Edinburgh salute strength of stand-out business women

Support for businesswomen on International Women's Day. Photo credit:  Sam Stevens.
Support for businesswomen on International Women's Day. Photo credit: Sam Stevens.
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From a networking brunch of 50 inspirational women in 2018, a unique event celebrating the Capital’s business women has ballooned to honour 200 on International Women’s Day 2019.

The Pantry Group’s managing director Charlotte Thompson and communications agency wonderhouse have come together to create an event that embodies the slogan for IWD ‘balance for better’.

The evening of design at Dovecot Studios is geared towards building a better gender-balanced world.

Charlotte said: “There is an abundance of independent business women in Edinburgh, and we felt it was important to create something that gives the chance for everyone to meet, chat, network and support each other.

“The interest we generated last year was phenomenal and this year we have extended it to accommodate more Edinburgh women.”

The all includive event is not just for females – partners, children and even dogs are welcome.

It’s not about alienating anyone but celebrating the strength of women.

The networking evening includes a panel of leading interior design experts, including Emily Smoor of Fantoush, Dixie Mirowski of Catalog and Liz Engelsen, a freelance brand strategist and design student.

Hosted by author of The Art of Coorie, Gabriella Bennett, the evening panel will discuss sustainability in design, diversity, mental health as well as what support Edinburgh offers women in work.

There is a wide variety of inspirational, independent business women in attendance including Shadi Darvish of Bridge Investment, Karen Knowles of Bon Accord, a selection of freelance creatives, bloggers and influential Edinburgh women.

Rachael Grieve, one of three female directors at wonderhouse added: “It comes naturally to us as women business owners – some of who have kids – to understand the importance and sense of responsibility to give ourselves, and our female employees, flexibility, respect, equal opportunities and nurture a culture that thrives on positive, balanced outcomes.” “Creating an opportunity on IWD with Charlotte to celebrate the number of exciting businesses, brands and people in Edinburgh who share these values, is exciting and if we can help encourage more females into business then that can only be

a good thing for a gender-balanced society.”

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year and is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights.

It began after the Socialist Party of America organised a Women’s Day in 1909 in New York, and a year later the International Socialist Woman’s Conference suggested a a day be held annually.

Events marking the day are held across the globe. And at home, Edinburgh University are taking on the re-balance of the digital realm with a “Women of Edinburgh Wikipedia edit-a-thon” event.

According to the University’s Information Services team, as of 7 January 2019 only about 17.83 percent of the English Wikipedia’s biographies are about women.

The event aims to improve the quality of articles about notable women; with a particular focus on women associated with Edinburgh.