An award-winning technology specialist from Warwickshire has encouraged women to make the most of their untapped potential as part of International Women’s Day.
Sarah Windrum, CEO of Leamington-based technology group The Emerald Group, has been presented with an award for Exceptional Achievement in Policy Work for the West Midlands for 2018 by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The FSB campaigns on behalf of its members on a wide range of topics including Women in Enterprise since only 22 per cent of SMEs in the UK are majority women-owned.
Recent research has discovered that currently 2.7 million women in the UK want to start a business but have been put off by persistent barriers.
Sarah received the award for her work with regional stakeholders especially on innovation by holding a round table for the construction sector and planning a series of events to discuss the findings of the FSB’s Spotlight on Innovation report.
She was also praised for promoting the work of small businesses through FSB campaigns including the It’s Ok to Talk About Mental Health when she shared her story and highlighted how The Emerald Group is promoting good mental health in the workplace.
Sarah, who is a board director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and leads its Digital and Creative Business Group, said International Women’s Day was the ideal time to encourage more women to consider setting up their own business whatever sector they were interested in.
“SMEs make a vital contribution to our economy and encouraging more women to take the plunge and make the most of their talents will lead to further growth and a more diverse business community,” she said.
“It can still be difficult for women to make their mark in certain industries which are perceived to be male-dominated which was one of the topics we discussed at the construction round table event.
“The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Think equal, build smart, innovate for change’ and I would encourage women to have the confidence to follow their instincts and act on their entrepreneurial ideas.”
Sarah added: “I was thrilled to receive the award especially in my first year with the FSB as their West Midlands Regional Policy Lead.
“We have an exceptionally strong team here in the West Midlands and a thriving small business economy.
“Running any organisation at this current time is not without it challenges but we have really shown that collaborative working across the region is the way to secure the best future for all.”