The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Priti Patel joined a group of 15 local businesswomen and female entrepreneurs in Chiswick today (Thursday 5 February) to get their views on how the government can best support women in business.
They discussed how to support women who want to return to the workforce after having a child, how the government helps women stay in work through childcare support and provision, and what the government does to help women looking to start their own business.
Many of the women in the room were themselves business owners. Angela Lyons-Redman left a job as a solicitor in the City to set up a fast-response plumbing company using motorbikes to get around, when she was frustrated at how difficult it was to get a plumber quickly.
She started her Chiswick-based business in 2005 and now has more than 38 employees, working as plumbers, electricians, tilers and handymen.
Anshu Goel co-founded her Hammersmith-based business KIDsorted after struggling to find the right extra-curricular activities for her daughter.
The e-commerce site helps parents discover and book classes and activities for their children. Before starting her business, Ms Goel worked as a software engineer in Silicon Valley.
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Priti Patel said:
Since 2010, there are more women employed in the UK than ever before, with 14.4 million women in employment.
We are helping women at work by reducing the cost of childcare, addressing the gender pay gap, increasing flexible working, and introducing shared parental leave.
But there is still further to go to ensure that all parents are able to fulfil their potential in the labour market – and that’s why I’m here today listening to the experiences and insights of businesswomen and entrepreneurs who can help us better understand how to support working families.