The ‘workplace’ takes so many different forms now and we were extremely lucky to have three very talented women share their stories of achievement in three very different areas of work.

The event at Eastwell Manor Hotel was organised by Breakthrough Women, a collaboration between Deborah Turner of You Image and Sue Nelson at Breakthrough Funding, who recognise that female role models play an integral part in inspiring other women and raising the visibility of women in the workplace. The Breakthrough Women events encourage the celebration of women in business and help to raise the visibility of women succeeding within their workplace. A key part of the events is the opportunity to ask the speakers questions and to have access to experienced and successful business women.

Penny Power OBE spoke first sharing her business story and how she successfully juggled home and business life for many years to create the first business focused social network. Her journey wasn’t without problems so it was interesting to hear of the difficulties she had to overcome and said that it is ‘the knockbacks that make you stronger’. One of Penny’s beliefs of being an entrepreneur was that it can be a curse; for example, not being able to ignore a potential idea despite everyone else thinking it’s not a good one. For the most part she knows it is of course a complete blessing and it was obvious that her passion and commitment for business, drives her to succeed. My favourite words of wisdom from her journey was ‘emotional wealth leads to financial wealth’ and her most recent achievements are testament to that. Her latest venture is the The Business Café and I for one cannot wait until one comes to Kent.

Amy Williams’ MBE workplace was for many years the skeleton track, not many can boast that. The parallels between sport and business are always so aligned for the drive to success and it was fascinating to hear Amy’s struggle to get there, facing adversity from coaches as well as injury. By starting with the end in mind, an Olympic gold medal in 2010, she put in place every step that she needed to work at to get that end goal. She emphasized the importance of taking responsibility for your actions and that no matter what happens, having no regrets! Her determination and energy was inspiring to say the least.

The final speaker was from the world of academia. Dr Patricia Lewis shared her insights of how entrepreneurship for women has progressed and how differently the world now views women in business. Of course, there is still adversity from some sectors but the message was that we can create strategies to deal with it and these strategies do and will work. The skills of collaboration, connecting, communicating and nurturing are most often demonstrated by women and these are the business skills of the future. By embracing our feminine business traits, we can achieve even greater success.

It was great to see the buzz that the speakers created in the room. There was sharing of ideas, celebration of small and big wins and everyone made the most of having the company of some inspirational women to learn from.

Seeing the achievement of other women is business is sometimes all it takes to inspire others to take that leap of faith, can’t wait to showcase the next amazing role models at the event on 8th March 2017, International Women’s Day.