Join Northern Power Women to celebrate its fifth birthday on the 12th March 2020.
It all began in March 2015, Simone Roche now MBE took the first steps in creating a business that delivers a message to accelerate gender diversity across the North of England, offering engaging opportunities to women and men to learn and promote their achievements, and so, Northern Power Women was born.
Over the past five years, Northern Power Women (NPW) has worked with a vast range of businesses and role models both locally and globally across the North and beyond, and from many different sectors including finance, hospitality, education and the media, to name but a few, encouraging and sharing the same message about gender equality and inclusiveness.
Today marks the fifth anniversary of NPW’s founding. During this time Simone and the small but powerful team have created opportunities and worked with some truly amazing clients from small business owner startups to non-profits and with multi-international brands.
The last five years have seen NPW accelerate and take the North by storm sharing and providing opportunities to individuals and likeminded role models who are eager to change the world. This has been done through developing mentoring programmes, networking events and sending positive media messages.
Today is not only a celebration of what has been achieved so far but a chance to discuss with the CEO and founder of the organisation Simone Roche MBE on what the future and next five years holds for Northern Power Women.
1) When you were setting up Northern Power Women what aims and goals did you have in mind?
‘I had worked around gender equality for ten to twelve years and was primarily based in London. I thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if we started to have the conversation around gender equality in the North. The aim of Northern Power Women has been set up to enable power and influence and showcase balance and inclusiveness across the region. The goal is to provide the North with career options, and social networking events to address the issue of “there isn’t anything for me” and create a hub of opportunities for people from different backgrounds and sectors.
Northern Power Women has formed a region of role models and helped to develop female and male leaders to spread the message of opportunities in the North whilst working towards maintaining gender balance.
I would reflect back 30 years ago to my time in the Navy and realise now I didn’t know what I wanted to be or do but also explain to people that that’s okay, and so by creating a platform for people in similar situations I could use our power and influence in the North for future generations to aid with careers guidance and aspirations.
Careers guidance I feel has always been limited in this area, so it was a passion to shout loud and be proud of all the amazing people and organisations trying to change this.
2) What have been your top 5 NPW achievements in terms of reach?
‘Where to begin with all the wonderful achievements Northern Power Women have accomplished so far. The last five years have been a fantastic whirlwind of business growth and social reach bringing together nearly 950+ nominations for our NPW annual awards ceremony, reaching 22 million people on our social channels last year during the awards where we trended in cities all over the UK and proud to say – even beat The Great British Bake Off! The NPW podcast was shortlisted in The Northern Blog Award in 2018 and for the past five years has been recorded at a live event and now reaches listeners on a global level.
In addition to this, we currently have over 60,000 role models across the NPW community with consistent new signups to our newsletter, and that has been the most rewarding thing, knowing that people want to be a part of something bigger. Individuals are celebrating personal achievements having attended our events, programmes and live podcast recordings, and this makes me feel incredibly proud.
Everything we do, we do with purpose and the fact we now, not only share our message across the North, the nation and the globe is just amazing!’
3) Has Northern Power Women led to any personal achievements?
‘Yes, Northern Power Women has opened the doors to many opportunities and I could not be more grateful. It has been such an honour to service gender equality in the North and the NPW journey has given back to me in ways I could never have imagined.
The most phenomenal achievement to date has to be the honour of being recognised in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours and becoming Simone Roche MBE. This wasn’t just for me, this was for everyone involved in NPW and I take the responsibility of what I have done seriously, and am proud of what has been enabled because of it.
Without the achievements NPW have accomplished, I could not have created Northern Power Futures which really highlights that this business and message is limitless! And I was fortunate enough to be invited to number 10 to talk about NPW and the more recent NPF platform.
The new platform is a response to what we have been listening to across the North and realised we needed this futures community to provide even more connectivity. We’re overwhelmed by the support and amount of people looking to be involved, so, the power platform should solve the endless enthusiasm and bring even more great individuals together.’
4) What is the future for NPW?
‘Again, it’s about growing this hall of role models and being synonymous with the North and the projects surrounding it such as supporting the BBC 50:50 Project. So, we will continue to amplify these opportunities.
We aim to develop our power partnerships and relationships, and do more, and make more impact. It’s about solving different problems together. We’re currently working with global brands such as EY, United Utilities and The Co-operative Bank, and locally with Liverpool Football Club, to name but a few.’ You can take a look at all the NPW sponsors and partnerships on their website here.
‘Five years in, it’s about looking at the next five years. NPW have established a power board and power ambassador programme and are now building a power platform to really connect the North and make a global impact. Everything we do, we do with purpose, and we encourage people not to just watch this space, but get involved too!’
Here’s to the next five years!