GATWICK DIAMOND SUPPORTS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

07 May 2011

On March 8, as the world celebrates the International Women’s Day centenary, the Gatwick Diamond Initiative is encouraging women to play a greater part than ever before in the local economy.

On March 8, as the world celebrates the International Women’s Day centenary, the Gatwick Diamond Initiative is encouraging women to play a greater part than ever before in the local economy. 

Rosemary French, Executive Director of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative believes that women’s enterprise can be one of the enablers to economic recovery in the UK, not least because of the size of women’s contribution to the national economy - estimated at £130 billion per annum.

In the South East, women comprise around 46% of the working population, yet only 15% of business owners and 27% of the self-employed are women.   “This is a lost opportunity” says Rosemary, “as we need more entrepreneurs in the South East to help create jobs and help get the economy moving.  Women have the greatest untapped potential.” 

Research shows that women are less likely to be exporters and tend to have more localised markets. Rosemary says: “In the Gatwick Diamond area especially, we need to do all we can to support female entrepreneurs to grow their businesses further through international trade.”

Local business owner Joanne Rogers agrees.   She says:  “International trade is good for business as it enables firms to diversify their customer base and weather the domestic economic downturn by providing access to wider markets that are open to new ideas and products.   Our PR firm has customers as far afield as Australia and New Zealand – economies which are more buoyant than the UK currently.”

International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present and future, and this year will see extensive global women’s activity.  Performer and social activist, Annie Lennox, will lead a mass march across London’s Millennium Bridge for charity.  In Washington D.C., over a thousand people are to descend on Capitol Hill, demanding a better world for millions of marginalized women around the globe and, in Sydney, Australia, there will be a major international businesswomen’s conference. 

The first International Women’s Day events were run as far back as 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland and were attended by more than one million people.   One hundred years on, International Women’s Day has become a global mainstream phenomena celebrated across many countries and is an official holiday in 25 countries.

 
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