impact that higher education can have in addressing and overcoming these challenges.

“I’m delighted that we have been able to develop a work relevant, Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship Programme which due to its design, content and delivery approach will support the personal and professional development of women and indeed all participants in their leadership journey."

For more information on the event and to see the full line up of speakers visit or call 0191 516 3109.