Ealier today, the First Women Awards lunch, sponsored by Investec, saw the great and the good from previous events rubbing shoulders and sipping champagne. Carol Walsh of Visa Europe, who won the finance award last year, was on hand to support this year’s occasion and Ann Gloag, winner of the lifetime achievement award, gave the keynote speech. Fellow Scot Duncan Bannatyne cited Gloag as one of the country’s truly great female entrepreneurs. With good reason. Her national bus company, Stagecoach, announced its results earlier today and they are stonking: turnover has topped £1.5bn.
Guests were regaled with colourful tales from the early days of Stagecoach, back in the eighties. “We had a tenner a week to market the company,” she said. “So I used to go out with a bucket of glue and fly-post the bus stops. When we got complaints in, I just used to say, ‘I’m terribly sorry. My marketing company must have got a bit over-enthusiastic.’”
Gloag has continually innovated and excelled, adopting an aggressively acquisitive strategy to keep on top of her game. At an event devoted to recognising women who have broken new ground in business life, she’s a pretty good role model.
So, if you know of a woman who excels in her field: a glass-ceiling breaker, a pioneer, an unsung entrepreneur, get to www.firstwomenawards.co.uk or check out the [asset1] and nominate them.
Time is getting short: the last date for entries is 28th March. So help unveil a whole new generation of role models and let us know: “Who is your First Woman”.