I think I’ve found those missing women

 
Tue 18 Feb 2014

A couple of weeks ago I raised the issue of too few women attending business network events.

I was pointing out how such events here in Milton Keynes had a habit of being very male and very white, and I was exercised by the lack of diversity and particularly by the absence of women.  I am delighted to be able to announce that the missing women have been found, alive, active and thoroughly involved at two recent gatherings.

We took great pride and pleasure in launching the new Business & Leadership Centre at Silbury Campus last month.  It was really gratifying that there was a fantastic turnout from local business people and that the women among their number had turned out in force.  One of the most impressive speakers was a former Milton Keynes College student, Vicky Beale, founder and Managing Director of sales and marketing support business, Rapid Sales Solutions.  Vicky is a one woman whirlwind who seems to be tirelessly involved in all manner of enterprises and her links to the College remain strong.  She has used our students to come up with various branding ideas and cites the College as a crucial partner in her exhibition work.

Speaking of which, the diversity in age, sex and ethnicity of those who attended the launch of Business Expo 3.0, “the largest and only international business-to-business exhibition in Milton Keynes,” was even more impressive and encouraging.  It struck me as I looked out at the audience that a fantastic and representative selection of local businesses and employers had come out to support a powerful initiative for their city.  I actually think this richly diverse community is one of the main reasons why Milton Keynes is such a fantastic place to live, work and grow successful businesses. 

It is estimated that a staggering 105 different languages are now spoken in the city – interestingly the same average figure as for all the London boroughs.  This remarkable mixture of origin and experience contributes to the way our community of businesses support and develop each other.  It enables our civic and community leaders to work with and encourage enterprise.  Here at the College we see a major part of our central purpose as being a hub for business networks, where cultures and ages meet to learn from each other and to find common cause.  The College is ideally placed to facilitate these new working relationships specifically because it constantly strives to be truly inclusive and genuinely and committedly values-led.  Likeminded members of the business community, be they from corporate giants or one person micro-businesses, are naturally drawn to work with us because of our sprawling connections. 

Variety is a wonderful thing.  People of all different types from all different backgrounds bring ideas, interpretations, access to different suppliers and markets – a whole host of advantages with which an entirely homogenous community cannot hope to compete.  We aim at the College to be at the centre of things, to be a place for the meeting of all these different minds and the development of their collective and collaborative ideas.  It’s a big part of what makes this city such an exciting place to be.

Vivre les differences!

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