In what was the first major business event to take place since the Assembly elections, the 2022 Women in Business Chair’s Lunch this week welcomed over 400 business leaders and entrepreneurs to the Culloden Estate and Spa.
Under the theme of ‘Even Better If’, the annual event, sponsored by Queen’s University Belfast, placed a focus on the economic contribution of women in Northern Ireland and the potential to deliver an economy that is truly inclusive.
Keynote speaker the Rt. Hon Julian Smith MP, former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, spoke to delegates on the importance of diversity for addressing societal and economic issues on both a local and global stage.
Meanwhile Chair Nichola Robinson introduced the Women in Business Group, an umbrella of social enterprises with inclusive economic growth at its centre, it will work to deliver gender diversity and inclusion for the private, public and third sectors in Northern Ireland, through the WIB network, Diversity Mark, the Centre of Learning and the launch of a new female focused recruitment agency.
Roseann Kelly, Chief Executive at Women in Business, said: “With October marking 20 years of Women in Business, the 2022 Chair’s Lunch marks a significant milestone in our journey, from a network of 40 members to a community of 60,000 businesswomen.
“As we continue to expand our social enterprises across the Women in Business Group, this is a hugely exciting time and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to bring together such a diverse pool of expertise to discuss and debate the issues, both micro and macro, affecting business as we collectively move forward towards an Even Better NI.”
In addressing the 400 attendees, the Rt. Hon Julian Smith MP said: “The Women in Business network is giving confidence to thousands of people. Northern Ireland has done well for female first Ministers. And for Civil Service leaders. And for business leaders as we have seen here today. We now need to double down further on getting even more women in leadership positions and able to make and influence decisions.”
Have a look at the gallery of images from the Chair's Lunch here.