New group aims to help women in business flourish

time:2023-06-09 06:20:35source:NBC News author:Press center6

A new group is aiming to get more women into business, as well as helping existing ones flourish.

Accountant Janet Collins is behind the scheme in Carmarthenshire, saying she felt the pandemic left some owners isolated as they battled to stay open.

This scheme means businesswomen can join a network and support each other.

Janet said: "Some clients have asked me 'are you qualified?' and I am sat there thinking 'well, I wouldn't be here if I wasn't qualified'."

She added: "Why would they think a man is more qualified than a woman to do the job?

"But speaking personally, my fellow directors have always supported me and never made me feel you can't do that because you are a woman, but there is no doubt that there are industries and women out there who feel they are not supported."

Janet hopes the networking group will help women develop new skills and expertise and will also change people's attitudes towards women in business.

Holly Weston-Zygadlo and her husband Lee run Caffi Lolfa in Burry Port and have decided to expand.

The couple invested all their savings into their business instead of buying a house and are transforming an old grocery and newsagents into a coffee shop.

Holly said being in business was hard work and any advice is welcome, adding: "I definitely think that women coming together and supporting each other is great, especially in business where you can feel quite small, overpowered I think, and not always taken seriously some times.

"I have come across a few times where I have had to take a deep breath and say to myself 'look I am a strong independent women and in a partnership as well'.

"Sometimes people think it is his business, whereas we are in a partnership and always work together."

Charities working to ensure women get equality in the workplace and the opportunity to develop and flourish say Covid hit them hard.

Helen Antoniazzi, a policy officer with equalities organisation Chwarae Teg, said: "We know that women need a different kind of support in business.

"A lot of that is around peer-to-peer support or having role models that people can relate to and mentor because women really like to hear from each other and hear about each others failures and successes."

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