A North That Works For Everyone

On December 9th we collaborated with IPPR North for the State Of The North conference at ASDA HQ in Leeds. The conference brought together the North’s key businesses and decision-makers to discuss at a very high-level the future for the North of England.

The partnership between IPPR North and Northern Power Women organisation is a vital one. IPPR North has consistently argued for a more inclusive approach to the Northern economy, looking beyond big cities and high-speed train to the economic assets that lie outside the urban centres and at issues such as education and skills. Northern Power Women recognises and celebrates role models and entrepreneurship in the North and means we can also offer you the opportunity to meet the North’s leading businesswomen and champions.

The day itself was a resounding success, with a range of inspiring speakers forming a hugely positive collaboration with lots of important messages to take away. The event itself was sponsored by ASDA and Northern Rail and had in excess of 100 attendees, making for many interesting interactive discussions with those in the audience as well as those on stage. We thank all of the speakers for taking part in the conference, as well as those who attended and made it such a great day all round.

The day began with welcome speeches from Chris Lowe (Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at Asda) and our very own Simone Roche, before leading into a presentation of the State of the North report by director of IPPR North Ed Cox. Chris Hearld, Tracey Follows and Donna Hall then led a discussion of the report. Before lunch we heard from Andy Burnham and Judith Blake in a panel which was chaired by Ed Cox. In both instances the audience were invited to pose questions to the panel, making the process more collaborative and informative for all.

After lunch we were welcomed back by Alex Hynes from our sponsors Northern Rail, before hearing from Vanda Murray about the ongoing research being done in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University on gender equality in the north. We then introduced our next panel, consisting of Karen Finlayson, Maya Dibley, Charlotte Sweeney, Ian Leigh and Alex Hynes on trying to change the culture within business and how to increase inclusivity. Julia Unwin was the last speaker of the day, discussing poverty, and again both sections included the opportunity for questions and answers from the audience.

The State of the North conference 2016 was an extremely enriching experience and lots of important themes were taken from the day, including the notion of taking action (which will be the topic of our tweet-up on December 15th). Thank you all one again for your support, we hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did!

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