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Businesswomen from across Lancashire have been urged to continue “shattering the glass ceiling” following two keynote speeches at a Women Mean Business event.

Over 100 delegates attended a packed event where Minster for Work, Health and Disabled People, Mims Davies MP, and events and hospitality entrepreneur Liz Taylor, spoke passionately about their journeys and told stories of challenges, successes and a determination to succeed.

Organised by the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Code Galaxy, the event at Stanley House in Mellor, is the first of a series planned this year.

Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8th March, Conservative MP, Mims Davies told the audience of her delight at being the 380th woman elected to Parliament, but there was still work to be done.

She added: “Empowering women and supporting equality in the workplace is not just a goal—it’s a necessity. There are many barriers we still have to overcome but we are all on this journey together.

“Our amazing ability to juggle the work-life balance and take the opportunities presented to us is growing.

“There are two million more people in the workplace than in 2010 and more over-50s in the labour market than ever. No matter what your background, we continue to smash that glass ceiling so let’s carry on doing just that.”

Entrepreneur Liz Taylor can count celebrities such as Gary Barlow, Peter Kay and the Prince of Wales on her client list as she spoke of her career from holding down several jobs to conquering the global hospitality market.

She told delegates: “If I could give you one piece of advice it would to be enjoy the journey and take the opportunities. Be determined to succeed as there is no recipe for success, you have to go out there and earn it.

“We can never fail, failure does not come into it, only determination to succeed does. Be seen, be remembered, always show up and never be the cheapest… be the best”.

The event was opened by President of the Chamber, Jane Cole, who echoed the comments made by the two keynote speakers.

Mary Speakman, director and co-founder of Code Galaxy, said: “The event was truly inspirational and the feedback we have had from guests has been amazing; some hailing it as the best event they have ever attended”.

“To hear about the journey these two women have had was incredible, but as they both say, there is still much work to be done to achieve equality in the workplace.”

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the Chamber, added: “This event shows the commitment and dedication of businesswomen across Lancashire. Stories of inspiration and the determination to succeed is what makes this county stand out and the journey these women are on will inspire the generations to come.”

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