Women in Business
Dr Margaret Casely-Hayford; Hazel Pilling, of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Women; Michelle Niziol and Jennifer Kennedy, of Apex Recruitment.

Member Article

BBC’s The Apprentice star welcomed as guest speaker at networking event

A star from BBC’s The Apprentice and Coventry University’s very first female Chancellor gave an insight into their careers at a business networking event in the region.

Michelle Niziol and Dr Margaret Casely-Hayford were guest speakers at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Women in Business event, sponsored by Apex Recruitment, held at Coombe Abbey Hotel.

For the very first time, delegates were invited to take part in a speed networking session before hearing from the speakers who gave presentations on their career paths.

Michelle, CEO of IMS Property Group, gave an account of her time on The Apprentice in 2016, answering some of her most asked questions.

She also spoke about the need for resilience in business after the first time she was ever fired took place in the famous boardroom in front of 10 million viewers and led to her facing a social media backlash.

Michelle, who is also Vice-President of Arla Propertymark and a columnist for What Mortgage magazine, said: “In business you have to be resilient as people are going to take any sort of jab that they can, but it’s all about learning from those experiences.

“Taking part in The Apprentice was the best thing I’ve ever done. Lord Sugar is one of the most astute business people I’ve ever met and it was an absolute pleasure to spend time with him.

“After I was fired there were 350,000 tweets about me, and the majority of them weren’t about me as a businesswoman, but I found all of the comments humorous.”

Michelle then went on to speak about her drive to be in business from a young age, starting her first business at the age of six selling lucky dip gifts to her neighbours, and how she grew her multi-million pound company.

She added: “I am very passionate about Women in Business, and I knew from a young age I wanted to run my own company.

“Now I look for ways to continually develop my business, streamlining systems and doing everyone’s job when they are on holiday to look at how we can improve processes.”

Dr Margaret Casely-Hayford spoke about becoming the first female Chancellor of Coventry University after spending her business life as a lawyer, and her pride at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge opening the new Science and Health Building on the campus.

She also spoke about the need to be flexible in an ever-changing world, her passion for championing women’s rights as Chair of ActionAid UK and her role as Chair of the Advisory Board of Ultra Education which promotes the importance of teaching entrepreneurial skills to children.

The networking event marked the Chamber’s first Women in Business of 2018.

Chris Nagle, Events & Marketing Manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It was wonderful to welcome Michelle and Margaret to our first Women in Business event of 2018.

“They were both extremely inspirational speakers who gave an excellent insight into how they got to where they are today. Coombe Abbey was an excellent location to host the event and we would also like to thanks our sponsors Apex Recruitment.”

Jennifer Kennedy, of Apex Recruitment, added: “Apex Recruitment proudly support women in business, at all levels.

The industries we recruit for tend to be typically male dominated, and we are actively working alongside our clients, government bodies and schools to help turn the tide and make all work places more gender diverse.

“The event highlighted the amazing work that women are doing at a local and national level. We proudly support the Chamber of Commerce in their goal of promoting the profiles of business women in our area.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Matt Joyce .

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