Menu Search

Top tips from leading women in business

“Don't try to become the image of what someone else proposes a female leader should be, insist on being taken seriously!” Julie Stone, Director of University of Derby Online Learning

Date posted: 4 March 2016

Ahead of International Womens Day (March 8, 2016) the University of Derby has collated some top tips from leading women in business.

1. Be true to yourself

Professor Kathryn Mitchell, is the University of Derby’s first female Vice-Chancellor (one of 35 women leading Higher Education institutions).

 “Be true to yourself, and therefore work at what you want to get out of your career. I didn’t consider that I would be a Vice-Chancellor but what I have strived to do is always be in a job that makes a difference.”

 2. Step outside your comfort zone

Jacqueline Gold CBE, Chief Executive of Ann Summers and Knickerbox, who is renowned for managing a company run by women, for women.

"I was once told there is nothing to fear but fear itself and this couldn’t be truer. When you step outside your comfort zone, amazing things can happen.”

3. Believe in yourself

Lisa Biesty, Commercial Director, Derby County Football Club, has worked in a male dominated industry for 16 years.

“If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. As a woman I have found I had to prove myself but not just for others, for myself as well.”

4. Invest in yourself

Petra Wilton, Director of Strategy and External Affairs, Chartered Management Institute.

“Keep developing your skills and networks.” 

5. Know what you want and go for it

Valerie Todd CBE, Talent and Resources Director at Crossrail and recipient of an honorary degree from the University of Derby.

“Set a goal of what you want to achieve, and go for it. You may make some mistakes along the way but embrace them and learn from it.”

6. Stay focused

Professor Margaret Bruce, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Derby.

“Stay focused, be resilient, retain a sense of humour, and enjoy what you have chosen to do.”

 7. Life is for living 

Dr Paula Crick, Dean of College of Health and Social Care at the University of Derby.

“Live it to the full and make the best of every opportunity that comes your way - who knows where it could lead!”

8. Be confident, be yourself

Julie Stone, Director of University of Derby Online Learning (UDOL).

“Don't try to become the image of what someone else proposes a female leader should be, insist on being taken seriously!”

 9. Treat others fairly

Dr Lynn Senior, Dean of College of Education at the University of Derby.

“Respect for all, everyone has a part to play.”

10. Just do it

Annmarie Hanlon, owner of Marketing Consultancy Evonomie and Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at the University of Derby.

“I would urge women to dive into the deep end and embrace and immerse themselves in their career in order to develop.”

Recently the University of Derby hosted ‘An Evening With Jacqueline Gold CBE’ as part of their Women in Business event.

The evening brought together high profile figures, to debate and explore what UK businesses are doing to create opportunities for women.

The panel debate consisted of: Lisa Biesty, Commercial Director, Derby County Football Club; Petra Wilton, Director of Strategy and External Affairs, Chartered Management Institute; Valerie Todd CBE, Talent and Resources Director at Crossrail and University of Derby Honorary; and Glen Wilson, Head of Property for SME, Lloyds Banking Group.

After the panel debate and networking, Jacqueline Gold CBE, Chief Executive of Ann Summers and Knickerbox, took to the stage to talk through her journey to the top.

Jacqueline began her career at the age of 21 when she started working for her father’s company, Ann Summers. She told her story about how she has taken the company from strength to strength, implementing the Ann Summers Party Plan, launching the first Ann Summers high street store in 1993 and an ecommerce site in 1999. 

Thanks to Jacqueline, Ann Summers is now a multi-channel retailer with a gross annual sales turnover of over £150 million, with 140 UK and Ireland stores, 7,000 party planners, a thriving online business and partnerships with brands including: ASOS, House of Fraser and Shop Direct.

Jacqueline has received many accolades, including: 

  • Retail Week’s Most Powerful Woman in Business
  • Barclays Bank’s Most Inspirational Businesswoman in the UK
  • Most Inspirational Celebrity at the Inspirational Women Awards
  • In December 2015, Jacqueline was awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours list for services to Entrepreneurship, Women in Business and Social Enterprise.

For further press information please contact Jenny McNicholas, University of Derby Press Officer, on 01332 592279 or email: J.McNicholas@derby.ac.uk