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East Anglian business women offer inspiration and support to mark International Women’s Day

PUBLISHED: 16:13 09 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:25 09 March 2020

Jo Reynolds (left), inspirational speaker and author of Fire Woman, and Rania Kurdi, transformational life coach. Picture: Sarah Hussain

Jo Reynolds (left), inspirational speaker and author of Fire Woman, and Rania Kurdi, transformational life coach. Picture: Sarah Hussain

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Business women from across East Anglia came together to inspire and support one another in a special event to mark International Women’s Day.

Women from across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire gathered in Downham MarketWomen from across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire gathered in Downham Market's Town Hall for an event to mark International Women's Day. Picture: Sarah Hussain

More than 70 women from across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire gathered at Downham Market's Town Hall on Monday, March 9, as part of an East Anglian Women in Business (EAWIB) network meet.

The event, which was opened by Downham Market town mayor Becky Hayes, aimed to inspire and bring women from business groups together.

Mrs Hayes said: "Downham Market Town council and myself are very proud to be supporting this East Anglian Women in Business event.

"Not only is it a great opportunity to network, but also for me it's a great opportunity to support each other and provide encouragement.

Women from across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire gathered in Downham MarketWomen from across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire gathered in Downham Market's Town Hall for an event to mark International Women's Day. Picture: Sarah Hussain

"If it wasn't for the women in my life doing just that I wouldn't be where I am now, not just working full-time running my own business, but also being mayor of Downham Market.

"Local government is hard enough to get into as a woman let alone a woman who works full time.

"Here in Downham our first female mayor was Mrs M Walsh in 1981.

"Since then we have had several female mayors and I believe I am the first female mayor who works full-time, and we have eight councillors out of 19 who are women, so we are doing well."

Becky Hayes, Downham Market mayor, opened up the event.  Picture: Sarah HussainBecky Hayes, Downham Market mayor, opened up the event. Picture: Sarah Hussain

Other guest speakers included Rania Kurdi, a transformational life coach, who spoke to those gathered about the importance of mindfulness and positive thinking and Jo Reynolds, the UK's first female firefighter and inspirational speaker, about what life was like when she first joined the fire service.

Speaking after the event Ms Reynolds said: "It has been amazing.

"These ladies are very positive and I learn so much from them. They inspire me.

"Events like this are important because we should celebrate where we've got, but there's still a way to go.

Women from across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire gathered in Downham MarketWomen from across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire gathered in Downham Market's Town Hall for an event to mark International Women's Day. Pictured: Sarah Fairbrother (front row left), Becky Hayes, Rania Kurdi and Jo Reynolds. Picture: Sarah Hussain

"We need physical role models, currently around 5pc of firefighters around the world are female."

Sarah Fairbrother, EAWIB Founder and a Director at Ward Gethin Archer, said: "I'm really pleased, the event has really celebrated all the women's achievements in honour of International Women's Day and allowed for them to network."

READ MORE: East Anglian business women to meet under one roof

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