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As the time nears for the HSBC National Women in Business Awards 2016 recognising the achievements of professional business women across the UK, Finbuzz spoke with Forward Ladies’ managing director Griselda Togobo, a multi-faceted entrepreneur, engineer and chartered accountant with Deloitte LLP. She currently uses her vast experience with multi-national businesses to assist individuals, small and medium enterprises on ambitious growth targets.
What factors did you consider on introducing the awards?
The business has been going for 16 years. It started as Yorkshire Forward Regional Development Agency in 1999. The government then had to decide what to fund and what not to fund. The business had to become commercially sustainable and that is why we are still around today.
What do the awards hope to achieve and how?
We know that in businesses there are a lot of awards around but for men and only some for women representatives. We are not represented across other boards of business. The idea is to showcase the excellent work women are doing so that we can create a role model for the next generation.
What are your personal views on gender equality in the finance industry?
Finance is a male dominated industry including managers. If we do not have diversity or representation of men and women, we stay out of a lot of thinking and they start making decisions themselves. I think this may have contributed to the financial crash that happened a long time ago. It needs a huge push to make sure we have women getting through the pipeline.
What plans do you have taking the awards forward?
The awards started in Yorkshire, went to the West but is now national. We still do not go outside England. That is one of the things we are looking to do going forwards.