North East businesswomen celebrate International Women’s Day

International Women's Day 2018

Inspiring women from across the North East will share their success stories as part of an event to mark International Women’s Day 2018.

The event, which is being hosted at County Hall on Friday, 9 March, is being run by DurhamWorks in partnership with training provider Raw Digital and is aimed primarily at 16 to 24 year olds.

Speakers include Laura Middleton, who founded her own company after she couldn’t find a workplace that suited the hours needed to being a mum. The Office Rocks, based in Sunderland, now has 22 female staff delivering marketing for businesses including Marks and Spencer, John Lewis and Tesco.

“This event will be a real motivation to the young women in the audience and I would encourage all those who can to attend.”

Other inspiring guests include Diane Keller, who recently led the first global mentoring programme at Sage tailored to increasing the number of women in leadership and technology roles, and well-known North East businesswoman Chey Garland, who will share the lessons she has learnt throughout her career.

Newcastle-born Alice Hall, who was included on Forbes’ 2017 ’30 under 30’ European list, will also appear via video link to discuss how she turned an initial investment of just £90 into sales of more than £22 million when she founded her clothing business Pink Boutique.

Visitors will also hear inspiring stories from two women who were supported into employment by the DurhamWorks scheme, including 21-year-old electrician Abi Beck, who will talk about the challenges she has faced working in a mainly male-based industry, and Anna Hankin, who has recently landed her dream role.

Cllr Olwyn Gunn, Cabinet member for children and young people, said: “There are so many inspiring women in our region and hearing their stories is a fitting way to mark this International Women’s Day.

“This event will be a real motivation to the young women in the audience and I would encourage all those who can to attend.”

International Women’s Day will also include a range of information stalls from DurhamWorks providers as well as others including Durham County Record Office and Durham Savers.

To book a free place at the event, visit

DurhamWorks works with a number of partners across the North East to help young people not in employment, education or training, including offering one-to-one support with a dedicated member of the team, helping young people get the skills, qualifications and experience needed and providing support with benefits, housing and care arrangements.

For more information about DurhamWorks and the help available to 16 to 24 year olds, visit


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