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East Midlands businesswomen share the stories of their success at convention

The main speakers at the event. Photo: Peter Nutkins
The main speakers at the event. Photo: Peter Nutkins

Successful East Midlands women shared their inspirational business and personal stories at special convention organised by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Nottingham.

Around 100 IoD Members and guests attended the event to hear Carolyn Radford,chief executive of Mansfield Town FC, tell her career story, along with five other of the region’s top businesswomen.

Louise Third MBE, of Integra Communications Ltd, hosted the event, the fourth event of its type to be organised by the IoD in the region.

In her speech, Carolyn Radford said: “Leadership is not only about becoming better today but saying how can we do more and to live with purpose and passion

She said fear of failure, of not being good enough, was a problem and the first secret was to change belief in ourselves.

The convention panel featured five more successful women – Sarah Walker-Smith, Debra Charles, Lisa Wainwright, Sue Smith MBE and Major Claire Hamilton.

Sarah Walker-Smith, is the award-winning chief operations officer of Browne Jacobson and a governor of Nottingham Trent University.

A mother of two, Sarah is a passionate believer that you can ‘have you cake and eat it’ and spoke about the confidence gap between boys and girls and the important role education has to play in building confidence.

Debra Charles, chief executive and founder of award-winning company Novacroft, reflected on her leadership journey and her own personal battles in overcoming dyslexia and other challenges she faced as a woman in a technology business.

Sue Smith is the former joint-chief executive of Cherwell District Council and South Northamptonshire Council and discussed role models in leadership from her experience in the public sector for more than 30 years.

Sue is a fellow of the IoD and a chartered director and is currently chairman of Graven Hill Village Development Company, and a senior non-executive director at Swim England.

Claire Hamilton joined the Army in 2003 and has just started a new role at the defence academ in Shrivenham.

Specialising in education and training, she was worked all over the world and reminded delegates that only about 10 per cent of Army personnel are women.

Lisa Wainwright is the chief executive of British Basketball and has significant experience in sports administration and governing bodies and recently graduated from the UK Sport CEO Executive Leadership Programme.

Her message to delegates was ‘if you do well you will be noticed and have the strength to call out appalling behaviour’.