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All Party Parliamentary Group – Women in Business at the Houses of Parliament



Members of the Women Presidents’ Organisation (WPO), an international peer advisory group for million-dollar plus women-led and owned companies, gathered in London on Monday September 12th at 10:30 a.m., at a roundtable event on international business and included and included WPO London member, Michelle PalmerDirector of Canary Wharf & City Recruitment. Hosted by the Women and Enterprise All Party Parliamentary Group, chaired by Craig Tracey MP, the “Shifting the Needle”, and attended by the London Stock Exchange, the all-day meetings were held at Parliament of the United Kingdom in the Palace of Westminster. Topics included global trade, access to capital and accelerating business innovation.

British Conservative Party Politician Craig Tracey, Member of Parliament (MP) for North Warwickshire since 2015, extended the invitation to WPO. The session was followed by a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Women in Enterprise, and a reception for women entrepreneurs sponsored by NatWest Bank.

Mr. Tracey commented: “We were delighted to welcome the Women President’s Organisation to Parliament to share their experience in the vital area of Women and Enterprise. Our All Party Parliamentary Group aims to promote equality for women in executive and ownership positions in the world of enterprise and the events we had will help to promote these aims.”

One of the motivations prompting MP Craig Tracey to go into politics was the way he felt small businesses were treated by government during the recession of the late 2000s. “As a small business owner, I definitely felt the impact of the recession. I personally felt that the government did not understand what it was like and then there was the added burden of increased regulation on top of that.” He was elected on to the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee in July of 2015.

Karen Tracey, the Birmingham and Midlands Chair of the Women President’s Organisation, has helped to organise the event. Mrs Tracey said: “It is exciting that the WPO had representatives from around the globe attending this special day of events at the UK Parliament. This was a real opportunity for our group to interact with key stakeholders in politics and business.”

“We are very proud to be invited to such a high-level discussion focused on women-owned and led business initiatives and challenges with our own distinguished group of WPO business leaders. Each delegate attending this exciting event is at the peak of her professional achievement, has demonstrated outstanding leadership running a multi-million-dollar business that promotes economic security.” said Marsha Firestone Ph.D., President and Founder of the Women Presidents’ Organisation. Dr. Firestone attended the London event, along with WPO global sponsor representatives from IBM, Wells Fargo, UPS and The Hunter Group.

At the event, WPO members and Chapter Chairs from around the world — including the US, New Zealand, Portugal, Birmingham, UK and London, UK — reflected on their own experiences building their businesses and what they believed is needed to “move the needle” for other women running businesses, particularly with access to financing, scaling up and government assistance.

Canary Wharf and City Director, Michelle Palmer, and WPO London Chapter member shared “It was an honour to be invited to attend the All Party Parliamentary Group discussion on the importance of Women in Business.  The debate was strengthened by the participation of multi-million dollar women business owners, through the WPO, from across the globe, each bringing their own unique perspectives.”

About the Women Presidents’ Organisation
The WPO is the premier peer advisory organisation connecting women who own multi-million dollar companies. In monthly meetings across six continents, chapters of 20 women presidents from diverse industries invest time and energy in themselves and their businesses to drive their corporations to the next level. Local WPO chapters are coordinated by a professional facilitator and meet monthly to share business expertise and experience in a confidential setting. For more information, visitwww.womenpresidentsorg.com.