Simone Roche CEO and Founder of Northern Power Women launched this campaign out of a passion to connect and engage with people about gender equality.
Simone started her career in the Royal Navy scaling the ranks to become an officer and then held roles at Aintree Racecourse, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, the Arena Convention Centre Liverpool and the Olympics, and she is quick to note that she was not treated differently because she was female.
So it wasn’t until she became the Director for a campaign supporting women in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industry – and she was asked to be a champion for the Government Equalities Office – that gender equality grew to be her passion.
When the International Festival for Business was held in Liverpool in 2014, Simone campaigned to include businesses’ role in promoting gender equality and developing talent, and held a sell-out event focused on the role women played in driving the economy.
Men and women suddenly saw women’s benefit to the economy – and the role the North could play in driving that. And Simone saw the need and opportunity to focus on gender balance in the northern powerhouse region. Northern Power Women was born.
Simone was awarded MBE in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to gender equality in the north of England.